Race relations in the Rosewood-Sumner area had been reasonably harmonious for as long as most residents could remember, but all that changed forever on the morning of January 1, 1923. When James Taylor, a millwright at the Cummer Lumber Company in Sumner, left home before sunrise to prepare the mill for its daily operations, all seemed normal. Later that morning, his wife, Fanny Taylor, answered a knock at the door. Within minutes of the encounter at the Taylor’s front door, relations between blacks and whites were permanently altered. Claiming she had been assaulted by a black man, Taylor allowed others to say that she had been “raped.” It was the one word that no one in the region wanted to hear, least of all the black residents of Sumner and nearby Rosewood.1
Colburn, David R.
"Rosewood and America in The Early Twentieth Century,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 76:
2, Article 6.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol76/iss2/6