GRACEVILLE, FLA., JULY 27 -- A 104-year-old black woman, denied her wish to be buried in the all-white cemetery in the town she helped settle, was interred in an all-black burial ground seven miles away.
Ada Dupree's family took her silver coffin across Florida's panhandle from Esto to Graceville on Friday and buried her as some Esto residents made public apologies for anonymous racist threats directed at the Dupree family.
Several dozen relatives were joined by a dozen white friends as they prayed, sang and paid respects to the oldest citizen of Esto, a town of 250 near the border with Alabama.
Dupree wanted to be buried in Esto, where she moved in 1902 and cared for many white families who settled there.
"If anybody deserved to be buried there, it was her. She was there before any white person was," said A.B. Woodham, a white mourner.
Dupree died last week at a nursing home. Relatives changed their plans to bury her at the Esto Town Cemetery after callers threatened to shoot up the hearse and any black mourners.
The Duprees were the only black people in Esto for many years. Dupree's husband, Gilbert, died in the 1940s.