By Jessica Espinoza
February is Black History month, and Miami Shores Village is celebrating by launching the 2022 Black History of Miami Shores Exhibit at Brockway Memorial Library. Open to the public Monday through Saturday, the free exhibit will be up and running between the hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., closing earlier on some days.
The Black History of Miami Shores Exhibit was first launched in 2020, depicting decades of local history and connecting it further to American history.
According to the pamphlet on the exhibit, “the intent and purpose of this exhibit is to document the de jure and de facto laws and attitudes about race that were present in Miami Shores Village and also prevalent in the segregated South and the nation as a whole.”
The exhibit aims to start a conversation about local history among members of the community. To do this, the updated exhibit will take viewers right up to the present day.
For 2022, South Florida People of Color (SFPoC) will be updating the exhibit to reflect the progress the Miami Shores community has made toward being inclusive and equitable. Further, this year is the 90th anniversary celebration of the incorporation of Miami Shores Village, which took place on January 2, 1932.
The information is compiled by SFPoC based on research from primary sources such as the Miami Shores Village Council Meeting minutes and Miami Shores Village property deeds, as well as secondary source material from newspaper articles and local history books.
Further, representatives at SFPoC stress the importance of locals remembering the history of Miami Shores and recognizing the progress being made.
“It is important to remember and acknowledge the past if we as people are to progress forward toward equality and justice,” said Roni Bennett, the executive director of SFPoC.
Eleana Dinarte, a sophomore Spanish translation and interpretation student, believes that this exhibit is significant because it is important to learn about cultures outside of your own.
“I do think that it’s important to know these things, especially if you live here,” said Dinarte. “You should be aware of the local history.”
Learning the history of your home city is always important in helping you connect to and understand the place you live in.
“History is what shapes people and their environments, and if you’re aware of your local history you can not only increase your own general knowledge but also help shape the culture around you,” said Dinarte.
Dinarte recently attended another Miami Shores event which highlighted the Black community—Jazz Jennings. The event honored Black transgender people who have lost their lives, educating the community about their history.
“This country was built on the oppression of the Black community, so it’s important to celebrate, recognize, and acknowledge Black culture, Black lives, and Black impact,” said Dinarte.
The Brockway Memorial Library is trying to do exactly that.