Between Civil War and Civil Rights: Rosewood Reborn
By the end of the first day, vengeful Whites had lynched a man they suspected of helping the attacker escape. Local lawmen--and, over the next week, the state--did nothing to stop them. Rosewood's fate was an open secret for decades. Black survivors and white witnesses alike kept the story to themselves: the former, in terror, the latter because the Rosewood "race riot" was unremarkable, even typical. Then the Civil Rights era completed the silence. But after two survivors filed a claim for reparations, the state (in 1994) finally awarded $2 million to survivors and descendants. Rosewood Reborn is a story of faith and credulity; rumor and reality, heroism, cowardice and tragedy; sex, theft, murder, conspiracy, mystery, and of the cultural chasm that divides our nation. Its history forgotten, reclaimed, and falsified; and a story of how our cultural myths are created and distorted.