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Dunn Tours offers comfortable bus tours to historic sites in African American history in Florida and in Miami. Tours are led by historian Dr. Marvin Dunn whose works include “A History of Florida Through Black Eyes” and “Black Miami in the Twentieth Century”. The company is offering tours to Mims, Ocoee, Newberry, Rosewood and/or Live Oak beginning on December 2nd and 3rd, 2023. See details below.
The following information will help you be prepared for this historic experience.
Things to bring: Casual clothing including a jacket and rain gear; closed shoes and long pants as the tour includes a heavily wooded area; insect repellent; snacks/drinks for the bus ride; sweater/light jacket for bus ride.
Each tour will visit three of the following five tour destinations, depending on whether your group chooses the northern or southern tour routes.
Mims (Northern and Southern Tours)
On Christmas Night, 1951 a bomb exploded beneath the bedroom of Harry T. and Harriet Moore in Mims located in Central Florida near Titusville. Moore was head of the Florida NAACP and had been engaged in registering Blacks to vote. The bomb was most likely place by the Ku Klux Klan. Their killers were never found. A replica of the destroyed home has been erected in a Brevard County Park named for the couple.
The grave of July Perry in the Greenwood
Cemetery in Orlando. He was lynched for
trying to vote.
Ocoee (Southern Tour Only)
In 1920, when women got the right to vote, a black man named July
Perry attempted to vote in Ocoee Fl. He was turned away at the polls
by white men who later claimed he had not paid his poll taxes. Being
both wealthy and an advocate for black voting right, he very likely
had paid these taxes. After consulting with Judge John Cheney, a
federal judge in nearby Orlando, Perry returned to the polls with
friend Mose Norman, another black man, to assert their voting
rights. Chased from the polls by armed white men, a mob later
surrounded the Perry home. At which time, two members of the
mob were killed by friendly fire. Perry was captured, lynched and
buried in an unmarked grave in Greenwood Cemetery in Orlando.
Dr. Dunn at the mass grave of
the black victims of the Ocoee
Lynch Hammock in Newberry where in
1916 six blacks were hung from the
Hanging Tree in Florida’s largest known
Newberry (Northern and Southern Tours)
The largest known lyncing in Florida took place in Newberry in 1916 when as many as 6 African Americans were lynched in a single incident in place called Lynch Hammock. The participants will stop at the lynching site at the Pleasant Plains Cemetery where some of the victims were buried alive.The tour will include a visit to the graves of the victims
Whites of Newberry stand in front of some
of the victims of the 1916 mass lynching
Dr. Dunn walks on the old railroad tracks
on his property in Rosewood, the only black
person owning land in Rosewood today
Rosewood (Northern and Southern Tours)
In 1923 a mob destoyed the black town of Rosewood following a false allegation by a white woman that a black man had attacked her. The only building spared was the home of J.W. Wright, a white man who operated a general store in the community. Wright and his wife hid African Americans who were fleeing the violence. The Wrights are known as the heroes of Rosewood. The tour will visit the graves of the Wrights in Sumner, just two miles from Rosewood. Sumner is where the alleged atack took place. Dr. Dunn co-owns five acres of undeveloped land in Rosewood and is the only black person owning land in Rosewood today. The tour will end with a visit to the property, which is being converted into a park dedicated to keeping the Rosewood story alive.
The Rosewood Massacre of 1923 destroyed
the all black town.
Live Oak (Northern Tour Only)
He was Florida’s Emmett Till ten years before the real one in Mississippi. In 1944 a 15 years old black child named Willie James Howard was lynched by three white men in Live Oak for writing a love letter to the daughter of one of the men. The boy and his father were driven to the Suwanee River at which the boy said good-bye to his father and was forced to jump into the river with his hands and feet tied. We will visit his gravesite and the place on the river from which he was forced to leap.