The 1997 film Rosewood starring Jon Voight and Don Cheadle details the horrific events of the first week of January 1923. Known as the Rosewood massacre, a rural town in Levy County Florida, this movie depicts the events which culminated into a race riot. This history lesson provides a painful reminder of how white parents taught their children not to play with African American kids. When a white woman lies about being raped by a black man, all hell breaks loose throughout Rosewood.
But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream, Amos 5:24.
As I watched this for this first time in years, some of the scenes are reminiscent of modern events. Whether its Black Lives Matters protests, tension between law enforcement and the African American community or violent acts upon innocent people, a mob mentality influences one’s ability to use common sense. The byproduct of this distraction often leads to emotionally outbursts, harsh comments and regrettable actions. This is the climate in which we now reside, helping to explain some of the awful headlines in the news.
When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers, Proverbs 21:15.
If you revisit Rosewood or watch it for the first time, its not easy to digest. Some of the content will make you cringe. Other parts may shock you or cause you to feel sympathy for how black were mistreated by white for centuries. Yet, one must look toward the future while remembering the words of Dr. Martin King Jr, “its not about the color of our skin, but the content of our character.” In view of this, may this country come together as one to live, learn and rise above past transgressions.
by Jay Mankus