Miami and Florida’s Black history

The New Tropic’s archives are full of stories about how African-Americans, Bahamians, and Haitians have shaped the city we live in today. In honor of Black History Month, we’ve gathered it all together in one place. Poke around a little: you’ll probably learn something fascinating about the history of the Magic City.

 

 

In honor of black history month, we’ll take a look at some of the significant events and figures in the course of Miami’s black history, starting with the settlement of the city through the early 1900s. Plus, join us later this month for a Black History Celebration at Yeelen Gallery.

Midcentury Miami was a tumultuous time, a period when Miami’s black culture was both important and ascendant, while the black community went to war, experienced racism and fought for civil rights. Local author Mandy Baca shares some important people, places and events in Miami black history from the 1940s through the 1960s.

Author Mandy Baca gives us a quick look at key events in Miami Black History in the 1980s and 1990s, when riots over police violence toward blacks shook Miami, a new wave of Haitian immigrants carved out their place in the city, and Miami Bass took center stage.

Thelma Gibson lived through decades of tremendous change for the black community here. She’s got plenty of stories. We heard a few of them.

To end Black History Month, we're taking a look at one of the most important chapters in Florida's civil rights movement. St. Augustine was the center of civil rights upheaval in Florida, and the steadfast activism of students at Florida Memorial University fueled the state's struggle toward justice. Today, FMU is South Florida's only historically black university. Learn how the civil rights movement shaped the school and its students, and eventually caused the storied institution's relocation to Miami.

The early settlers of Coconut Grove hailed from the Bahamas by way of Key West. Their presence shaped the direction of the village for more than a century.

To know Little Haiti, you need to look further than Miami. From a group of slaves overthrowing their masters to form a new country, to community leaders coming together to form a new neighborhood, Little Haiti’s roots stretch way back.

From the Tamiami Trail to the electric chair, much of Florida was built on the backs of the state’s prisoners. Here’s the story you were never told, tracing a direct line from slavery to the modern prison system.

Take a trip through time with our photo gallery of the Hampton House, then and now.

From Martin Luther King Jr., to Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali to Althea Gibson, black luminaries all visited the Historic Hampton House near Overtown.

The story of historic Overtown, Miami’s second-oldest neighborhood, from its inception to its uncertain future.