The Rosewood Massacre and Its Descendants
Rosewood may have experienced great suffering at the hands of its attackers; yet many remain unaware of this atrocity. Many think Florida represents a pleasant present without any trace of America’s turbulent past.
This was part of an overarching trend; many southern communities were devastated by white mob violence following World War I.
Early Life and Education
New Year’s Day 2023 will mark the centennial anniversary of the Rosewood Massacre, when violence broke out across a predominantly Black community in north Florida. A mob composed of Ku Klux Klan members attending a rally from Gainesville attacked and burned every building they could find before fleeing in triumph.
This massacre was part of an expansive wave of Southern mob violence which decimated hundreds of communities and uprooted millions of Black Americans, leading them to seek shelter or start new lives elsewhere. Numerous books (such as Moore’s) and films directed by John Singleton brought the story into wider view.
JSTOR Daily and The Real Rosewood Foundation aim to keep its memory alive through their coverage and archaeological studies conducted on some properties owned by Black residents at the time of massacre.
Tom rose through the ranks at General Motors before joining ReSource Industries as its Technical Director in Coopersville. Here he was responsible for training new employees and overseeing production at their plant there.
He then held several executive roles at Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. The brand manages exclusive luxury properties that evoke A Sense of Place within their respective destinations by reflecting history, architecture and scale of each destination’s culture.
Under EHL’s Hospitality Technology Strategy elective, senior IT leaders from Rosewood challenged EHL students to identify an innovative technology solution that could add value to Rosewood and help differentiate it in ultra-luxury market. It proved an immensely helpful exercise; feedback provided by Rosewood executives was insightful and beneficial.
Achievement and Honors
Descendents of Rosewood came together for an event to mark 100 years since one of Florida’s most shocking acts of racism, sponsored by Real Rosewood Foundation Inc and held at Bo Diddley Downtown Community Plaza in Gainesville.
Speakers included Yolanda Means of Meldon Law; Paris Doctor from The Real Rosewood Foundation; Valara Petteway and Iana Patterson who belong to Rosewood Women’s Initiative, Pedro Jermaine as an artist, Elizabeth Robinson Jenkins from 1000 Voices as founder; as well as Pedro Jermaine who painted portraits at Rosewood Women’s Initiative; Elizabeth Robinson Jenkins who created 1000 Voices as founder. Elizabeth Robinson Jenkins stressed the significance of knowing about this massacre so they may better comprehend history.
Thomas Harlander has been appointed managing director and director of project services at Rosewood Amsterdam. With more than 25 years of luxury hotel experience under his belt, Thomas brings unparalleled leadership to this new position.
Gonzalez-Tennant’s new book explores Rosewood within the larger domestic developments associated with post-World War I America. According to her analysis, racist anger pervaded every level of society–from individual lynchings and mob violence against black communities all the way up to national-scale insurgencies that caused entire black neighborhoods to collapse.
As a result, whites lived in fear. They believed blacks were determined to attack them and their families to break apart Southern culture; any form of assault on women was seen as particularly serious, possibly endangering its very foundations.
In 1923, this tension culminated in Rosewood. The town was burned to the ground, forcing its residents to flee either into nearby swamps or leave altogether for good.
Hunt, now 94 years old, is an accomplished philanthropist, world traveller, gourmet cook and author who shies away from boasting about her wealth. Instead, she quietly distributes it across numerous charities while investing in turnaround companies and real estate through Rosewood Corporation — named for her middle name — – including hotels and property management as well as investments funds, oil & gas reserves as well as ranch & timber land holdings.
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