Overtown

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.

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." 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
 

Over the past several years, FDOT initiated the process to replace the 1.5-mile structure that links State Road 836 east of Interstate 95 to the MacArthur Causeway. As the main artery between the Miami International Airport, the Port of Miami, and South Beach, millions of visitors traverse this scenic stretch annually on the way to a cruise or the beaches.

Interview: Overtown Music Project’s Amy Rosenberg

Jan 30, 2013

In this occasional column, we chat with people in South Florida who don’t work in the food business about what and where they eat.  

How Music Is Coming Back To Overtown

Jan 25, 2013
Overtown Music Project

The Overtown section of Miami was the heart and soul of music during the early to mid-1960’s.

It developed as Southern and Bahamian blacks relocated to Miami area to work on Henry Flagler’s railroad.

As they prospered, so did the club and performing arts scene.

Other venues included the Rockland, Palace, the Harlem Square Club, the Cotton Club, the Ritz Theater, the Mary Elizabeth Hotel and the Sir John, to name a few.

These clubs and theaters featured the great artists such as Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, Billie Holiday, and Cab Calloway.

Overtown Participates In Art Basel On A Grand Scale

Nov 29, 2012
"F053" by Olalekan Jeyifous (Art Africa Miami Arts Fair)

Overtown artists have participated in Art Basel with showings and events in the neighborhood in past years. However, this is the second year that the neighborhood participates on a grander scale.

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