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definition. Because Amanda Dickson's life lacked this essential element, the author contends, she did not understand herselfas a black lady; lacking a black identity , she used her wealth to construct her own raceless, "make-believe" world rather than bettering the black community. Should all black ladies who did not engage themselves in racial uplift be relegated to the "raceless" category of women denying their blackness? Reducing the complex psychological and social phenomenon of racial identity to a simplistic, arbitrary equation does litde to advance our understanding of the past, and, unfortunately, distorts and diminishes the important story ofAmanda America Dickson. Like Judgment Day The Ruin and Redemption of a Town Called Rosewood By Michael D'Orso G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1 996 373 pp. Cloth, $27.50 Reviewed by Steven F. Lawson, professor and head of the history department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. While teaching at the University of South Florida, he was a cofounder and an editor of Tampa Bay History. He has recendy published the second edition of Runningfor Freedom: Civil Rights and Black Politics in America Since 1941. The appearance ofAlex Haley's Roots as a television miniseries in the 1970s stimulated many black Americans to search for their family origins in slavery and Africa. A similar passion drove a group of Floridians to excavate the layers of sediment that kept hidden from all but a few of their relatives their secret past. Uncovering the buried treasure of their heritage, however, did not require digging into slavery or the continent from which their ancestors came; rather it meant a journey ofsome sixty years back to a location only a hundred or so miles from where most of them currendy lived. Through their investigations, they sought to remedy a brutal injustice perpetrated against their families and reclaim the history that six decades of silence had robbed from them. Michael D'Orso's recent book, Likefudgment Day, is a written record of this once buried history. In 1923 about two hundred African Americans and a handful of whites lived in Rosewood, Florida, a town located forty miles southwest of Gainesville in the west-central part of the state near the coastal town of Cedar Key. Its residents 1 04 Reviews owned homes, operated businesses, worked in die sawmill of neighboring, predominantiy white Sumner, maintained three churches, supported a black Masonic lodge, and fielded a respected sandlot baseball team. By all accounts relations between the races were civil though unequal. Though blacks had acquired a measure ofpersonal independence from whites, most depended upon them for their livelihood, with men working in the timber industry and women laboring as maids and laundresses. The sudden eruption of racial violence during the first week ofJanuary 1923 proved that routine politeness did not guarantee justice. On the morning ofNew Years Day, a married white woman living in Sumner claimed that a black man had raped her. Like other such charges of rape, this one propelled a mob to track down the accused assailant, allegedly an escaped convict. The manhunt produced both expected and unforeseen results. Failing to find their prey, those in pursuit beat up one black man and killed another. Had the matter ended there, this incident would have simply taken its place among the numerous acts oflynching that had occurred in the South over the previous three decades. However, before the end ofthe week, an additional eight people, six blacks and two whites, were killed, and the entire village of Rosewood had burned to the ground. OnJanuary 4, with tensions running high, rumors flying, and liquor fueling hot tempers, a band of armed whites who believed that blacks were stockpiling weapons descended on the Rosewood home of Sarah Carrier and her adult son Sylvester. The Carriers did have guns, as rural folk who hunted usually did, but they had not turned their home into an armory. Instead, it had become a refuge for their relatives, mainly women and children, who sought shelter from the dangerous lynchers prowling the area. The confrontation yielded bloodshed, killing two whites as well as Sarah and her son. The remaining occupants managed to flee and escape into surrounding swamps and woods...


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