Overtown

Overtown's Last Shoe Repair Man Closes Shop

May 7, 2015
Walt Michot / Miami Herald

Bereatha Howard is having a crisis of the sole.

The left half of her treasured pair of black Calvin Kleins has ripped apart at the seams. And so she she is doing what so many in Overtown have done for so many years: walking down Third Avenue, her shoes in a white plastic bag, to find Lovell Singletary.

“These are my favorite shoes,” she says, handing the bag to a man sitting outside next to a plastic children’s table, wearing a tattered green cap sideways like a beret. “Do you think you can fix it?”

Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

This past Saturday marked 50 years since “Bloody Sunday.” That was the day voting-rights activists were beaten and gassed by Alabama police as they marched from Selma to Montgomery. Miamians commemorated the anniversary by marching for civil rights issues they currently face. 

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Visit Florida, the state’s tourism agency, is promoting the rich history of  two of Florida’s historic black neighborhoods for Black History Month.

Miami’s Overtown neighborhood will be featured in a national commercial that highlights its past as “The Harlem of the South.”

Big name artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Nat King Cole would perform on Miami Beach, but because of segregation they stayed in Overtown hotels. At night, visiting celebrities would go to the local nightclubs, performing and jamming with locals.

Daniel Ducassi / WLRN

About 100 people gathered inside the fellowship hall at the historic St. John’s Baptist Church in Miami’s Overtown community to discuss the Miami Worldcenter, a multimillion-dollar development project.

The meeting opened with a prayer and some ground rules. First, stay on topic.

And second, “Be mindful where you are. Tempers can flare, passion can run high, [but] first of all, this is the Lord’s house,” said Bishop Dean Adams.

freedigitalphotos.net

When Jane Chu was growing up in Arkansas, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, she remembers that her parents liked bok choy while she liked corn dogs. They spoke Mandarin and "book English," and that, she says, could only go so far when her father died when she was nine-years-old. But she played piano, and she says music is where she found a way to express emotions where words fell short.

Chu believes strongly in the ability of the arts to transform individuals, communities and the overall economy. 

Wynwood Pop-Up Exhibits Student-Shot Everyday Portraits

Dec 3, 2014
Gregory Castillo / WLRN

    

On a warm afternoon in Wynwood, just minutes away from their homes in Allapattah and Overtown, a group of students is making images. 

The group, 25 students selected by the Play to Win Foundation, is part of the program's Through My Lens: Art Is Life workshop. The mission is to empower students through art. 

Students paired with mentors spent all day on Nov. 8 crafting their photography skills. Armed with state-of-the-art Nokia phones, they snapped photos of each other in front of murals. 

Chris Brown Paints Mural For Overtown Children

Oct 29, 2014
Pattrik Simmons

Singer Chris Brown and local artist Ron Bass have collaborated on a mural painted in Overtown on the wall of a restaurant called House of Wings.

It was unveiled Monday -- thanks to the help of Headliner Market Group -- to a crowd of schoolchildren eager to meet Brown, said Nikki Williams, the restaurant owner's sister. City of Miami Commissioner Keon Hardemon was also in attendance.

Pattrik Simmons

The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) and Big Bus Miami today announced a new tour route that will take passengers on a trip through the historic neighborhoods of Overtown, Midtown, Design District, Downtown Miami, and Wynwood.

New Documentary Explores The Birth Of Miami's Motown

Sep 11, 2014

During the mid-1960s, Florida A&M University classmates Willie Clarke and Johnny Pearsall had an idea to make records.

Clarke was an art education major and former A&M band drummer. With the business-savvy Pearsall, he founded Deep City Records, Florida's first black-owned record label. They ran it out of Pearsall’s Liberty City record store.

Wilson Sayre

For the past few decades, Miami’s historically black Overtown neighborhood has struggled with crime and poverty. Sharing in that decline was the Lyric Theater, where figures like Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Count Basie and Celia Cruz once graced its stage.

The old theater, though, has a new vision and through kids programming, hopes to change the image of Overtown emblazoned in the not-too-distant memory of South Floridians.

Pages