History

Historic Overtown Est. 1896

The Shops of Overtown

Overtown is perhaps the most seasoned neighborhood inside the first limits of the City of Miami. Isolated by both custom and laws, it started as “Shaded Town” at the turn of the twentieth century. The zone was doled out and restricted to dark specialists who manufactured and overhauled the railroad, lanes and lodgings. The achievement of Miami’s pioneer traveler industry relied upon the work of dark specialists from the Bahamas and the Southern states.

 

At the point when the choice was made to consolidate Miami as a city in 1896, dark men were utilized as voters however later disappointed. Since the necessary number of white male enlisted voters didn’t partake, dark male enrolled voters were utilized to arrive at the number required by state law to frame another city. About 33% of the men who represented the joining of the City of Miami were dark. Subsequent to helping Miami become a city, the dark incorporators lost their social equality to existing open strategy. In the late 1800s, inhabitants of Overtown were liable to Black Codes, which, in the twentieth century, became Jim Crow laws.

 

Regardless of these difficulties, Overtown developed and formed into a lively network. Schools, houses of worship and organizations prospered. A large portion of the merchandise and enterprises in the network were delivered by occupants. There were many fine eateries, an exclusive tennis court and a few top of the line lodgings in Overtown. The Mary Elizabeth Hotel, manufactured and worked by a dark doctor, Dr. W. B. Sawyer, Sr., was host to such notables as United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall; Congressman Adam Clayton Powell; work pioneer A. Phillip Randolph; instructor, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune; Dr. Carter G. Woodson, “the dad of Negro history,” and W E B. DuBois, and globally known scholarly and creator.

 

White travelers and white occupants likewise frequented “Little Broadway” to appreciate the excitement, fascinating nourishments and music, particularly jazz and gospel singing. In the good ‘ol days, dark performers who performed on Miami Beach couldn’t bed or board there in view of prohibitive social practices and racial isolation laws. After their last exhibitions, these entertainers would cross the railroad tracks to Overtown’s inns and night clubs.

 

As the years progressed, Overtown stuck to the hints of Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, Nat “Ruler” Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., and numerous others. From Josephine Baker and Billie Holiday to Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne and Aretha Franklin – all found an inviting group of spectators in Overtown. Abstract specialists Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, vocalists Paul Robeson and Marian Anderson, fighter Joe Louis and baseball extraordinary Jackie Robinson additionally frequented the region.

Thriving since 1896

In the mid-1960s, Overtown started to lose its shine. Urban restoration and development of two freeways destroyed the network. Today, Overtown is waking up once more. Endeavors to safeguard and reestablish noteworthy destinations, make lodging and grow new blended use offices continue today with the help of numerous associations and the devotion of network volunteers.

Colored town

Backing for Overtown’s renewal is gotten from: the Overtown Advisory Board, the Overtown Empowerment Zone Assembly, the City of Miami and CRA, Metro-Dade County, Dade County Public Schools, the State of Florida, government awards, St. John Baptist Church’s CDC, Greater Bethel AME Church’s CDC, the Knight Foundation, the LeRoy Collins Center, Greater Miami LISC (Local Initiative Support Corporation), and the Trust for Public Land.

 

Historic Overtown Est. 1888

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1490 NW 3rd Ave, Miami, FL 33136
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Email: info@shopsofovertown.com