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Black History Month Fact: Fisher Island was once owned by a Black man

Thursday, February 08, 2018 9:29 PM | Anonymous


Fisher Island has been home to the likes of Oprah and Mel Gibson and is only accessible by ferry or boat, but most people don’t know that Fisher Island was originally first owned by a black man – real estate developer Dana A. Dorsey. He was South Florida’s first African-American millionaire and later sold the island in 1919 to Carl Fisher who was developing Miami Beach. Dorsey was the son of former slaves who moved from South Georgia to Miami in 1896 working as a carpenter for the Henry Flagler Florida East Coast Railroad. With only a fourth grade education, he purchased one parcel of land in Overtown, built a rental home on the land, reinvested the rental income to build and rent more as far north as Ft. Lauderdale, and later sold land to the City of Miami for a park for Blacks. Dorsey also owned Miami’s first black-owned hotel, Dorsey Hotel, and also owned the Negro Savings Bank.

Copyright © 2018 Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association