black history

As Key West's housing market caters more and more to the second home set, there's a new effort to preserve some of the island's multicultural history.

A researcher has discovered the identity of the last-known survivor of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the United States.

Redoshi, later given the slave name Sally Smith, was kidnapped at the age of 12 from Benin in West Africa, in 1860. She was sold into slavery, making the journey to Alabama on the Clotilde, the last-known slave ship to arrive in the U.S.

Nadege Green

The home of Miami’s first black millionaire is now open to the public.

Dana A. Dorsey was what today would be considered a real estate mogul. He was also a civic leader philanthropist in Miami’s black community.

The Black Archives History and Research Foundation of South Florida restored his 1920s era home and will use it as a museum to document Dorsey’s life and to host cultural events.

Timothy Barber, executive director of the Black Archives, spoke to WLRN’s Nadege Green about Dorsey's legacy.

AFRICOBRA / Courtesy

During the civil rights era of the 1960s and 70s, a group of black artists in Chicago created vibrant and provocative art as a powerful form of peaceful protest. 

AFRICOBRA, which stands for “The African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists," used the aesthetic of black art and imaging to fight the the media's perception of their own communities. Now, the collective's work is being displayed in Miami as part of North Miami's Museum of Contemporary Art Black History Month programming.

BERNHARD MOOSBRUGGER / GETTY IMAGES

The civil right's leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spent a significant amount of time in Miami. During the 1950s and 60s, Dr. King was a regular at the historic Hampton House. The hotel, located in Miami's Brownsville neighborhood, was frequented by many of the African American athletes and civil rights leaders of the time including Jim Brown and Malcolm X. 

Caitie Switalski / Miami Herald

In Florida, more black people were lynched per capita from 1877 to 1950 than anywhere else in the south, according to The Equal Justice Initiative

Pembroke Pines artist Ne’Chelle Straughter, whose artist name is Kaspvr, explores the legacy of racial terror and lynchings in Broward County in her new painting 'Uncle Reuben.'


Sammy Mack / WLRN

A timeline along the wall of the Historic Lyric Theater's current exhibit, on Miami's black health care history, looks like an EKG. The first beat of it, beginning in 1896, belongs to the city's first black doctor, Dr. Rivers.

"It starts with Dr. Rivers and we still haven't gotten his first name yet," says Dr. Dorothy Jenkins Fields, founder of the Black Archives and chair of the committee that assembled pieces for the show, The Evolution of Black Health Care In Miami-Dade County From 1896-2018, In Parallel With Jackson Memorial Hospital's Evolution.

Editor's note: This report contains language and an image some may find offensive or upsetting.

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice stands high on a hillside overlooking downtown Montgomery, Ala. Beyond the buildings you can see the winding Alabama River and hear the distant whistle of a train — the nexus that made the city a hub for the domestic slave trade.

B.B. King
Wikimedia / WLRN

The Hollywood Historical Society hosts a lecture series almost every month. But for Black History Month, the organization is turning the event over to a young Broward filmmaker, Emmanuel George. 

In December 1955, after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus to a white man, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other black ministers and community leaders organized a citywide bus boycott in protest. That part is well known.

Less well-known is the story of Georgia Gilmore, the Montgomery cook, midwife and activist whose secret kitchen fed the civil rights movement.

WLRN News

A yellow wall divides Northwest 12th Ave along the east side of the Liberty Square housing projects.

The wall is no more than three feet tall at it's highest point and on the other side is a raised street making the wall only visible if you're in the housing projects.

U.S. Southern Command Public Affairs Office

Military personnel are seldom surprised or starstruck. But that’s exactly what some of the men and women at the U.S. Southern Command in Doral were after meeting World War II and Tuskegee Airmen veteran and educator Dr. Harold Brown. 

Brown was invited by the Miami-Homestead Air Force Association chapter and presented awards to four local aviators for their outstanding performance in 2017 at a special event at the Southern Command on Thursday. 

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Monroe County announced this week plans to reconfigure a dog park in Key West believed to be above the graves of Africans who were rescued from the slave trade in 1860.

The dog playground is across the street from an area already recognized as a burial yard.

While slavery was still legal in the U.S. in 1860, importing them was outlawed in 1807.

“But people kept doing it, especially Americans,” said Corey Malcom, director of archaeology for the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN