Black Miami in the Twentieth Century

By Marvin Dunn | Go to book overview

3 BLACKS IN EARLY DADE COUNTY (1896-1926)

Black schools and churches developed extensively in Dade County between 1896 and 1926. Even as they did, blacks in Colored Town and elsewhere in Dade County were subjected to extensive and debilitating racial segregation, economic and political exploitation, and on occasion, beatings, maimings, and outright lynchings at the hands of racist whites. Often the police and the Ku Klux Klan were involved. Blacks did not merely accept such treatment as a matter of course, and the community was brought to the brink of race riot several times between 1896 and 1926.


Black Education in Early Miami

The education of black children was not a priority in early Dade County. The city was over thirty years old before black children were able to earn a high school diploma in Miami.

The first public school for black children in Dade County opened in 1893 in the Lake Worth area, ten years after the first white school opened. Since there were no buildings available, the school was housed in the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, which charged twenty- five dollars per year to lease the church to the school. The school's first teacher was J. E. Jones, who taught throughout the 1890s. He was paid thirty dollars per month.

The first school for the children of Colored Town was a wooden building on Northwest Eighth Street between Second and Third avenues, where the Berrien Hotel later stood. Established around 1896 and commonly called Old Washington School, the school taught grades one through six. Later the Fort Dallas Land Company gave the land on Twelfth Street for a new school building where Douglass Elementary School now stands.1

The next school for blacks opened in Lemon City. Although the exact date of its establishment remains unknown, the Miami Metropolis announced on December 9, 1898 that Isaac M. Rawls had been appointed supervisor of the Lemon City Colored School. The Reverend E A. Hamilton assumed the teaching duties for the school's fifty pupils in 1904. He was a college graduate, a rarity for black teachers of the

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Black Miami in the Twentieth Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • PART 1 5
  • 2 - Blacks in Early Miami (1896-1926) 51
  • 3 - Blacks in Early Dade County (1896-1926) 101
  • PART 2 141
  • 5 - The Dade County Civil Rights Movement (1944-1970) 171
  • 6 - School Desegregation 224
  • PART 3 243
  • 8 - Riots of the 1980s 267
  • PART 4 315
  • 10 - Current Status of Blacks in Dade County: An Overview 334
  • Index 393
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