Florida’s Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928 and the “Disgraceful” Burial for Thousands of Blacks

2 Posted by - June 17, 2022 - LATEST POSTS

On September 16, 1928, a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 miles per hour tore through Palm Beach county Florida. The storm was the second deadliest tropical cyclone in the history of the United States; only six tropical cyclones developed during the season. The greatest hit areas were small farming communities. The hurricane destroyed a levee that protected the area. Most of the residents of these low-lying communities were migrant farm workers. When the levee was destroyed, water from Lake rushed into these communities, killing thousands.

After the storm, the black survivors were treated horribly by whites. They were forced to recover all the bodies of those who were killed. Food was only provided to the blacks who worked, and if a black person was not helping to remove the bodies they were shot. Only the bodies of white storm victims were allowed to be buried in coffins in local cemeteries. Blacks were refused proper burials or coffins for black victims. The bodies of Black victims were stacked in piles by the side of roads and doused with fuel, and burned. The authorities then bulldozed the bodies of 674 black victims into a mass grave in West Palm Beach. The mass grave was never marked and the site was later sold for private industrial use; it was later used as a garbage dump, slaughterhouse, and a sewage treatment plant.

The city of West Palm Beach did not purchase the land until 2000. In 2008, on the 80th anniversary of the storm, a plaque and historical marker was erected at the mass grave site. The effects of the hurricane on black migrant workers was dramatized in Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God.








  • SPRANDORE GEFORD November 9, 2018 - 2:20 pm

    This is great information about the pathetic mentality of ignorant white people who showed disregard and disrespect for non-whites.

  • linda tart November 9, 2018 - 5:56 pm

    Every time I read about the HORRIBLE circumstances that my people endured while living in this country, there is always something new to learn. White people are barbaric, with no conscious.

  • prerogmy November 12, 2018 - 12:35 pm


  • Mary April 19, 2019 - 10:42 am

    And if you read Ms. Hurstons book or any historical account of what was going on during the days following the storm, you would understand that it was an emergency to bury the dead. Bodies were swollen to the size of cattle from laying in the Florida sun for days. Resources to the Glades were almost non existent. The water table was too high to bury the bodies in Belle Glade. Fear of spreading disease was high and something had to be done immediately. Many of the deceased were migrants and had no family to identify and remove them for proper burial. There is much more to this than what you have stated here. While I mourn the loss of all life and have great respect for burying the dead, it doesnt always happen the way we would like. Confederate soldiers were buried in mass graves by the union army but i guess you wouldn’t care about that.

    • Ann Sharon Lawrence May 10, 2019 - 1:32 pm

      Thank you Mary…well said

      • Max July 2, 2020 - 5:33 pm

        BS lady. the idea that Blacks were held at gun point by whites shows your ignorance. Like black people don’t know how to bury their bodies.

  • gamefly May 2, 2019 - 7:25 am

    Hi, I desire to subscribe for this weblog to take
    newest updates, so where can i do it please assist.

  • gamefly May 4, 2019 - 11:02 am

    This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.

    I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post.

    Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

  • gamefly free trial May 5, 2019 - 3:28 am

    Hello this is somewhat of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you
    have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog
    soon but have no coding experience so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • g May 12, 2019 - 9:49 am

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to
    be actually something which I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to
    get the hang of it!

  • g May 13, 2019 - 10:03 am

    Good day very cool web site!! Man .. Excellent .. Wonderful ..
    I will bookmark your site and take the feeds additionally?
    I am glad to seek out a lot of helpful info right here within the submit, we’d
    like work out extra techniques on this regard, thanks for sharing.
    . . . . .

  • minecraft download pc May 16, 2019 - 7:59 am

    Hello! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform
    are you using for this website? I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking
    at alternatives for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point
    me in the direction of a good platform.

  • Matlene June 2, 2019 - 5:26 am

    Amoxicillin 875 Sinus Infection Amoxil Amoxicilline Buy Now Isotretinoin Oratane viagra Viagra Cialis Levitra Kaufen Buy Viagara With Goft Card

  • Matlene June 9, 2019 - 4:25 am

    Comprar Cialis En Girona Levitra Bestellen cialis Levitra 10 Mg Controindicazioni Levitra Belgien Kaufen

  • ps4 best games ever made 2019 June 12, 2019 - 3:52 am

    This article will assist the internet people for creating new
    website or even a blog from start to end.

  • Matlene June 16, 2019 - 6:00 am

    Kamagra Tablets Next Day Delivery What Does Amoxicillin Rash Look Like Dapoxetina Indicaciones Acheter Viagra Propecia Front Forehead Zithromax For Pregnant Women

  • viagra June 16, 2019 - 7:49 am
  • cialis June 16, 2019 - 7:55 am
  • cialis June 16, 2019 - 7:57 am