top of page
  • Writer's pictureNia Clark

S2 E11 Rosewood: House Bill 591

The signing of House Bill 591 - the Rosewood claims bill that let to the historic settlement paid to survivors and descendants of the 1923 Rosewood Massacre.

When Rosewood descendant, Arnett Doctor, began looking for an attorney to help him seek legal recourse for the survivors of the 1923 Rosewood Massacre he encountered brick wall after brick wall. He could not find a single lawyer to take on the case for several years, until he met attorney, Stephen Hanlon, who was featured in ep. 10 Rosewood: Justice for All. That encounter would change the course of history. What neither Hanlon nor Doctor knew when they first met was the almost unbelievable connections to Rosewood another lead attorney who would eventually join the case would have. That attorney was Martha Barnett. Barnett practiced law for nearly 50 years eventually rising to the top of her field. It was Barnett’s childhood, however, that helped strengthen her determine to produce some sort of Justice for Rosewood Massacre survivors. That justice would come in the form of House Bill 591. All of the hours Barnett spent with her law firm colleague, Stephen Hanlon, wasn’t just business. It was personal.

In this episode, listeners will hear from Barnett as well as Rosewood descendants Virginia D. Hayes and Carlous Hall.


Martha Barnett: retired attorney and former Holland and Knight managing partner.

But after 50 years of self-imposed silence, they began to speak out about what happened, carefully and guardedly. And it accelerated up to, and including the legislation that we filed. But you know, this all occurred in a time in the South called the lynching era. They were witnesses to murder, to violence. They had the trauma of seeing their homes burn and some people killed. And then being in the swamps in Florida in January in their nightclothes. I mean, it was trauma of every kind .” ~Martha Barnett

Subscribe on iTunes | Stitcher | Google Play

Musical attributions

1. Artist/Title: Axletree - Window Sparrows Licenses: Attribution 4.0 International URL:

2. Artist/Title: Lobo Loco - Place on my Bonfire (ID 1170) Licenses: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) URL:

3. Artist/Title: Youssoupha Sidibe - Xaleyi Licenses: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US) URL:

91 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page