A South Florida woman is keeping Miami’s Black history alive online. She has created a social media museum of sorts highlighting struggles, resilience and inspiration — one post at a time. Here’s Karen Hensel with 7 Spotlight.
Nadege Green: “And this is just Black kids in Miami joyfully having fun. It’s one of my favorite photos because look at their faces.”
We met historian Nadege Green at a park in Northwest Miami-Dade County and like Nadege, Gwen Cherry Park, has a story to tell.
Nadege Green: “So Gwen Cherry was the first Black woman attorney in Miami-Dade. She was also the first Black woman elected to the Florida legislature.”
Nadege is a former journalist and now a researcher at a non-profit, but her “side” project stems from her passion for the past.
Nadege Green: “I think, as a storyteller and as a researcher, this is my love letter back to Miami.”
This — is the Black Miami Dade Instagram project, a digital array of Black history in the county. There are more than 300 posts, photographs and information Nadege collected in a variety of ways but with a clear goal.
Nadege Green: “I wanted to make it easier to see it and to find it.”
She started the page in 2019, and it already has 11,000 followers.
A scroll through highlights the people, places and issues in Black communities through the decades.
A 1986 photo of late Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks was the very first post on the site, and it may be one you haven’t seen before.
Nadege Green: “Rosa Parks getting her hair washed here in Miami.”
This 1965 photo shows Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. making a call in a phone booth during a layover in Miami.
Here’s one of Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali together in Miami and the self-proclaimed “greatest” boxer of all time sparring with kids in the yard of his Brownsville home in 1964.
Nadege Green: “The famous photo of Muhammad Ali like in the pool — that is iconic. Everyone has seen it, was taken at the Sir John Hotel in Overtown.”
Beyond the famous faces, there are countless others who do not have the same name recognition but are still featured prominently, like Agnes Rolle — a champion elementary school speller, Damita Jo Nicholson, crowned Miss Miami Beach in 1971 and many more.
Nadege Green: “I did a post on Dr. Dazelle Simpson, who was the first Black board-certified physician in the state Florida, when I posted about her, so many people were in the comments saying, ‘She was my doctor. I grew up. She was my pediatrician when I grew up.'”
Nadege wants everyone to see these images but with Instagram, she is trying to reach young people in particular.
Nadege Green: “So while you’re scrolling through Instagram, you might come across a meme. You might come across a thirst trap and then you get your daily dose of Black history as well.”
Miami Black History Nadege hopes others take inspiration from and run with it for their own future projects.
Nadege Green: “The stories are endless, which is why we need an army of storytellers.”
Nadege Green is set to expand her Black Miami Dade project. She is launching a website next month with more stories and resources that can be downloaded.
If you know someone — some group, or some place we should spotlight — send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.
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