• Purple, yellow, gold and orange sponges and soft corals wave against a turquioise sea.

    Biscayne

    National Park Florida

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Park Seeks Recollections of Homestead's "Blacks Only" Beach

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Date: October 11, 2011
Contact: Charles Lawson, 305-230-1144, x067

Biscayne National Park is seeking the assistance of southern Miami-Dade county residents and former residents with the collection of personal recollections and photographs of the segregated beach that existed at Homestead Bayfront Park during the years of Jim Crow in South Florida.

In the late 1950s, Dade County, Florida constructed a "Blacks Only" beach separate from the "White" beach at Homestead Bayfront Park. It operated for several years into the 1960s before the beaches were desegregated back into one. Currently, Biscayne National Park's Visitor Center at Convoy Point resides at the former site of the Black Beach, on property purchased from Dade County in the late 1960s. Biscayne National Park is looking for interviewees to share their memories and photos of time spent on either of side the segregated beach during the 1950s and 60s. The park hopes to collect these interviews as part of an "oral history" of the site that can be used to help guide our public interpretation of this formative period of the park's and America's history.

Oral histories are frequently collected by the National Park Service as a way to forever preserve the remembered past. They are especially important when seeking personal perspectives of past events that are rarely recorded in the written record. In the case of the "Blacks Only" beach in Homestead, Florida, the park seeks to learn and share the history of the site as well as to identify the impacts on the lives of the people and families that used the beach during the turbulent years of the Civil Rights movement in southern Florida.

If you have memories you would like to share, please contact Charles Lawson at 786-335-3676 or by e-mail to schedule an interview. For regular updates from the park, "like" us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/BiscayneNPS, or follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/BiscayneNPS.

Did You Know?

Pat Cummins' painting of mangroves at Adams Key

Rotating art exhibits in Biscayne National Park's Dante Fascell Visitor Center Gallery highlight the works of both established and emerging artists who are inspired by the park's natural beauty.