BOCA RATON, Fla. — Nestled between Dixie Highway and Federal Highway in Boca Raton, Pastor Ronald Brown of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church says Pearl City has a story to tell.
"Pearl City was actually here before Boca Raton was here," Brown said.
Originally a segregated stretch of 15 acres set aside for Black farm workers in 1915, Pearl City has stood the test of time.
Brown added, "It means so much because it's prime property."
It's rich in history.
At the time it was created, Pearl City, a so called "brand new colored city," was designated for Black migrant workers instrumental to agriculture in the area.
"Since the harvesting became so plentiful, they decided just to give them this plot of land, which is Pearl City, and that way they can keep the workers here on a regular basis year-round," Brownsaid.
The ground still remains fertile and its people dedicated to preserving Pearl City’s legacy. A collaborative effort between Boca Raton and Pearl City leaders and Developing Interracial Social Change (DISC) are behind a new community garden project.
"It's great to see so many volunteers to make a beautiful community garden on historic Pearl City," Mayor Scott Singer said.
Community member John Martin brought his grandsons to a recent groundbreaking where different cross sections unified with the goal of polishing a gem in the community.
"When you plant a seed and watch it grow, it's just like life," Martin said, beaming at his grandsons. "Whatever we plant in them, we want it to grow and when they get older, we want to see the fruits we plant in them."
Martin said he wants his grandkids to learn the lesson that hard work pays off. That unity, Brown said. is the key to success.
"When we lay a lot of our differences aside and work together, we all seem like the same people," Brown said.