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Annie Coleman, on the right, pins a corsage on contralto Marion Anderson. Credit: Miami News Collection, HistoryMiami.

THREE WOMEN THE HISTORY BOOKS OVERLOOKED

As we started digging during women’s history month into the stories of those who helped to shape the Magic City, we noticed that pretty much all the women getting shoutouts were white. Same went for the history books.

So we asked you for suggestions of women who the history books missed. Thanks to everyone who sent them in! Below is a short and sweet look at three of the many women of color who helped make Miami the city it is today. Read on for the full download on them.

Annie Coleman

Annie Coleman, who moved to Overtown in 1922, formed the Friendship Garden Club with a group of affluent, justice-minded white women to focus on neighborhood improvement projects.

It was one of Miami’s first interracial committees and, with white women in the club using their privilege to amplify the group’s demands, moved into civil rights work, leading the charge to allow black people to serve as policemen in Miami. Today there’s a housing complex named after her: Annie Coleman Gardens. Thanks to Sylvia Gurinsky for the suggestion.

Conchita Espinosa

When Conchita was 19, the accomplished Cuban pianist founded “La Academia Musical Conchita Espinosa” in Havana. But when the Cuban Revolution went down, the Castro regime shut the school down.

In 1963, she opened her own arts-focused private school here in Miami. The private Conchita Espinosa Academy began in the garage of a Little Havana home and grew into a full-fledged school by the 1980s. Her daughter runs the school today, and the administration remains almost entirely female. Thanks to Hilda Alvarez Strang for the suggestion.

Florence Gaskins

Florence moved from Jacksonville to Dade County in 1896, just as the railroad reached the area. She began working as a laundry woman, collecting clothing from the whites-only hotels and hiring other Overtown women to wash it. With the profits, she moved into real estate, opened a private school, and even organized a Junior Red Cross chapter for Overtown kids dubbed the “Black Cross.”

She also opened South Florida’s first black employment agency, paving the way for black business women across SoFlo. Thanks to Sylvia Gurinsky for the suggestion.

Learn more about each of these remarkable women here.

NEW BUS, WHO DIS?

Miami-Dade County’s Metrobus is getting upgraded, with more than 300 new buses slated to hit the road in the next few years. These buses will run on compressed natural gas, which makes them a cleaner and more efficient alternative to traditional buses. Fully electric buses are also on the horizon — find out more here.

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WHAT’S NEW IN THE 305

“Never again.” On Saturday morning, just a week after the March for our Lives against gun violence and lax gun laws, four-year-old Nyla Jones was killed in a drive-by shooting in Liberty City. The shooter got in an argument with the girl’s mother and fired into the car where she was with two other children. Since the Parkland shooting, Liberty City teens have been demanding that the “Never again” rallying cry after Parkland apply to them, too. How the community responds to Nyla’s death will be a test of that. (Miami Herald, The New Tropic)

YAS KWEEN. It’s officially Miami Beach Gay Pride week, and there are all kinds of fabulous, glitter-ful events in store this week. Here are deets, including the iconic parade on Sunday. (Miami New Times)

Go time. On Friday Gov. Rick Scott signed the “resign to run” bill into law, which requires that local and state lawmakers give up their current seats to run for U.S. Congress. That’s a BFD for South Florida, because several of the folks running for Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s seat are in office right now. Republican candidate Bruno Barreiro, a county commissioner, already announced his resignation. Three Democratic candidates – State Sen. José Javier Rodriguez, Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen-Gonzalez, and City of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell – will have to decide soon whether they’re willing to give up their seats to keep running. (Miami Herald)

Last dance. After months of fighting with its neighbors over noise, Heart nightclub gave up and shut down. The area of downtown where Heart and several other clubs are located used to be pretty desolate, but the boom in downtown residents has put a bunch of folks in high rises just up the street from Heart, and they’re not about the 24-hour schedule Heart and others have been keeping. (Miami.com)

Nom nom nom. Local photographer Symone Titania Major says that Goulds in South Dade has the best barbecue in the 305. Most of that comes from mobile trucks who set up shop in parking lots and street corners, serving up tender ribs and savory collard greens from their window. Major documented the barbecue culture of the neighborhood for a photo project, and we’re taking notes. (WLRN)

Sunshine study hall. Harvard University’s Future of the American City initiative has picked Miami for its pilot project. What that means: 12 graduate design students are going to make the 305 their massive laboratory for three years. The students will be plugging into local government and all kinds of companies and organizations to help build a plan for building a sustainable, resilient Miami. (Curbed)

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BULLETIN BOARD

Are you a young nonprofit shaking things up in Miami? United Way wants to give you a shot at $10,000 or $25,000 through their Inspire305 program.Find out more info here. Applications close April 13.

The Miami Foundation’s annual Public Space Challenge opens on April 4! They have $350,000 to award to ideas to improve and activate our public spaces, from parks to bus stops, sidewalks to libraries. You’ll find more on that herewhen applications open. Until then, look over last year’s projects for inspo.

We’ve all been impressed by what the Parkland students have accomplished. If you want your high school age student to be a part of the movement, let them know about the Miami-Dade Young Leaders Summit on April 7, an all-day training seminar to inspire students to action, train them to organize, and connect them to each other.Sign up here. (P.S. There’s one in Broward on the same day.)

What’s this? It’s a new feature that will show up every Monday. What you’ll find here: things like calls for applications, workshops, and civic opportunities around Miami. If you’ve got a suggestion for what to include, hit us up at [email protected]

EVENTS

PARTNER EVENTS
AROUND TOWN

MONDAY, 4/2

Get scientific about your love life (Allapattah)

🔥 Get inspired at a fireside chat with FIGS (Allapattah)

👑 Crown the Miami Beach Gay Pride Queen (Mid-Beach)

TUESDAY, 4/3

🌊 Learn what normal people can do to fight climate change (Key Biscayne)

WEDNESDAY, 4/4

🎤 Enjoy some spoken word poetry and music at open mic night (Allapattah)

📵 Put your phone down and enjoy a meal (Wynwood)

🎲 Play bingo with your ladies (South Beach)

THURSDAY, 4/5

🍷Test how well you know your wine (Design District)

🚘 Discuss the sharing economy and our cities (Allapattah)

🎤 Belt it out at karaoke for music nerds (Wynwood)

🏳️‍🌈 Visit the PAMM for free and celebrate Pride (Downtown)

FRIDAY, 4/6

🌃 Dance under the Stars on Giralda Avenue (Coral Gables)

🎧 Pod Saves America hits the 305 (Downtown)

🎸Get folksy with Keith Johns at the Yard (Wynwood)

😴 Grab your pajamas (and your kids) and recite poetry under the stars (South Beach)

Are you hitting up one of these events? Tag us in your pics with @thenewtropic.

THAT’S ALL FOR TODAY.

We’ll catch you mañana.

 


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