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Rosewood Newsletter, 3/20/00

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Remains of Sarah Carrier's house in Rosewood, Florida in January, 1923

The 1923 Rosewood Massacre
Rosewood, FL

The name is now etched as a horrible crime in US annals. It's part of a pattern that includes the destruction of Black Wall Street in Oklahoma, the massacre of the Independents of Color in Cuba in 1912, and many others. Here we respect those who were murdered. Below we have a newsletter by Liz Jenkins, a niece of Rosewood's schoolteacher. Liz Jenkins has written about the massacre and has an excellent web site at She is one of those elders who holds a key part of the history.

Parallels between Cuba 1912 and Rosewood 1923

- After the massacres, both victims and perpetrators buried the memories, it was not spoken of for decades.

- Both massacres resurfaced in the collective consciousness during the 80's and 90's.  The official Florida report undercounts the victims at 6 and attempts are made to denigrate larger counts, despite evidence to the contrary. In Cuba, researchers are actively working on getting an accurate count, but the tendency is to use the lower number of 3,000 victims, when that number alone perished in la Maya.

- Rosewood was allegedly triggered by white fantasies over a black man assaulting a white woman. While Cuba 1912 was about repressing the black veterans who had essentially won the War of Independence against Spain, the Cuban press made extensive use of this same fantasy in its campaign to whip up the genocidal fervor.

- Black successes and aspirations were the real trigger: the black Cuban veterans wanted their rightful share of the new country they had freed from Spain, Rosewood inhabitants were actually more prosperous than the white neighbors who attacked them, much like Black Wall Street in Tulsa, OK.

- Both massacres resulted in films being made chronicling the events. In the US, Warner Bros put the survivors under contract not to give any interviews about the events, to give them the exclusive. No such contract exists in Cuba.

- The State of Florida paid $2 million in reparations to families who lost property and to 8 survivors. There are no known survivors in Cuba, but the effects of the massacre continue to traumatize families, and no plan currently exists to deal with that.

- In both cases, the victims did not surrender, they attempted to defend themselves with arms, but were overwhelmed by the use of massive force.

Articles in the Presstop


The Rosewood Massacre  8/16/2010 Africana Online: "Philomena Carrier, who had been working with her grandmother Sarah Carrier at Fannie Taylor’s house at the time of the alleged sexual assault, claimed that the man responsible was a white railroad engineer. She says that the man had come to see Taylor the morning of January 1 after her husband left for work. After an argument erupted between Taylor and the man, Philomena witnessed the man exit the back door and jog down the road toward Rosewood. The Carriers’ descendants maintain that the man was a Mason and that he persuaded Aaron Carrier, a member of Rosewood’s black Masonic lodge, to help him escape by appealing to the society’s code requiring members to help one another regardless of race. Carrier in turn persuaded another black Mason, Sam Carter—one of the few men in Rosewood with a wagon—to pick up the white man at Carrier’s house and drop him off in the swamp. From there the man disappeared without a trace."

Riviera Beach woman who survived Rosewood Massacre has died at 94  6/18/2010 Palm Beach Post 

Rosewood massacre haunts memory after nearly 85 years  1/14/2008 AP: “I was eight-years-old when this whole thing happened, home with our father in bed asleep, less than a mile from where they hung Uncle Sam,” Robie Mortin remembers. “It was New Year’s Day, 1923.”

Rosewood Survivor Eva Jenkins Talked Of Community's Successes  2/26/2005 Orlando Sentinel: "Eva Ernestine Jenkins remembered the whispering, frightened people arriving at her aunt's Gainesville home clad only in their night clothes. Only later did the 13-year-old girl learn that her aunt's "visitors" had survived the massacre in her hometown of Rosewood in North Florida that New Year's Day in 1923 by jumping on an unscheduled train to escape the white mob that destroyed the mostly black town."

Daughter of survivor to discuss destruction of Rosewood in 1923  2/2/2001 St Petersburg Times: "The 1923 Rosewood incident was ignored for many years until a group of survivors forced the state of Florida to acknowledge the massacre… The people of Rosewood, a tiny African-American farming community in Levy County, dared to take a stand to defend a community member against trumped-up charges."

