Overtown

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." 

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.
 

Read more
Community Contributor
2:01 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

State Considers 'Cost Effective' Option For I-395 Flyover In Downtown Miami

Original designs for a new I-395 flyover called for an artistic look.

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.

Read more
Miami Dish
10:00 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Interview: Overtown Music Project’s Amy Rosenberg

Amy Rosenberg

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.  

Read more
Overtown Music Project
7:30 am
Fri January 25, 2013

How Music Is Coming Back To Overtown

Amy Rosenberg
Credit 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.

Read more
Art Basel 2012
11:00 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Overtown Participates In Art Basel On A Grand Scale

Credit "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.

Read more