Hidden Histories


Four and ten miles from the next town stands a handsome Pale Yellow House with decorative white trim on the two story porch. The house was the only survivor of an episode of such extraordinary violence that it boggles the mind how quickly and completely it was swept under the rug. An entire community was burned to the ground in an incident of racist asymmetrical warfare. And most people have never even heard of it. My Name's Moxy and this is your brain on facts. The community had been or technically still is Rosewood, Florida. It was settled by both black and white people twenty years before the civil war, but the Jim. Crow segregation in the Post Bellum decades put a clear divide into the community. The town was incorporated in eighteen seventy after it got a post office on a train stop and was named Rosewood for the Pink Cedars that were also the base of its economy. Residents worked in lumber, yards, mills, and even a pencil factory. Until the cedars had been overharvested, and the factories began to close. Most of the white residents moved to nearby sumner. But one couple John and Mary right who ran the general store? They were kind to their neighbors, and were known to Slip Candy to the black kids who hung out at the store, possibly because their own children had died young. The white flight continued into the nineteen twenties when Rose Woods population of about two hundred was entirely black plus the rights. The little hamlet got by just fine. Until New Year's Day nineteen twenty-three. Over in Sumner, a woman named Fanny Taylor woke her neighbors, saying a black man had broken into her house and attacked her. Rather than alert sheriff, her husband immediately gathered a group of men. Including clansmen who were in the area for a rally and a tracking dog.

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