Interview with Dr. John O. Brown

--say, no Overtown.


No, overtown was not a thriving business community. There were a number of little mom and pop businesses there. But, ah, there are many people who seemed to think that it was thriving area. But it was not. Ah, the businesses, most of the businesses that existed in Overtown were owned by Whites. And you've heard about the big hotels and the entertainment and the night life over there. The Lord Calvert and the Sir John Hotel was owned by Sam Rabin family. The Carver Hotel was owned by a Jewish family. Out in Brown sub, the Booker Terrace was owned by, by a Jewish, ah, family. The only Black hotel in Miami, at that time, was the Mary Elizabeth Hotel. There was a smaller one called the Darcy Hotel, but for all intents and purposes, it was not rated among the better places to go. But these were not Black places. I guess about the only real business that was owned by Blacks was a soft drink company that was, existed in Miami and that was unusual for any Black community in this country. But we didn't have the business in there, not the Black businesses. As far as professionals were concerned, we had about six Black lawyers. We had about 16 Black doctors. We had one accountant that I can recall. We had a number of school teachers but other than that the industry was construction and domestics.