Founder and President of the Real Rosewood Foundation, Inc.
An Educator: Lizzie Polly Robinson Brown Jenkins was born October 25, 1938, in Archer, Florida, growing up on a farm with her parents, Ura McIntyre Robinson and Theresa… Read More
Lizzie Jenkins has spent a decade sorting through musty files in her search for details to confirm what happened to her aunt and uncle when the predominantly black Levy County town of Rosewood was burned to the… Read More
Rosewood was established around 1870 in Levy County, Florida on a road leading to Cedar Key and the Gulf of Mexico. It is believed to have taken its name from the abundant red… Read More
The mother of Lizzie Jenkins and the sister of Mahulda Carrier, Theresa Brown Robinson was a Rosewood historian who provided Lizzie enough information to interest and direct her in safeguarding Rosewood's history. She never lived in Rosewood… Read More
The Real Rosewood Foundation was created in 2002 to develop a timeline, expand the search, find lost survivors, and locate descendants – black and white, inviting cultural participation to preserve an important history
The Real Rosewood Foundation was created in 2002 to develop a timeline, expand the search, find lost survivors, and locate descendants – black and white, inviting cultural participation to preserve an important history.
Though it has been ninety years since the massacre, the descendants are still in touch with their beginning. Each year in July they celebrate family reunions. They are not angry and do not dwell on the past destruction of their hometown. Choosing to attain higher learning, many have gone on to become educators, doctors, lawyers, engineers, superintendent of schools, and skilled workers. They never lost the work ethics and values instilled in them by their ancestors. A most recent development regarding Rosewood is the interest of white Rosewood descendants in helping protect the history.
This foundation is dedicated to building a museum in memory of the Rosewood survivors and descendants at Mahulda's Archer, Florida homestead. Additionally, the foundation sponsors a scholarship in honor of Mahulda Gussie Brown Carrier, the third Rosewood schoolteacher employed in Levy County. Carrier is the first and only black female principal employed in Levy County and is believed the second black female principal hired in the state of Florida . The foundation is working to produce a documentary recapping real truths by historian Lizzie Jenkins, founder and president of The Real Rosewood Foundation, who is writing her life story which includes how she unlocked the secrets of Rosewood through consistent research. Moreover, the foundation is producing two songs, "Rosewood Florida" and "Rosewood, No More".
Long before The Real Rosewood Foundation was created, my mother strongly suggested researching the real truths of the Rosewood occurrence. The two of us shared the dark secrets of the Rosewood story over the years starting in 1943, when I was only five. For me, the most significant part of the Rosewood story is centered on its schoolteacher, Mom’s sister, my favorite aunt and mentor, Mahulda Gussie Brown Carrier.
The memory of Rosewood is constantly on my mind. I have not been able to lay the burden of its history down. To my mother, Theresa Brown Robinson, Rosewood was a “song” etched in her heart. She promised my Aunt Mahulda that she would keep her secrets safely hidden, but the thought of what happened to her dear sister in Rosewood made the vow too tremendous a task to keep silent during the making of the movie, ROSEWOOD. As the title of the old Negro Spiritual suggests, “I Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody but I Couldn't Keep It to Myself,” my mother was compelled to share her sister’s story, reliving the horrifying and hostile events she witnessed in 1923, at age 21. Mom contributed a great deal of information to the moviemakers; however, they used her information and did not properly give credit.
She was offended after watching the Rosewood movie and charged me with completing her Rosewood research, firmly stating, "Mommy didn't raise no fools. You finish my research and tell our own Rosewood story. I have given you enough oral family history to make a documentary and you must do just that!"
Because Mom was never satisfied with the violations her sister endured during the savage attacks on an innocent people, she assigned me the task of authenticating Rosewood's truths. “You must keep Sister’s name in Rosewood’s history,” aware her sister had suffered physically and mentally during the vicious raid of her hometown. Mom instructed me to start a scholarship in her sister Mahulda's name and build a museum honoring all Rosewood survivors and descendants. If I were to do a thorough job as requested by my mother, I understood it would become a lengthy journey and challenging project. And Mom's expectation of me radiated when she said,
If mama [I] wasn’t so old, I'd do it myself.
From my mother's point of view, as told to her by her sister the Rosewood schoolteacher, I set out with pen and pad to bring respect and dignity to a history that was dormant for years because of the embarrassment it would add to Levy County. The incomplete work of Rosewood is the glue that holds Mom’s lessons and my writings together.
Being an educator, I wanted to educate professors, teachers, and students. I could not begin to do such without supporting evidence, therefore, I made it my mission to confront the danger and take charge of a family history that I am proud of because I have learned truth and now use that same truth to impart important lessons and build better race relations. Educate people on the real Rosewood history… In order to do this, I dedicated time to researching the records dating back to 1845, when my great, great, grandfather, Henry McIntyre, arrived in Cedar Keys as a one-year-old toddler. Side Note: I have not been able to place him with a family. According to the Levy County 1870 Census, my great, great, grandfather was a 24-year-old black male, laborer and full-time stud, father of six children, and husband of a 25-year-old black female named Emma McIntyre. They lived on the adjacent Lot 202 next to who is believed to be Sheriff Robert Walker’s cousin, Harriet Walker, a white single woman with four children who lived on Lot 201, known then as "Outside of Cedar Keys District”. One can deduce that Sheriff Walker’s actions, working tirelessly to save Rosewood citizens, were because he knew many of the residents personally. Read Rosewood History
I have done the research, authenticated and documented my findings; therefore, Rosewood’s real story is my story. I am neither angry nor bitter about a situation I did not cause. I do not blame and will never accuse anyone of this undesirable saga during that era. It is Florida's history and needs to be told and archived for future generations, never to be repeated.
"Unless we remember, neither we, nor future generations will understand..." – Lillian Brown, AARP