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THE ROSEWOOD MASSACRE
Transcript of THE ROSEWOOD MASSACRE
My daddy told us to get up and put on all of our heavy clothes. He said people were shooting and they had to get out of Rosewood
Thursday, May 5, 2016
Vol XCIII, No. 311
What Happened in Rosewood in 1923?
My Textbook Excerpt
Why is this issue important?
During the early 1900s, post-World War 1 era, Black Americans risked their lives fighting abroad, yet once they returned to America, they were mistreated and had to fight the “enemy” within. The prevalence of individual lynching’s to massive destruction against entire Black communities, such as in Chicago to Tulsa, the White mobs pursed a reign of terror against Black Americans. Rosewood, Florida was sadly not the first Black community to be erased from a state due to the racial tensions. Black Americans migrated from the South to the North because of the promise of economic opportunity, greater freedom, and the skyrocketing racial violence in the South. The Ku Klux Klan was rebirthed and spread rapidly throughout the South and even to some Northern communities. Florida became a part of the frenzied violence of steadily escalated lynching’s almost doubling yearly. The prevalence of Black killings became so mainstream to the extent that public notices were put in newspapers inviting people to come and watch the burning of a live Negro. In 1920, Ocoee, Florida was attacked by the Klu Klux Klan because two Black citizens attempted to vote. Homes, churches, and masonic lodges were destroyed and people were killed in the violence. In December 1922, a month before the Rosewood Massacre, a White school teacher was murdered by an escaped convict who was then burned at the stake. He was no implicated in the crime. There was this dichotomy of White Americans living in fear of Black Americans, and Black Americans living in fear of White Americans. Black residents understood this dichotomy and understood that their lives were at risk every single day.
This brings us to the events leading up to the destruction of Rosewood. A White woman named Fannie Taylor claimed that she was sexually assaulted in her home by a black man. Jessie Hunter, a Black escaped convict, was rumored to have done it and was rumored to be hiding in Rosewood. It was also said that Aaron Carrier, Sam Carter, and Sylvester Carrier were harboring him. Due to the accusations, Carter was shot and lynched and a manhunt was initiated in the town of Rosewood. The Black residents of Rosewood became aware of the upcoming “manhunt” and some armed themselves ready to fight back as the women and children fled for the swamps and forests. The White mob acted with no restraint, people were shot and houses burned down to ashes. John and William Bryce drove a train that evacuated women and children out of Rosewood to Gainesville or Riviera Beach, Florida. In 2004, a historical roadside marker of what happened in Rosewood was erected and placed where Rosewood once stood. The remaining nine survivors were awarded $150,000 each in reparations. The tragic events that happened in Rosewood reinforced the idea that there is still ignorance and hatred among people groups in this country that cannot be ignored. The massacre started from a lie that evolved into the destruction and devastation of the lives of the citizens of Rosewood, Florida. So much so, that the survivors like Robie Mortin, consider themselves lifelong residents of Riviera Beach.
THE ROSEWOOD MASSACRE
The history was covered up
Racial tensions and Violence in the U.S., espeically in some Northern Cities
Increasing prevalence of White Mobs (Ku Klux Klan)