'Rosewood': A Massacre Transformed Into Myth  2/21/1997 WaPo: "After making a gangster picture and then one that riffed on '30s romantic road comedies, John Singleton in his newest film turns the 1923 destruction of a black Florida town into a western featuring a sable Shane powerless to save more than a handful of women and children. The result, "Rosewood," is a stunning look at the madness of race and racism, and a moving re-creation of a shameful incident in U.S. history. But because the filmmakers stray from the facts, presumably in hopes of gaining a wider audience, there is a cheapness at the core of the film that comes perilously close to undermining it."

People Are Still Taking Sides, This Time Over Hollywood's Version Of 1923 Atrocity  2/21/1997 Chicago Tribune: "But Hall isn't skipping director John Singleton's ("Boyz N the Hood") movie just to avoid reliving painful events. What he doesn't want to experience is Hollywood's version of his past, with added fictionalized episodes and characters such as a black gunslinger who fends off the mob on horseback. "I would like the story of Rosewood to be told like it was, not some jackass riding out of the woods shooting at somebody," Hall says."

1923 Horror Haunts Book and Films  12/28/1996 NYT: "The producer of the television documentary, Mr. Tereshchuk, meanwhile laments that he was handicapped in making his film because he could not interview witnesses, who were under exclusive contract to Warner Brothers… Ms. Mortin said her life was ruined by that fateful week in 1923. ''Our birthright was taken away from us,'' she said. ''My grandma told me not to say a word. My grandma said never to look back. We weren't supposed to talk about Rosewood.''

Florida Pays Survivors of a 1923 Racist Attack : Rosewood: Blacks were run out of town by a white mob. At last, the state allocates $2 million in reparations.  2/12/1995 AP 

Family relieved by revelation of truth about 1923 massacre  7/1/1994 Knight Ridder: ""It's a relief. The story is all out and now I'm glad," said Arnett Goins, 80, a survivor of the 1923 Rosewood massacre. "I'm happy it's no longer hidden." The story about the pillage of Rosewood is finally committed to the history books. And those like Mr. Goins, who were either too fearful or too ashamed or too saddened by the incident to talk about it for decades, now feel free to tell what they know, to share it with their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and the rest of the world."

Rosewood Study Confirms 8 Died In 1923 Massacre  12/23/1993 Orlando Sentinel 

DOCUMENTED HISTORY OF THE INCIDENT WHICH OCCURRED AT ROSEWOOD, FLORIDA, IN JANUARY 1923  12/22/1993 FLORIDA BOARD OF REGENTS: Official State of Florida report, shorts the number of victims.

Rosewood Newsletter March 20, 2000top

Adding "The Real Rosewood" on the bookshelf; to its proper place in HISTORY!

Rosewood Newsletter March 20, 2000 Volume 1 Number 1

WELCOME: Rosewood Newsletter for April 2000.

This month online first edition of the Rosewood Newsletter contains authentic information for your enlightenment. It parallels truth to triumph, which evidences details to the fruit of labor. 


The author's mission is to take the emotional remnants of the Rosewood destruction and mount a living monument in the minds of those that were affected directly and indirectly by the Rosewood Massacre. This living monument shall become:

1. A pillar of strength to fight together for democracy.

2. A pillar of courage to resist disparity.

3. A pillar of knowledge to denounce racial discrimination.

4. A pillar of power to destroy inequity.

5. A pillar of determination to end blatant racism directed at the minority population. Lest we not forget! "An important lesson is that crimes of the past should not and must not be forgotten, and that justice can be attained if enough people are willing to work and fight for it!"  (Earl Ofari Hutchinson. )


The author is a direct Rosewood descendant, the niece of the Rosewood schoolteacher, Mahulda Gussie Brown Carrier and Aaron Carrier. She first heard the story of Rosewood in 1943 at age five. At that time, the story became her shadow and she could not let go. She took it to school with her at age five, to college with her at age eighteen, to work with her as an educator for thirty-three years, and now she brings it to you. She is an accomplished storyteller. She lectures with authority, accuracy and cultural astuteness during her Rosewood presentations. She has spoken at schools, colleges, universities, churches, libraries and institutions.

