Hidden Histories - Rosewood, Tulsa, Chicago


Halfway between Tampa and Tallahassee, a hundred yards off state route, twenty 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. the, dog, lead them to the railroad tracks, which led to Rosewood. The mob, which would grow to be three hundred strong got it in their head that they were looking for a black man named Jesse Hunter who had escaped from a chain gang. The dog ran through the open door of a house and back out with that of wagon tracks. When the homeowner swore that no one else had been in his house, the mob tied him to the back of a car and dragged him down a dirt road. Then they tracked down the owner of the wagon whose tracks the dog sniffed. When he also claimed ignorance and innocence, the mob mutilated and killed him. The mob came to the House of Sarah carrier the Taylor's laundries. Two dozen people most of them. Children were hiding inside having heard what was going on already driven out of their homes by fear. For whatever reason the mob was sure that carrier was hiding Jesse Hunter. They fired on the House and carrier. Sons returned fire. When it was over both Sarah and her son Sylvester carrier had been fatally shot, though Sylvester had managed to kill two of their assailants. Had, anyone bothered to talk to Sarah carrier about Fannie, Taylor. She would have been able to tell them about Taylor's lover. Her white lover who she had been with before the attack. As, the mob kicked in the front door of the carrier house, the people hiding inside fled out the back door to the relative safety of the nearby. Swampy Woods. Not. All were able to get away though. Carriers, other son James was found by the mob who reportedly made him dig his own grave before killing him. The newspapers of the nearby towns caught wind of what was happening. They ran exaggerated. Retailing's of the siege of the carrier House and blatantly false reports of roving bands of armed black citizens. Seeing that even more white men poured into Rosewood believing that a race war had broken out. Apparently it's only a race war when the race you're targeting fights back. The manhunt and terror campaign wasn't confined to that single night, but stretched on for nearly a week.

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