Situated in the strawberry fields outside Plant City, Fla., the historical Bealsville community has its share of produce stands. This area is the largest producer of winter strawberries in the world. Hand-painted signs advertising produce, mostly strawberries, line Florida State Road 60 on both sides. The community, established in 1865 by five families of freed slaves, was one of the first African-American-founded communities in the country. Today, a sense of history remains as many of the current residents can claim one of the first families as ancestors. Ruby Williams’ great-grandmother, Mary Reddick, was one of the original founders of this community, so her connection to this land is strong.
Williams left the area and lived in New Jersey for more than 25 years. While there, she became an evangelistic minister whose mission was to help many underprivileg