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  1. Florida

From the archives: the original story of the Rosewood Massacre

In 1982, the St. Petersburg Times told the horrific tale of what had happened in Rosewood, Florida.
St. Petersburg Times reporter Gary Moore started looking into the Rosewood Massacre in early 1982. His story was published in the Floridian section of the Times on July 25, 1982.
Published Jun. 6, 2018
Updated Jun. 6, 2018

In her latest article, The last house in Rosewood, Lane DeGregory tells the story of Fuji Scoggins trying to sell her house.

Lane writes, “When (Fuji) and her husband moved there 40 years ago, they didn’t know about the history of the home, what the former owner did — or the town of 300 African Americans that a white mob torched into oblivion.

They had no idea that their house was the only remnant of Rosewood, Fla.”

For six decades, Rosewood was spoken of only in whispers. Then, in 1982, Gary Moore, a reporter for the then-St. Petersburg Times, went looking for a story:

Rosewood.

History has reserved no special monstrosity for the name. For 59 years, the terrible secret of a vanished town named Rosewood, Florida, has stayed buried.

For 59 years a number of grieving, frightened or bitter people scattered across the state have known the secret. But they have kept silent.

They lived in Rosewood.

They watched a whole town get wiped from the map.

Their names are Bradley, Blocker, Carter and Carrier. King, Coleman, Goings. Mulberry, McCoy, Gordon. And many other names. Many still refuse to talk.

They have dispersed to Jacksonville, Chicago, Orlando, New York, St. Augustine, Miami, Pensacola, DeLand, Chiefland, Daytona, Gainesville, Tampa, St. Petersburg.

Once, they were hunted like animals. Since, they hardly dared wonder which of the disappeared among them may have been tortured or killed. What they suffered, what they saw — all made it clear to them: They must never tell the tale.

Click here to download a PDF of Moore’s complete article as it appeared in the Floridian section of the St. Petersburg Times on July 25, 1982.

Click here to read The last house in Rosewood by Lane DeGregory.

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