Overtown

Mana Wynwood

Negotiations for a long-planned development in Miami continued Wednesday, as representatives of the Mana Wynwood team met with members of the Wynwood Business Improvement District. The development would occupy as much as 24 acres and include art galleries, a new fire station, residences and a public open space called the Wynwood Commons. But Wynwood leaders are concerned that recent changes to the plan would decrease the total amount of public benefits dollars their neighborhood would receive...

Miami Herald

Miamians from different communities came together to discuss soccer Thursday night. Even though some of those attending the town hall meeting were wearing Miami soccer gear they were not all talking about the first game to be played in the coming year. They were there to hear the latest pitch from Beckham Group representative Timothy Leiweke. Some residents from Overtown and the neighboring community of Spring Garden were also on hand. The feeling from Overtown residents resonated a skeptic...

Audrey Armitage

Paintings, masks and mixed media fills two floors of the Lyric Theatre as Overtown celebrates Miami Art Week with the annual Art Africa Miami Arts Fair. The exhibition, organized by The Urban Collective, features work from local and international artists. Organizer Neil Hall says the art fair reflects many narratives of the African diaspora, bringing a modern twist to traditional African art forms. Works include paintings by Haitian artists Turgo Bastien and Philippe Dodard, a series of masks...

Courtesy of Miami Worldcenter

A new development project designed to build retail and hotel space in downtown Miami is poised to break ground in the coming months. The developers of Miami Worldcenter have promised the project will bring jobs to the nearby community of Overtown. But some critics say a high development of the area will drive those residents away. Miami-Dade County commission has moved forward, allowing the creation of a special tax district for this development. Hear the conversation below from The Florida...

Nadege Green / WLRN

The Dream Defenders, a local social justice group, says it will protest against Miami Worldcenter until certain demands are met that benefit the struggling Overtown community. Overtown borders the $2 billion Worldcenter development and critics say the project will shut out residents of that neighborhood. Until their demands are met, the Dream Defenders protesters say they will create civil unrest and demonstrate at County Hall. #hireovertown #blackworkmatters protesters blocked at every...

Nadege Green / WLRN

The Miami Worldcenter project hosted a job fair at the Historic St. Agnes Episcopal Church in Overtown that drew hundreds of people from across Miami-Dade Tuesday — including many Overtown residents. The project is expected to create 18,000 direct jobs. And while some have been critical about the Worldcenter’s impact in Overtown, Miami Commissioner Keon Hardemon said Tuesday’s turnout is evidence that people in the community see the project as something positive. "The people who are in the...

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...

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. Over 100 people met at the Torch of Friendship in Downtown Miami. They marched down Biscayne Boulevard, closing it and other roads down, covering about a mile. Demonstrators chanted "Selma is Miami" and "Selma is now."...

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...

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. In the end, Adams' rules were not followed. People went off topic...

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...

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. "It...

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. This isn’t Brown’s first use of spray-paint in Miami. In 2013, he teamed up with Romero Britto and Best...

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 . "We have worked very hard to make this happen in other neighborhoods. If it can happen in Little Havana, it will be happening here in Overtown," said Carole Ann Taylor, GMCVB board member. "You’re going to be surprised as you watch the businesses...

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. Deep City served as a springboard for local talent such as Clarke; his songwriting partner and singer Clarence “Blowfly” Reid, guitarist and...

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