Black Miami in the Twentieth Century

Dr. Dunn’s book, Black Miami in the Twentieth Century, explores the highs and lows of black history in South Florida from black migration to Miami, through the Civil Rights movement, racist incidents such as the McDuffie riots and the recent immigration of black populations from Latin America and the Caribbean. A documentary based on the book, called The Black Miami, stars Prof. Dunn and is available for viewing on Amazon Prime.

A History of Florida through Black Eyes

Dr. Dunn’s second definitive book is A History of Florida: Through Black Eyes. This book relates the untold stories of African-Americans, placing them at the center of the story instead of as backdrops to white history. A chapter from this book serves as the focal point for this website, telling the tale of the Rosewood massacre through thorough research and eyewitness accounts.

The Rosewood Massacre investigates the 1923 race riot that, in a weeklong series of events, devastated the predominantly African American community of Rosewood, Florida. The town was burned to the ground by neighboring Whites, and its citizens fled for their lives, never to return. None of the perpetrators were convicted. Very little documentation of the event and the ensuing court hearings survives today. The only signs that there was once a vibrant town are a scattering of structural remains and a historical marker erected in 2004 declaring the site a Florida Heritage Landmark.

Like Judgment Day is the true story of the ruin and redemption of a town called Rosewood, where, on New Year’s Day, 1923, a white mob descended, burning houses, killing uncounted numbers of black men and women and driving the rest of the inhabitants away forever. For over seventy years the events in Rosewood remained buried, the truth unacknowledged. This book – which contains the complete text of Like Judgment Day as well as commentary and illustrations from the making of the Warner Bros. film by John Singleton – reveals the real story of the ruined lives, the shattered dreams, the haunting aftermath…and the ultimate hope and resilience of Rosewood’s survivors.

Table of Contents for A History of Florida: Through Black Eyes


Chapter One:  Blacks in Early Florida

Florida Blacks in the Colonial Era

The Alliance of Blacks and Seminoles

Early Settlement of Florida

Chapter Two:  Slavery, the Civil War, the b Reconstruction Era and the Jackson County War


The Civil War

The Reconstruction Era (1866-1877)

The Jackson County War (1869-1870)

Chapter Three:  The Oppression of Blacks in Florida

The Church as Oppressor

Economic Oppression

Political Oppression

Media as the Oppressor

Sexual Oppression

Chapter Four:  Lynching Incidents (1816-1923)

Newberry ((1916)

Ocoee (1920)

Rosewood (January 1923)

Chapter Five: Lynching Incidents (1934-1944)

The Lynching of Claude Neal (1934)

The Lynching of Reuben Stacey (1935)

The Willie James Howard Story (1944)

Chapter Six: Lynching Incidents (1949-1964) and the Ruby McCollum Story

The Groveland Four (1949)

The Ruby McCollum Story (1949)

The Martyrdom of Harry T. Moore (1951)

The Lynching of Johnnie Mae Chappell (1964)

Chapter Seven:  Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement

Jim Crow

The Civil Rights Movement

Chapter Eight: The Miami Riot of 1980

The Killing

The Trial

Eye Witness to Riot

The Aftermath

The Academy for Community Education

Chapter Nine: My Story

Early Years

The Move to Miami and Blue Collar Status

Morehouse College (1957-1961)

The Navy

Academic Career and Community Activism








Suggested Reading for Harry T. Moore story, “Before His Time”


Suggested Reading for Groveland Four story, “Devil in the Grove”


Suggested Reading for the Newberry story, “Hidden in Plain Sight”