Overtown

Art Basel
7:34 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Wynwood Pop-Up Exhibits Student-Shot Everyday Portraits

Elijah Wells, 17, a student at Miami Arts Charter, was selected by the Play To Win Foundation for their 1-day workshop.
Credit 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. 

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Arts
6:23 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Chris Brown Paints Mural For Overtown Children

Entertainer Chris Brown and local visual artist Ron Bass unveiled Monday a mural near the entrance of Overtown's House of Wings restaurant.
Credit 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.

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Culture
4:05 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

New Tour Bus Takes Visitors Through Miami's Historic Overtown

Big Bus Miami has a new route that will take passengers through Downtown Miami, Design District, Overtown, Midtown, and Wynwood.
Credit 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.

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Arts
5:16 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

New Documentary Explores The Birth Of Miami's Motown

Helene Smith - Sings Sweet Soul! An original Deep City record.

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.

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Overtown
7:05 am
Tue August 26, 2014

How A Historic Theater Is Using Band Camp To Revitalize Overtown

Kids practice at the inaugural South Florida Marching Band Precision Camp in Overtown.
Credit 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.

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South Miami
9:13 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Ransom Everglades Offers Swim Lessons To Kids Without Pools

The partnership between Ransom Everglades School and South Miami hopes to teach life-saving swim skills.
Credit Wilson Sayre

  A few kids in South Miami, a city with no public pool, are getting the opportunity to take free swim lessons at Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove.

Tina Scott, a pediatrician in South Miami, arranged the partnership between the city and private school to address the lack of swimming skills she regularly saw in her patients.

“One of the things that I do when I see patients is to ask about water: Do you live near water? Do you have a pool in your backyard? A canal? To make sure that the kids actually know how to swim,” she says.

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Youth
12:48 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Programs Offers Inner City Youths Professional Field Training

Some youth in Miami's inner city are paid to learn code though FACE's summer program.
Credit Creative Commons / Flickr user Lindsey Bieda

FACE, a paid summer internship program for young adults, is wrapping up and showing off what its participants have been up to in the past six weeks.

The name of the program stands for film, arts, culture (and coding) and entrepreneurship. Participants choose an area of focus and pair up with industry professionals to develop and execute a project in that field.

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Preview
6:40 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Renew Your Drivers License At The Overtown Music And Arts Festival

Credit Miami.com

For the first time, the Overtown Music and Arts Festival won't only have live musical performances, art exhibits and free food; you can also get your drivers license renewed. 

Yvette Harris, a spokesperson for the event, says the service is being offered because going to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get a license renewal is sometimes a challenge for some locals.

"It's a really good way for the community to tap into resources," she says. "It's something to offer to those who need it." 

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The End of the Road
12:37 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Displacing Overtown Residents To Make Up For Rupture I-95 Caused

Benjamin Brown, 80, sits in the living room of his family home a week before movers arrived to pack his belongings and move him out. Brown’s last day in his home was April 28.
Credit Emily Michot / Miami Herald

At times, the two-story white house with bright blue shutters and columns that seem to reach for the sky was mistaken for a church in Miami's Overtown neighborhood.

But for 80-year-old Benjamin Brown, the property that had been in his family since 1917 always meant just one thing: home.

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Miami Culture
6:38 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Renovations To Lyric Theater, Symbol Of Overtown’s Cultural History, Unveiled

Credit CARL JUSTE / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

The historic Lyric Theater, Miami’s oldest entertainment venue, symbolizes a time when Overtown was a bustling cultural hub: Jazz icon Duke Ellington thrilled audiences on its stage; poet Langston Hughes recited there; soul songstress Aretha Franklin charmed concert-goers with her gospel tunes.

Over the decades the theater, built in 1913 by black tycoon Geder Walker, was either treasured or neglected.

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Coding in Miami
2:22 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Entrepeneur Brings Tech Education To Minority Students

Felecia Hatcher helps a student write an HTML code.
Credit Hillary Lindwall/WLRN

  

Felecia Hatcher is on a mission. She wants to bridge the tech education gap in Florida's schools and give underserved students the chance to become web-based entrepreneurs. She started the program Code Fever last year to reach that goal.

"Technology will allow [the students] to build their businesses and catapult their ideas much faster and definitely much cheaper," Hatcher says.

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I-395
8:06 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Gov. Scott Seeks Funds For Miami's 'Signature Bridge'

DOUBLE WISHBONE: An early idea for a signature bridge, it would have been called the 'Wishbone Arch.'
Credit Florida Dept. of Transportation

Under construction during most of the 1960s, Interstate-95 ripped right through the heart of Overtown. Thousands of homes were torn down. Instant slums were created as the concrete expressway ripped apart the neighborhood's cultural, economic and education connections.

The result is the Overtown that's visible today -- the Overtown that's still trying to recover.

"[I-95] caused great harm in the past," says Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. "We need to rectify that."

So, let the rectification begin.

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Neighborhoods
10:43 am
Tue September 24, 2013

How I-95 Shattered The World Of Miami's Early Overtown Residents

Agnes Rolle Morton (left) and her sister Naomi Yvonne Rolle reminisce about growing up in Overtown before the construction of I-95 through the neighborhood on Jan. 29, 2012 in Liberty City.
Credit Daniel Bock

When Naomi Rolle talks about her childhood home in Overtown, tears fall from her eyes.

Her father, Jerod Hastings Rolle, and his mother — her grandmother — constructed the cozy peach-colored home with swirling concrete pillars in the 1920s.

“It was beautiful,” she said. “It was one of the only houses built with concrete and stucco. The other homes around us were made out of wood.”

Rolle, who now lives in Liberty City, is among thousands who were forced out of their homes in the 1960s to make room for Interstate 95 and later, Interstate 395.

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Urban Planning
4:05 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Miami Approves Joint Plan To Develop Historic Overtown Neighborhood

Miami's Overtown neighborhood has been targeted for revitalization by developers who see value.
Credit Creative Commons via Flickr / Shawn Walton

After a period of economic decline, Miami's Overtown is getting a booster shot.

On Thursday, the city's Southeast Overtown / Park West Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) approved a joint plan that would cede two city blocks to a team of developers in the hopes of rejuvenating a stretch of land in one of Miami's core neighborhoods.

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Community Contributor
5:35 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Early Settler Recalls Miami's Bustling Black Neighborhood Called "Colored Town"

A postcard from Overtown, 1907.

My maternal grandparents, Sam D. and Ida Ellen Roberts Johnson, were born in Harbour Island, Bahamas. It is believed that their foreparents were among the millions of black slaves forced from West Africa and sold in the West Indies.
 

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