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Film / Rosewood

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Rosewood is a 1997 American historical fiction drama film directed by John Singleton. While based on historic events of the 1923 Rosewood massacre in Florida, when a white mob killed blacks and destroyed their town, the film introduces fictional characters and changes from historic accounts. In a major change, it stars Ving Rhames as an outsider who comes into Rosewood and inspires residents to self-defense, wielding his pistols in a fight. The supporting cast includes Don Cheadle as Sylvester Carrier, a resident who was a witness, defender of his family and victim of the riot; and Jon Voight as a sympathetic white store owner who lives in a village near Rosewood. The three characters become entangled in an attempt to save people from racist whites attacking the blacks of Rosewood.


Tropes in Rosewood include:

  • Angry Black Man: Mann and Sylvester Carrier justifiably become this.
  • Angry White Man: A majority of the white men around Rosewood become this.
  • Based on a True Story: While Mann obviously didn't exist, Rosewood is the story of the actual massacre.
  • Bald, Black Leader Guy: Mann is the leader of the group and doesn't have a hair on his head.
  • Blind Black Guy: James Carrier
  • False Rape Accusation: While Fanny said a black man had only beaten her, the nature of a gossiping crowd added rape in there.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Since the film takes place in 1923, we already know that the Rosewood massacre is going to happen.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: Sylvester's wife is looked down upon because while she's half Native, she's still half-black as well.
  • The Klan: The Ku Klux Klan was very powerful by in 1923 and took part in the massacre.
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  • Malcolm Xerox: Mann tries to leave Rosewood before the situation escalates, but once it does, he returns and fights The Mann
  • Mammy: Auntie Sarah.
  • Salt and Pepper: While Mann and John Wright are different, they do join up to defend the black folks.
  • Scary Black Man: Mann, but in a badass way.
  • Scary Minority Suspect: Jessie Hunter, who had escaped from a chain gang, is the unseen suspect for Fanny's beating.
  • Soul Brotha: Mann


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