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Rosewood Retrospective

November 20, 1994

As a native Floridian, I pledged from first knowledge of the Rosewood massacre that I would do all within my power to see that the survivors received redress of their grievances, whether or not I ever made a movie about it ("A Massacre, the Movies and the Obligations of Memory," by Eric Harrison, Oct. 16). When I engaged Holland & Knight in behalf of Lee Ruth Davis and Minnie Lee Langley, I charged the law firm with seeking out and representing all the survivors, and they undertook that responsibility.

Contrary to your portrayal, I never attempted to exclude anyone from being beneficiaries of the legal action, nor did I have the power to do so, should I have chosen to. I never specified the number or the exact whereabouts of the additional survivors on the Maury Povich TV show, because I simply did not know of them.

It is true that I limited the number of survivors from whom I purchased story rights. I had to work within a budget--this was, after all, a story Holywood already had rejected once--and I concentrated first on securing rights from Langley, Davis and a third character I thought was essential to telling the story. It was, however, my intent to reach out to other potential participants when a movie or TV deal was made.

Michael O'McCarthy

Travelers Rest, S.C.

Reading about Rosewood reminds me of all the pain and suffering that African Americans have encountered throughout the ages. I don't think that $2.1 million, or $150,000 for each person, would compensate for the emotional trauma the Rosewood survivors endured.

Corenne Dixon

Los Angeles

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