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.

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.

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.


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." 

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

May 30, 2014
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.


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.

Entrepeneur Brings Tech Education To Minority Students

Jan 20, 2014
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.

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.