Cracker Johnson

Entrepreneur Cracker Johnson

In his Harlem Renaissance-era heyday.

In 2005, my family bought a historic house in West Palm Beach, FL built by a black man named James Jerome “Cracker” Johnson, a bootlegger, numbers runner and entrepreneur who was killed by the white mob in the 1940s. Since then, we’ve been slooooowly restoring the 1926 house, and documenting this rich history of black West Palm Beach. Located in the shadow of the tony mansions of the island of Palm Beach (literally a few blocks from the bridge that separates the two cities)  this community of modest homes was the best that a black millionaire like Johnson could do because of segregation. The years since integration have been even more unkind to the house and surrounding community.


Check out this documentary done by the local ABC affiliate in West Palm Beach.

SAVING THE CRACKER JOHNSON HOUSE from Natalie Hopkinson on Vimeo.

For video, photo and articles and press coverage of our efforts visit.