Remembering Rosewood

LEVY COUNTY, Fla. (WCJB) --
It was a dark time in Florida history. Now, a tour group is bringing the Rosewood massacre to light in honor of Black History Month. These tours in Levy County hope to remind people of the tragedy and to never repeat it again.

Around 15 black families used to live in the Rosewood community but in 1923 all of their lives changed.
Winnie Henry, the tour organizer and founder of Winnie's Project Hope a non-profit organization gave a quick historical description of what happened those years ago. "There was a woman who was cheating on her husband and to cover it up she blamed it on a black man who had come into town and raped her. That was a lie that circulated and as a result of that lie the men of the town and even as far as Texas came and began to massacre killing men women and children."

TV20's Landon Harrar reported, "the tour stopped at the Cedar Key Museum mostly to see the house behind me because it's set up in the way a house would have been back in 1923 like those similar to Rosewood. But all those houses were burned down."

Some did survive the killings including Mary Hall Daniels, who passed away last year. However, her daughter Alzada Harrell who visited her mothers old home for the first time Saturday says her mom preached love and, above all, truth.
"A lie can just, it can cause death for no reason and that's how I feel about somebody lying."

Alzada Harrel also brought her grandchildren who she says want to know all about their great-grandmothers story.
"Well one of them said well did granny have to fight? I replied no granny didn't have to fight because granny was really only like 3 years old when this happened."

Henry explained why the story of Rosewood is so important to not be forgotten. "Just as the jews don't want to forget we don't want to forget, but you can't forget something you don't know. So now we're bringing awareness to what really happened that it was not a fairy tale it really happened."

There should be similar tours coming soon as the centennial of the massacre draws near.

For more information about when more tours could become available, you can go to the following website.