Excerpts from her book, The Real Rosewood, will be emailed to potential readers before its release. Her goal is to acquaint her reading audience with the real book characters and review facts so that her readers can get the best enjoyment from her work. Supporting evidence of photographs and local news articles will continue to appear on her website. In order not to miss a thing, be sure to bookmark her site. The author received a BS from Florida Memorial College in 1961 and a Master's Degree from Nova University in 1978. She did course-work at the University of Florida. She retired from the Alachua County School System, Gainesville, Florida, in 1994.


Retired Educator - Gainesville, Florida - Alachua County
The Real Rosewood - Author
Historian * Poetess * Songwriter * Storyteller * Country Singer

I, Too, Lived Rosewood Foundation, Inc. - Director
Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church
St. Joseph Baptist Church
Florida Memorial College Alumni
Lincoln High School Alumni
Alachua County Retired Educators Association - Newsletter Editor
Florida Retired Educators Association
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. - Area II Coordinator
Florida Zeta Thespian, Inc.
Charmettes, Inc. - Historian
Zora Neale Hurston - PEC
Eastern Star - Priscilla Chapter 13
National Council of Negro Women - NCNW
National Black Child Institute
Florida Trust for Historical Preservation
Florida Humanities Council
Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce
League of Women Voters
March of Dimes
Bethlehem Methodist Episcopal Cemetery Restoration Organization -
Historian Matheson Historical Society Archer Historical Society


The author's mother, Theresa Marie Brown Robinson, is the historian for her book. She is also the sister to the Rosewood schoolteacher. She first told her children the hideous Rosewood story when they were very young; five, seven, nine and eleven. Her older children blocked the story out of their minds and never wanted to hear it again. But for the author, you be the judge.


Aaron and Mahulda Gussie Brown Carrier are uncle and aunt to the author. They were married December 19, 1917, by Levy County Judge John R. Willis. Aaron was born in Rosewood, Florida and his wife was born in Archer, Florida. They were a strong team and both survived the Rosewood atrocities. Aaron was a crosstie cutter and his wife was Rosewood's historian and schoolteacher from 1915 to 1923. She received her teaching credentials in 1910. After the Rosewood Massacre she bravely enrolled at Florida Memorial College to further her education, receiving a principal's degree. She courageously returned to Levy County, ten miles from Rosewood and served as principal from 1942 to1945. This was done in the face of adversity while fulfilling a childhood dream. The massacre shattered her dreams, however, she used the obstacles as stepping stones to elevate her vision and empower education.


The author recounts her family's history to show her readers that hate and racism were in place, and acted out long before the Rosewood Massacre. A friend wrote to inform me that President Clinton's initiative of a nationwide 'Dialogue on Racism' is an effort and an opportunity to fix what has been the most damaging thing to the American system of government since its very beginning. It will work only if all people of color become involved enough to make the system work for them. It is a historically proven fact that when this happens, the system works for all of us. However, it is paradoxical that these same events show that sometimes the system doesn't work as is evidenced by the fact that the existence of slavery, special discrimination, injustice and inequality led to these events. So, while these events are examples of the fact that the system can be broke, they are also examples of the fact that the system can be fixed and will work as it was designed by the great Americans in our history who created it. As more and more people of color have been integrated into the American governmental system and became involved in it economically, judicially, politically and socially, the system has worked for them, as is evidenced by the significant gains that they have made in all of these areas over the years. The chronology of the Rosewood Claims Bill in your book is an objective lesson in how the system works for us when we learn how to work and use the system. Author Unknown


Please forward this Newsletter to your Internet friends at Black Colleges and Universities, White Colleges and Universities, Black Studies Programs, Black Bookstores, Commercial Bookstores, Humanities Councils, State History Society, Museums, Festivals, Black Newspapers, Metropolitan Newspapers, Internet Book Clubs, Internet Websites, Churches, Black Heritage Trails, Institutions, Popular Magazines, Schools and Libraries in support of: The Real Rosewood History. 


