Edward Waters College honors living legends


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Edward Waters College is honoring several living legends for American Education Week.

One of those being recognized is a survivor of an ethnic genocide that happened more than 90 years ago in Florida.


Mary Hall Daniels is the last living survivor of the Rosewood Massacre, which happened in Levy County in 1923.

Her daughter, Alzada Harrell, said Daniels was only about 3 years old when mobsters invaded her small town.

Students of Edward Waters watched Wednesday as she and six other community activists were recognized for their contributions to society.

Harrell said her mother finds strength through her faith and is at peace with what happened.

"She does not have any animosity about that night or what happened, and she has always taught me to love everyone -- whether you're black, white or whatever. It doesn't matter the color," Harrell said.

In 1994, the Florida Legislature passed a $2 million compensation plan distributed among the nine survivors of the massacre.

In an article published after the bill was passed, Daniels said she would invest the money and "live happily ever after."

The other six living legends honored Wednesday were civil rights activist Sollie Mitchell, voter registration advocate Lloyd Pearson, president of the Buffalo Soldiers Historical Society Joe Tillman, pastor emeritus of Bethel Baptist Institutional Church Bishop Rudolph McKissick Sr., long-time Jacksonville educator Estelle McKissick, and 115th Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Bishop Adam Richardson Jr.