South Dade Black History subject of Feb. 2 lecture

Bob Jensen will present a program titled “South Dade Black History: 1900 to Present” using photos and commentary based on 35 years of research and photo collection.

He will share information about South Dade’s first black pioneers John and Belle Thomas, St. Paul’s Missionary Baptist Church’s beginnings, and the Florida East Coast Railway. The contributions of the community to the WWI and WWII war efforts will be highlighted.

The impact of U.S. Government photographer Marion Post Wolcott on improving living conditions for farm workers will be discussed as will be the black Civilian Conservation Corps camps at Flamingo and Cape Sable. Thanks to Wolcott’s photos, late 1930s Homestead will be visibly explored. Churches and schools also will be touched upon as will be some families. The reopening of Homestead Air Force Base and its impact will be included.

The presentation will be given Monday, Feb. 2, at the Florida City Commission Chambers, 404 W. Palm Dr., beginning at noon, as part of the Homestead Center for the Arts Bea Peskoe Lunchtime Lecture series. An optional simple lunch will be available by reservation at 11:30 a.m. for $10 by calling Barbara at 305-230-9185 before 2 p.m. on Friday Jan. 30. You also can bring your own brown bag lunch. Lunch will be in the inside courtyard and not the Commission Chambers.

Bob Jensen is a retired U.S. Navy commander, vice president for Community Liaison at 1st National Bank of South Florida, president of the Florida Pioneer Museum and the Homestead Historic Town Hall Museum, long-time Miami- Dade County Cultural Affairs Council member and former member of the Miami-Dade County Historic Preservation Board.

The presentation is open free to the public.

The late Bea Peskoe was an advocate for education, social justice and culture.

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