DAYTONA BEACH — Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry grew up knowing his grandfather on his mother’s side of the family died a sudden and violent death at the age of 58.
Samuel O’Quinn was an accomplished Black businessman, father of 11, and civil rights advocate. On a steamy August night in Mississippi in 1959, O’Quinn was shot twice in the back when he got out of his car to open the gate to his agricultural property. The killer was never identified, charged, or convicted.
When Henry learned recently that another close relative, his other grandfather’s first cousin, had been killed in Orlando in 1925, he said it was “like a gut punch.”
“You have a certain image and knowledge of your family,” Henry told the News-Journal. “I had no clue.”