How black curators are reshaping and reframing Memorial Day Weekend

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Miami is a magical place that boasts great weather, unique events and one-of-a-kind cultural diversity. This diversity informs experiences that easily connect people with like interests, such as music, food and the arts.

These experiences, however, are rarely curated for Black residents of South Florida. This lack of culturally-relevant programming, specifically for young black professionals, led me to create Social Xchange. Over the past six years, we have grown from curating monthly happy hours for young black professionals to hosting some of the largest events in the region. And parallel to us, other companies with similar missions and values have emerged and expanded.

Every Memorial Day weekend, Miami residents that elect to stay in town can often feel like prisoners in their own city.  This is especially true for people of color.

As a woman of color, the thought of going to the beach to have some fun on a long holiday weekend gives me anxiety.  The thought of a good time on the beach is overshadowed by the realities of traffic, restricted roads, paying top dollar for everything and (drum roll, please) a heavier-than-usual police presence.  While it is no secret that every year thousands flood to South Beach for a weekend of wild and crazy fun, where does that leave the locals?

Once again, this is especially true for residents of color that don’t want to get caught in the craziness of “Urban Beach Weekend.” While Memorial Day weekend is only four days out of the year, the narrative of the weekend has lasting effects on curators that cater to the wide range of Black residents in Miami and South Florida.

Now, I, and other curators, who work year-round to create safe spaces for black professionals to unwind and enjoy our beautiful city, are extending our efforts to Memorial Day Weekend. These efforts serve to counter the negative narrative around Black tourism during this and other holiday weekends. Below is a list of select Black curators in South Florida. The events that we host this weekend and beyond cater to not only African-Americans, but to populations throughout the African Diaspora.

Here is a selection of fun, diverse events that are hosted by Black curators like myself that young professionals may enjoy during the weekend.

I hope the events below will liberate you to not be afraid to enjoy Miami during Memorial Day Weekend!

Day Party Vibes

SocialXchange | Day La Soul ’90s-2000s Party

Saturday, May 25 | 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.


African Elite Entertainment & Ankara Miami | Afrobeat Day Party

Saturday, May 25| 6 p.m. to midnight


2K Life | 2K Pool Party

Saturday, May 25 |  2 p.m. to 9 p.m.


Brunch Vibes

The Link Upp | Bad & Boozy brunch party

Saturday, May 25 | 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Early arrival/reservations suggested)


Big Three Alliance | Beyond Brunch Sundays @ Café Iguana

Sunday, May 26 | 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Early arrival/reservations suggested)


The Brunch Babes | Mimosa Soiree

Saturday, May 25 | 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.


Concert Vibes

XO Management | Best of the Best Music Festival

Sunday, May 26 | 2 p.m to midnight


The Poetry Spot Open Mic Night

Thursday, May 23 | 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.


12th Annual Memorial Weekend Comedy Festival

Featuring Benji Brown, Steve Brown, Tony Roberts, Trick Daddy, Shawty & Vena E

Sunday, May 26 | 8 p.m.


Feel Good Vibes (Art, Health, Wellness)

Mind Body Vibes | Half-day wellness retreat @ Zen Mind Space

Saturday, May 25th | 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.


MUCE 305 | Art Campus | Art installation by Melissa Martinez

By appointment only: Email [email protected]

ReFrame: All Weekend, Various locations, programming and locations below


Octavia Yearwood | Art Installation | I See You Too

“I See You, Too,” an exhibition about how propaganda and misinformation have compromised us. Curated by Octavia Yearwood and Naiomy Guerrero. Featuring artists Loni Johnson & Rodney Jackson

May 23 through May 27, opening May 23 at 6 p.m. | Location: 737 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL

Digital ReFrame | Michelle Polissaint

May 23 through May 27 | Digital Signage on Ocean Drive

Reframe Photo Pop-up 

An immersive photo pop-up where photographer, Michelle Polissaint, will capture the true essence of Memorial Day Weekend on the beach.

May 25 and 26 | Ocean Drive and at 890 Washington Ave.

Out of Context | FIU Miami Beach Urban Studios | Chris Friday

Chris Friday’s brunch opening will feature an interactive piece surrounding the theme of trust being the currency.

May 25 and 26, opening brunch May 25 @ 10:30 a.m. | Washington Gallery, 1618 Washington Ave.

PLAY, LAY, AYE, by GeoVanna Gonzalez at The Bass Museum of Art

This installation explores a contemporary queer interpretation of tete-a-tete, a classic French design, which translates to “head to head.” The structure acts as an intimate meeting point with its completely open design acting as a declaration, a place to not feel shame or need to justify one’s self. This new design is now a place for openness and outness.

May 25 and 26, Saturday will feature  performances by queer artists from the Queer Membership Club, This Girls Lunchbox & the (F)empower Artist Collective from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and followed by an open mic at 3 p.m. | The Bass Museum, 2100 Collins Ave.

Miami New Drama presents Betsayda Machado y La Parranda El Clavo

A vibrant Afro-Carribean performance laced in storytelling.

Monday, May 27 at 5 p.m. | Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd.