Neighborhood Spotlight on Liberty City

Liberty City got its big screen debut in the Academy-award winning film “Moonlight,” but its history dates back to the 1930s, when the Liberty Square Housing Project was built for black residents in segregated Miami. It was an alternative to living in Overtown, which by then had become overcrowded, and attracted middle-class black families.

One of the more shameful parts of the history was the race wall that was built to separate the black community living at Liberty Square from the the few whites living nearby. Part of it still stands today.

Though the neighborhood was thriving in the 1950s, in the decades following integration, the crack epidemic and absentee landlords led to its downfall. And in 1980, Liberty City captured the national spotlight with the McDuffie Riots, which occurred after four white police officers were acquitted in the killing of an unarmed black man.

In recent years, community leaders have been trying to bring Liberty City back to its feet and attract new businesses and residents.

This month, we profiled some of the black pioneers who helped shape the neighborhood, we examined the history of Liberty Square, we found a place that serves some of the best conch in the city — out of a nail salon, and we met community-focused entrepreneurs like Mr. Yap.

We hope this guide inspires you to learn more about Liberty City and take the time to explore its nooks and crannies.