Like Judgment Day -Michael D’Orso

“Rosewood” is the movie based on the novel, Like Judgment Day. Directed by the late John Singleton, “Rosewood” tells the story of a thriving, black community, located in Florida, that meets its demise due to a lie. This one lie, which some people do not believe, causes the loss of life, property, and trust. Even more, it produces major fear of the Rosewood residents toward the Sumner community. 

I normally do not watch a movie that is based on a book until I have first read it. In most cases, I do not even watch the movie because I do not want it to destroy the images that I have visualized based on book’s description. The only reason I watched this movie first is because I did not know that the book even existed. Once I found out about Like Judgment Day, I quickly put it on my TBR (to be read) list. 

While reading this book, I naturally compared it to the movie, and both are awesome! But I like the book because it tells the story of this horrendous lie from the perspective of the survivors and descendants who were affected without any Hollywood embellishments. Justice, spearheaded by Arnett Doctor, is a struggle to obtain. But through determination and perseverance, Arnett finds light at the end of the tunnel for all the Rosewood families who witnessed or learned about the deaths in their promised land. In addition, I was most impressed with the words of Josephus Eggleton. He states, “I will tell you this,” he continues, “There comes a time in everybody’s life, and in the history of a state, when we have to stand tall as humans, to recognize our faults and our shortcomings and to do what we have to do in order to right a wrong.” It does not matter the time nor day, be it large or small, if a wrong has been committed, then it should be AND must be corrected. 

This book reminds me of Death in a Promised Land: The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. The Greenwood district of Tulsa is a thriving, black community until a lie is told, and it causes sheer pandemonium. If you have not heard about Rosewood, Florida, now is the perfect time to become familiar with this story and the stain it left upon American history.

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