MIAMI – The highly anticipated 11-month exhibition, Black Crossroads: The African Diaspora in Miami, officially opens to the public Thursday, March 5th. The exhibition spotlights the deep impact that blacks from the American South, the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa have had on the City of Miami. “We call this exhibition Black Crossroads because we want to reflect what Miami has always been: a meeting point for intersections of many members of the African Diaspora since as far back as the 1800s,” said Dr. Joanne Hyppolite, Chief Curator at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida.
Often working as laborers, maids and farmers, blacks played an essential role in the development of Miami even before the city’s incorporation in 1896. The continued migration of African Americans and Afro-Caribbean’s throughout the early twentieth century helped develop many of the landmark constructions and buildings of that era. “So significant was the number of blacks residing in Miami by 1896 that 162 of them were used to make up the 362 votes needed for the city’s incorporation,” said Robert McCammon, HMSF President.
Artifacts, photographs, family documents, and oral histories are key components of the exhibition on display from March 5th through January 24, 2010. Themes such as settlement patterns/migration, labor and development, civil rights and community traditions are explored.
HMSF was founded in 1940, is one of the largest private, regional history museums in the country. Admission for Black Crossroads is $8 for adults, $5 for children (6-12 years), and free for children under 6. Group discount packages are available. Student admission is $7. HMSF is located at 101 West Flagler Street in Downtown Miami. To purchase tickets and for more information, please contact 305-375-1492, or visit www.hmsf.org.
Black Crossroads: The African Diaspora in Miami is sponsored in part by the Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, Division of Historical Resources, the Florida Humanities Council, the National Endowment of the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.