Ten Great Moments in Black Miami's Music History

It's true, the legendary Sam & Dave started out in Overtown.
It's true, the legendary Sam & Dave started out in Overtown.

The Miami Times is one of America's oldest continually running black newspapers, and the largest one in the Southeast. In 2011 they were recognized by the Black Press of America as the best newspaper in the country. Since 1923 they've been the essential documenter of life in black Miami.

Their back issues are a treasure trove of historical material on independent music in America, and the important role the City of Miami has played in its birth, growth, and ascension to a globally significant cultural phenomenon.

Here then are ten great moments in music history presented with primary source documentation from the Miami Times.

10. Marian Anderson's Integrated Concert at Dade County Auditorium, 1952

The operatic and classical stylings of contralto singer Marian Anderson were just as great as her efforts to fight racial prejudice through musical expression. Starting with an Easter Sunday concert on the steps of the Washington Monument attended by 75,000 and listened to by millions on the radio in 1939, Anderson was a lifelong fighter for equal rights. Her Miami concert made big news because, as with all stops on her tour, she refused to perform unless it was for a fully integrated audience. The review of the concert notes that she 'thrilled the audience time and again with folk, classical, and spirituals, and there was not one iota of segregation of any kind.' Anderson is pictured below on a visit to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Smith at 1295 NW 67th St.

Ten Great Moments in Black Miami's Music History
via Miami Times newspaper January 1952

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