its people murdered because of a lie.
Some escaped and survived because of the courage
and compassion of a few extraordinary people.
This film is for them.
John Singleton’s 1997 film Rosewood presents viewers with the disturbing and uncomfortable topics of racism, white supremacy, violence, and the dehumanization of the black community. More importantly, though, Rosewood exposes a dark chapter of American history and forces audiences to reconsider both the political and personal implications of race relations. Based on the little-known Rosewood Massacre of 1923, Singleton’s film explores the impact of one white woman’s false accusation upon an entire black community in Florida. Ving Rhames and Don Cheadle star as the courageous leaders of the threatened black community, as they seek to uphold their personal pride and to stand up for their way of life through the race riots. John Wright (Jon Voight), a white shopkeeper, faces a moving moral dilemma – he is forced to choose between supporting the rioting whites or the fleeing blacks. Rosewood effectively couples a horrible historical event with a string of love stories, emotional family struggles, and a redefinition of pride. Singleton develops complex characters throughout his film, as he questions whether or not equality between whites and blacks is possible in America.