Overtown

Overtown

Dr.  Herman Willington Dorsett, a psychologist from a family of early Miami settlers, died Saturday March 2, 2019. He was 78.

Dr. Dorsett was born in Miami on Sept. 29, 1940 in the Overtown area. His grandparents, Herman and Ida Dorsett, migrated from the Islands of the Bahamas Islands in early 1900s, and established residency in Overtown. He was the first child of four children born to the late Winfred and Lillie Pearl Dorsett. 

He attended Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1958. He earned a bachelor's degree from Howard University (1962); and a master's degree (1963), professional diploma (1967) and doctorate (1969) from Columbia University. 

His professional career included teaching English at Miami Northwestern Senior High School and teaching psychology at Miami-Dade Community College. He was also an assistant professor of psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia, Penn. In 1972, he joined the faculty at Florida International University, from which he retired as founding professor in 2004.  

He was a founder and former president of the South Florida Chapter of the Association of Black Psychologists. He coordinated a team of Black psychologists to develop a psychology course curriculum and to voluntarily teach at Florida Memorial University. This was to ensure that FMU studies would be introduced to psychology as a profession.

Dr. Dorsett was the editor of “Social Change: Ideas and Applications” for several years and consulting editor to the "Journal of Applied Behavioral Science.” He was a member of the editorial board of the “Educations & Psychological Research Journal.”

He has served in numerous leadership positions in educational, civic, community-based and business organizations throughout Miami-Dade.

He is survived by three children, Averill Lynn,  Herman II (Tangilar) and Darrin (Kelley) Dorsett; four grandchildren, Herman III, Jayla, Noah and Micah; and a host of relatives and friends. 

A viewing and wake will be 5-7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 11 at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, 1881 NW 103rd St., in Miami. During the Monday wake and viewing, Omega services will be conducted at 6:30 p.m. by Alpha Rho Boulé, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. Immediately thereafter, at 7 p.m., Omega services will be conducted by Sigma Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. His funeral service will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at the church. Gregg L. Mason Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

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