A section of Miami’s oldest neighborhood has been formally designated “Little Bahamas of Coconut Grove,” honoring the historically Black enclave established by Bahamians in the nineteenth century, well before Miami was incorporated as a city. The Bahamas Diaspora Association is proud to announce the name designation of “Little Bahamas” of Coconut Grove on Monday, August 22, 2022 at the Stirrup House, 3242 Charles Ave, Coconut Grove, FL 33133 at 12noon.
“This recognition of the historical significance and the impact of the contributions made by the Black Bahamians is long overdue. It was the many skills (planting, building, nautical, etc.) that they brought to Miami’s oldest neighborhood (Coconut Grove) that helped to transform it from lush wetlands to a thriving productive community. They were skilled with working with the coral rock … they could plant on it and use it to build structures. They brought with them flowering plants and fruit bearing trees and planted them. The list of their contributions is extensive,” says Mr. George Simpson Jr., Association Committee Chair.
Some of the earliest Black Bahamian pioneers were:
- E. W. F. Stirrup, Sr. arrived in 1894, working in the pineapple fields by day and clearing land by night to build on. He became the first black millionaire in Florida and upon his death in 1957, he owned over 200 properties, primarily in coconut grove. He built houses so other Bahamians could come and have a place to live.
- Daniel Anderson (grand father of Thelma Anderson Gibson) arrived in1880 as a seaman (worked for both Monroe families); nick named: “Father Dan”.
- Mariah Brown (1st Black homeowner in Miami) arrived in 1889 to work at the Peacock Inn.
- Rev. Sampson (1895: Started the 1st Black Church in Miami Dade County: Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church – orig. called St. Agnes – located on Evangelist Street).
All of these families’ homes and businesses that they built were initially on Charles Avenue (formally Evangelist Street) which has historic designation. The celebration will be held on this historic street at the site of “The Stirrup House”. Below are the specifics for the event:
WHO: The Bahamas Diaspora Association
WHAT: Little Bahamas Designation of West Coconut Grove
WHEN: Monday, August 22, 2022; 12:00 PM -3:00 PM
WHERE: Stirrup House, 3242 Charles Avenue, Coconut Grove, FL 33133
To register to attend the event please visit this RSVP link.
For interviews and media inquiries contact Kechi Okpala at Publicity@Kechthis.com or 718-213-1702. For more information contact Dr. Enid Pinkney at 305-297-7912.
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