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The Rosewood MassacreAn Archaeology and History of Intersectional Violence$
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Edward González-Tennant

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056784

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056784.001.0001

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Studying Racial Violence in America

Studying Racial Violence in America

An Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Studying Racial Violence in America
Source:
The Rosewood Massacre
Author(s):

Edward González-Tennant

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813056784.003.0001

The primary goal of The Rosewood Massacre is to shed a light on the deep temporal connections between past racial violence and modern social inequality. González-Tennant’s approach involves a multidisciplinary study of racial violence and a new investigation of the destruction of Rosewood, Florida. This is not a study of a single moment or even the destruction of a single community, which was not truly destroyed, but rather displaced. Instead, it is a search for answers to the question of how culture, society, and violence intersect across time and space. González-Tennant’s study of Rosewood draws on additional datasets to construct an interpretive framework that begins with a case study—a microhistorical study—and builds toward a theory offering a fuller explanation of how ordinary citizens turned on their neighbors in terrifying ways. While previous studies of Rosewood accurately record approximate numbers of African Americans living in the area prior to the riot and present a broad review of the town’s development, they do not construct a detailed history of the town’s development through time. Collecting such information is difficult in rural settings. No maps or city directories exist for Rosewood due to its relatively remote location and low population density. We require new methods to explore the development of such rural contexts. In Rosewood, the use of geospatial mapping to analyze and interpret hundreds of property deeds demonstrates the development of a particular pattern of African American homeownership, and the role it played in contributing to the town’s destruction.

Keywords:   racial violence, social inequality, Rosewood, Florida, datasets, interpretive framework, microhistorical study, African Americans, rural settings, geospatial mapping

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