MIAMI (WSVN) - During Black History Month, 7News has taken the time to learn about those who made and preserved history but have rarely been given a spotlight so that future generations can have something to point to connect them to the past.

That’s where one South Florida woman comes in. She has made history by saving it.

In the early 2000s, the Hampton House, a critical piece of Black Miami history, was nearly lost to time.

“We have no money, we just had ideas as to what we wanted to do,” said Dr. Enid Pinkney, Founding President/CEO of the Historic Hampton House Community Trust, Inc.

This was when Pinkney, who was born in Overtown and is the daughter of Bahamian parents, intervened to make a difference.

She spent a career in education before turning her attention toward highlighting the at-times forgotten history of African Americans in the Magic City.

“Her work, her intervention, and the way she has been able to galvanize the community,” said Guy Forchion, Executive Director of the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust.

It’s what led her to save this crucial piece of Black Miami history.

“A community leader, a preservationist, a true preservationist. This was a person who was the first Black director of The Dade Heritage Trust,” said Forchion.

When the Hampton House was threatened with demolition, an advocacy group with Dr. Pinkney at the forefront fought to declare the block a protected historical sight in 2002.

The house was a stop for many of history’s Black icons. It’s where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. rehearsed a first draft of his “I Have A Dream” speech. Before he was known as Muhammad Ali, Cassius Clay Jr. stayed there the night he beat Sonny Liston to become World Heavyweight Champion in 1964.

Decades later, the Hampton House has been restored to its former glory and now serves as a cultural center with Dr. Pinkney still at the head of it all.

“I’m very pleased, and I’m very happy that the hard work and the time and the sacrifices have paid off so that others can see what you can achieve if you just keep focused on your goal,” said Pinkney.

“She saved the Historic Hampton House, she saved Georgette’s Tea House, so many other historic buildings, and the cemeteries,” said Jacqui Colyer, Chair of the Historic Hampton House Community Trust, Inc.

Pinkney said her dedication comes from the importance she puts on knowing one’s own history.

“Because of my love of history, and because I want to know them, as much as I can about me, and I want other people to know their heritage and their history and the legacy of their forebears,” said Pinkey.

It has earned her the respect of a community as being a sort of savior of African-American history in South Florida.

“She has been just been a great person to watch, and as I think of the different things she fought through, saving this Hampton House,” said Forchion.

“I’m willing to do whatever I can, to help wherever I can, because I think that’s what I’m supposed to do,” said Pinkney.

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