Welcome to the Virtual Rosewood Research Project (VRRP) & Site.
Visit the online VRRP Data Warehouse
This is a place to document ongoing research into the community of Rosewood, Florida - a mostly African American town destroyed during a 1923 race riot. The goal of this site is two-fold: develop the first extensive documentary history of the town, its environs, and economy between the late 1800s and 1920s, and explore new methods for making the resulting information accessible to a wide audience beyond the traditional confines of the academic world. This includes the use of virtual world environments to rebuild the town of Rosewood as it existed prior to 1923. This involves a mix of technologies and approaches, all of it documented on this site.
Additionally, the Virtual Rosewood Research Project explores digital storytelling. At present, this involves creating videos about the history of Rosewood. The first was completed in spring 2010 for use during bus tours organized by descendants into the area were Rosewood once stood. It is available online here. Additional videos are currently in the planning stages. This includes a video for classroom use presenting an in-depth history of Rosewood, connecting it to local, regional, and national economic trends and changing patterns of violence. A third video will follow the events of the first week of 1923 through the use of oral testimony and virtual world environments in greater details than the vidoe currently available.
A central theme of the project focuses on the historical legacy such events have in US history. For instance, minority populations in America continue to seek redress in relation to the types of events which erased the community of Rosewood in early 1923. Aspects of the social structures which interacted to create the conditions for racial inequality are still present in many ways. Therefore, this project is openly aligned with activists seeking to expand the public conversation on the truth-telling, monetary compensation, and political effects of redress in the United States and around the world.
Historic sites of racial violence have much to teach 21st century America about the legacy of inequality. Indeed, Rosewood is like many other sites, places where lives 'vanished' under a fog of collective amnesia. These hazy chapters of history haunt our group consciousness and remind us that those who forget are doomed to repeat...
Thanks for visiting the site and taking an interest in this exciting project.