Southern Anthropological Society James Mooney Award - Honorable Mention
“An ambitious project with few precedents. . . . González-Tennant argues that the underlying causes of the Rosewood Massacre can be traced to historical antagonisms of a national scale, and reflects the underlying patterns of many such events throughout American history.”—Historical Archaeology
"An innovative, forward-thinking, and sensitive account. The use of multiple lines of evidence, combined with a strong GIS component, significantly advances knowledge about racially motivated violence and speaks directly to cultural resilience in the face of power and domination."—Charles E. Orser Jr., author of The Archaeology of Race and Racialization in Historic America
"González-Tennant's original archaeological analyses reveal new information about the Rosewood pogrom and provide us with significant insights into the nature of racial violence (past and present) in the United States."—Randall H. McGuire, author of Archaeology as Political Action
The Rosewood Massacre investigates the 1923 race riot that, in a weeklong series of events, devastated the predominantly African American community of Rosewood, Florida. The town was burned to the ground by neighboring Whites, and its citizens fled for their lives, never to return. None of the perpetrators were convicted. Very little documentation of the event and the ensuing court hearings survives today. The only signs that there was once a vibrant town are a scattering of structural remains and a historical marker erected in 2004 declaring the site a Florida Heritage Landmark.
Drawing on new methods and theories, Edward González-Tennant uncovers important elements of the forgotten history of Rosewood. He uses a mix of techniques such as geospatial analysis, interpretation of remotely sensed data, analysis of census data and property records, oral history, and the excavation and interpretation of artifacts from the site to reconstruct the local landscape. González-Tennant interprets these and other data through an intersectional framework, acknowledging the complex ways class, race, gender, and other identities compound discrimination. This allows him to explore the local circumstances and broader sociopolitical power structures that led to the massacre, showing how the event was a microcosm of the oppression and terror suffered by African Americans and other minorities in the United States.
González-Tennant connects these historic forms of racial violence to present-day social and racial inequality and argues that such continuities demonstrate the need to make events like the Rosewood massacre public knowledge.
Edward González-Tennant is lecturer of anthropology at the University of Central Florida.
A volume in the series Cultural Heritage Studies, edited by Paul A. Shackel
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