Miami designates historic neighbourhood as ‘Little Bahamas’

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] Loop News reports that Bahamian culture and its connection to the City of Miami was honored on July 19, 2022, when Commissioners unanimously voted to designate an area as “Little Bahamas.”

The community, which will officially be known as “Little Bahamas of Coconut Grove”, has been a centre of activity for Bahamian immigrants entering Florida since the 19th century.

The Little Bahamas resolution was tabled by area representative Ken Russell. Russell said it was his honour to sponsor the resolution given the historic contributions that Bahamians have made to Miami. Russell has a personal link to the Bahamas as he visited the island many times as a child and his deceased father’s ashes were scattered in the Bahamas. He said this is not the end of what will be done to honour the Bahamian people as there are plans to have the Goombay Festival and other events remain a permanent part of the city’s calendar.

The boundaries of Little Bahamas runs from McDonald Street to the east, Bird Avenue and US One to the north, Brooker Street and Armbrister Park to the west and Franklin Avenue to the south.

Prior to the vote, a host of Bahamian Americans presented about what the official recognition of the historically black enclave would mean for hundreds of people with a connection to the community.

One presenter was Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, whose maternal grandparents were Bahamian. “Bahamian settlers have played a central role in erecting some of the most treasured landmarks and infusing the area with many historical contributions. And while Miami has always been a thriving city of immigrants, its proud Bahamian cultural heritage and history has lacked the distinction it deserves today,” Wilson stated. She noted that many of the Bahamian contributions are at risk of being removed from the Miami landscape.

Wilson also presented a US$2.2million earmark cheque to construction a Bahamian Museum of Art and Culture in the community.

For original article, see https://caribbean.loopnews.com/content/miami-designates-historic-neighbourhood-little-bahamas

Also see “Miami designates part of Coconut Grove as ‘Little Bahamas’ to honor area’s history,”
Joey Flechas and Anna Wilder, Miami Herald, July 19, 2022
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/coconut-grove/article263606398.html

Photo above from “Coming Soon: A “Little Bahamas” in Coconut Grove?” by Joshua Ceballos, Miami New Times, https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/miami-considers-creating-little-bahamas-in-coconut-grove-14635283

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