Friday, May 29, 2009


In 1994, the State of Florida awarded compensation to the survivors of the 1923 Rosewood massacre, 71 years after the event. It based its decision on this historians' report, which consisted mainly of testimonies given by perpetrators, bystanders, and survivors, and open-sourced media reports of the period.

Rosewood had many of the same features as a pogrom - lynchings, the burning down of all the residents' properties, forced evacuation, permanent loss of land rights - and the state governor turned a blind eye despite having knowledge of the event, which was largely unknown in Florida's official history until the survivors brought their case to the House of Representatives in 1994. The Special Master's Final Report concluded that there was a "moral obligation" to compensate the victims and his conclusion was shared by legislators in the House and the Senate who passed the compensation claim into law.

Readers who would like further information about the case would be strongly recommended to read Michael D'Orso's excellent book, Like Judgment Day.

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