In the late 1930s, the remains of about a dozen African American settlers of Dania Beach were removed from what was then the whites-only Woodlawn Cemetery and unceremoniously dumped in a common grave in the segregated Dania Colored Cemetery on the east side of the Florida East Coast Railway tracks.
Three courageous and caring City of Hollywood residents banded together and worked to ensure that the remains of these individuals were finally treated with honor and decency. Their efforts were successful, and in 1986 a monument was erected to restore dignity to those whose graves were disturbed. That same year, City officials renamed the grounds West Lawn Cemetery.
To recognize the efforts of Messrs. Fred D. Beneby, Jr., William T. Hall, Jr., and Marvin Merritt as well as the City officials who helped to right the wrong inflicted upon the deceased residents, two monuments and two street signs to memorialize these individuals will be unveiled in a dedication ceremony to be held at the West Lawn Cemetery, 1251 S.E. 12 St., Dania Beach, FL 33004 on Friday, September 6, 2019 at 10 a.m.