Henry Flagler was a Rockefeller boy with so much Standard Oil money to burn that he paid out of his own pocket to construct a railroad to Key West. Many of his workers were Bahamian fellas who had immigrated to Miami, where they started families and built businesses in the bustling Overtown community west of the tracks, where Jim Crow had forced them to stay. D.A. Dorsey was the son of former Georgia slaves, a carpenter by trade, and a skilled worker who had his hands in Flagler’s East Coast Railway. He bought parcels of land in “Colored Town,” where he built shotgun houses and then rented and sold them to fellow workers. He eventually accrued enough money to become Miami’s first African-American millionaire. He’s the guy who sold Fisher Island to Carl Fisher.
Dorsey wasn’t greedy. He donated land for schools, parks, and libraries, all while the white powerbrokers in Tallahassee plotted to ruin Miami’s African-American community. Eventually they built I-95 and did just that. But HistoryMiami’s walking tour Hungry for History: Dorsey House will feed you knowledge the system doesn’t want you to have. Sylvia Gurinsky will guide you to the rebuilt Dorsey House and to the Roots in the City Community Garden and Farmers’ Market. RSVP is required.
Wed., Nov. 16, 11 a.m., 2011