"Every Black American, Minority Ethnic Groups and some other folks have lived a Rosewood in some shape, form or fashion," proclaimed Theresa Marie Brown Robinson, the author's mother and book historian. The Rosewood historian is also sister to the real Rosewood schoolteacher, Mahulda Gussie Brown Carrier.


Black Americans made history what it is today. Many laws were/are passed to keep blacks in their places. Blacks have nonviolently and noticeably marched and protested to make history work for them, for women and all ethnic groups in America. The last history-making march, integrated to include women and all ethnic groups was recorded March 7, 2000, Tallahassee, Florida. The author was a part of that history-making event.

Stetson Kennedy said, More than any one person, Jacksonville's A. Phillip Randolph deserves the lion's share of credit for prodding America into taking this road to righteousness. For it was he who, while the war was still raging, threatened to lead a march on Washington to demand that all federal contracts include a nondiscrimination clause!


Hillary Clinton recently acknowledged, "Our History is America's History." The Rosewood author encourages you to be proud, receptive and become a historian. If you haven't made a direct contribution to history, your ancestors did, so thank them for their sacrifices and explore your family's history to learn more. Your ancestors were not privileged with technology to research what they shared with you orally, however, they gave you enough oral information to take it to another level for your family. A best place to start family research, "Death Certificates and Census Records."


A special and fervent "thank you" to filmmaker, John Singleton. Had it not been for the courage and determination of John Singleton, you would not be reading this Rosewood Newsletter. Many of us have been critical of his work while others praised his work. In his words, "If I would try to please everybody all the time, I wouldn't be in the movie business." As the author's ninety-five year old pointed, scholarly, free-spoken mother said, That Rosewood movie, Baby, sent out two important messages. It showed that a Rosewood Massacre did happen in 1923 and it let the people know that women do lie on black men. The author supports John Singleton's work, however, when she speaks and questions are asked, she answers with accuracy from her historians silent voices. Many other survivors and descendants have different stories than what you saw in the movie and what you will read in the author's book. There are more than two thousands descendants of Rosewood. And each probably has a different story. People are still calling the author to find their places in this Rosewood history.


Florida State Historical Department
Florida League of Cities
Archer City Council
My Publisher
Stetson Kennedy
Earl Hutchinson
Author Unknown


Visit the author's website:


Visit the author's website.


A Revelation: THE REAL ROSEWOOD is written especially for you. The author revisited the town of Rosewood to recap the setting and explore the community. Her goal is to let you know what really happened in Rosewood in 1923. Her book will be in bookstores in late 2000. Just in time for Christmas, just in time to celebrate the seventy-eighth anniversary of the Rosewood Massacre and just in time to open the pages for Black history month. The Real Rosewood is also a historical account of Black history and will serve as a reminder to all Americans.


WELCOME: To * Rosewood Author's

Interview at:


I, Too, Lived Rosewood Foundation, Inc., is a people driven fundraiser geared to raise funds to support the author's objectives; purchase computers for needy children and set up Mahulda Gussie Brown Carrier Scholarship Endowments. Visit the author's fundraising website below in support.


Contact: Liz Jenkins Post Office Box 252 Archer, FL 32618 -0252 Phone: (352) 495-2197 Email:

Lizzie prb Jenkins, author/editor


Rosewood on the map = red startop

rosewood.gif (17939 bytes)


Liz Jenkin's remarkable site on Rosewood

Remembering Rosewood

Rosewood massacre - Wikipedia

Rosewood Massacre - Warner Bros film trailer
Warner Bros put the survivors under contract for a fictionalized docudrama and forbad them from giving interviews.

Rosewood Massacre (1923)

Virtual Rosewood Research Project (VRRP)


Information on the 1912 massacre of the Independents of Color in Cuba


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