Lizzie Jenkins, Founder, President and Director of The Real Rosewood Resource Center and author of newly released, The Real Rosewood Volume I, which commemorates eighty years of Rosewood's history.
Jenkins, a lifelong resident of Archer, Florida, where she attended public school, graduating from Lincoln High School in 1957. She earned a Bachelor's Degree from Florida Memorial College and a Master's Degree from Nova University. She retired from Alachua County Schools after thirty-three years to care for her mother and validate her family's history. She began a proactive search making phone calls, traveling to Rosewood and throughout Levy County, interviewing, documenting, taking pictures, and authenticating her family's collection of Rosewood documents, which was handed down to her by her mother and aunt. Rosewood was a productive town, a majority colored population on the move for upward mobility. At the turn of the century real people exhibiting family pride, spiritual growth and loyalty lived in this legendary town of a kindred spirit. Self-governing workers demonstrating mutual respect for each other was evident. However, when the curtains were drawn January 5, 1923, none of the Rosewood survivors could exclaim, "And We Lived Happily Ever After." Encouraged by my mother, Theresa Brown Robinson, historian, and sister to Rosewood's schoolteacher, Mahulda Gussie Brown Carrier, prompted the launching of a comprehensive study on Rosewood's history detailing its grosses and losses before, during, and after Rosewood. "YOU MUST SEARCH tax rolls, vital statistics, census records, property deeds, death certificates, marriage certificates and library documents. Evaluate your findings and compare them with Aaron and Mahulda Carrier's in-house files." Rosewood survivors, Aaron and Mahulda Carriers are two of Rosewood's most creditable history providers to the niece, Jenkins', study of truth. The history of Rosewood has been dormant for more than eighty years and a tragedy of this magnitude requires more than a few months of research to authenticate and corroborate its existence and demise. Jenkins made herself viable and visible in each community interviewing local people with knowledge of Rosewood. She speaks at schools, churches, conferences, colleges, and universities telling her family's history from a personal point of view., an innersoul charge from her mother, to educate people about the 1923 insurgence of a mob, who in all probability used this incident to vent their indignation on a flourishing community."