Sunday, May 10, 2015

Miami Herald: "Remembering protest that led to opening first beach for black Miamians"

This is a must read article in the Miami Herald. The Lake Worth beach and pool were segregated at one time; a sad legacy for this City. Little did these Miamians know how profound their actions would be 70 years ago. Here's the first three paragraphs:
     They are all dead now — probably; some of their names have been lost to time, so there’s no way to be certain — and there’s no way to ask them if they knew they were making history. But the seven black people who splashed into the water at all-white Haulover Beach 70 years ago this weekend set off ripples that would eventually turn into the most profound social upheaval in American history, the civil rights movement.
     “What they did was very, very significant,” said Miami historian and preservationist Enid Pinkney, 83, then a teenager who followed the events at Haulover closely. “I can’t say for sure it was the first act of civil disobedience for civil rights. But it was certainly one of the very early ones, not just in Florida but in the whole South.”
     The protest, nearly a decade before the national civil-rights movement began to take hold, quickly resulted in what was then Dade County opening a beach to its black citizens for the first time. And it touched off nearly two decades of sit-ins and demonstrations to integrate restaurants, nightclubs, hotels and everything else in the county.
Here is a "History Lesson" from former Lake Worth blogger-extraordinaire Tom McGow from July 2007. One of the news clippings he references from June 21, 1963, has this line about the Lake Worth beach:
For the third time in as many days a handful of Negroes Thursday swam without incident in the ocean off this city's municipal beach.
Read more here: