Brightline and The Black Archives History and Research Foundation of South Florida are excited to unveil a groundbreaking interactive exhibit, “Echoes of Overtown: A Legacy Preserved,” at MiamiCentral. Through this activation, The Black Archives and Brightline seek to honor and recognize the significance of Overtown, fostering a deeper understanding of its cultural contributions and creating a space for dialogue and appreciation that invites visitors to explore Overtown.
The interactive experience was unveiled on Wednesday, Jan. 31, at Brightline’s MiamiCentral station located in Overtown, where Brightline was joined by members of the Black Archives, Commissioner Keon Hardemon, members of the community and media to celebrate the launch of the exhibit, which will be on display through February. The evening commenced with an opening message from Kamila E. Pritchett, Executive Director of The Black Archives, who shared the unique history of each represented landmark displayed in the exhibit.
“I am thrilled to unveil our interactive historical exhibit at Brightline Miami Central Station,” said Pritchett. “This immersive experience is not just a collection of historic photos; it’s a journey through time, culture, and resilience. Our goal is to transport visitors on a journey through Miami’s significant Black history, and invite them to further explore the cultural landmarks of Overtown. We invite everyone to join us on this exploration of heritage as we proudly showcase the richness of our history at the crossroads of innovation and cultural significance.”
“Connecting communities is more than transporting people; it’s connecting people to history, culture and knowledge, said Patrick Goddard, Brightline President. “It is exciting to partner with The Black Archives, once again, to unveil this exhibit. “‘Echoes of Overtown: A Legacy Preserved’ is not merely a display but a journey beyond our physical space. We believe in its ability to foster unity and appreciation for our unique community’s heritage.”
How to experience immersive exhibit “Echoes of Overtown: A Legacy Preserved”
“Echoes of Overtown: A Legacy Preserved” is an interactive exhibit unveiling the vibrant history and profound contributions of eight key cultural landmarks that have shaped the intricate tapestry of Overtown, Miami. Guests will scan QR codes that will direct them to further information about the landmarks listed below and how to visit them.
  1. Clyde Killens Pool Hall: Dive into the lively atmosphere of Clyde Killens Pool Hall, a cultural hub where the community gathered for leisure and camaraderie.
  2. Historic D.A. Dorsey House: Explore the Historic D.A. Dorsey House, the residence of Miami’s first African-American millionaire, which stands as a testament to entrepreneurship and resilience.
  3. Booker T. Washington High School: Discover the academic legacy of Booker T. Washington High School, a cornerstone of education and empowerment for generations of African-American students.
  4. Dr. S. H. Johnson X-Ray Clinic: Witness the impact of the X-Ray Clinic, a healthcare institution that played a crucial role in providing medical services and advancing community well-being. 
  5. Historic Lyric Theater: Experience the cultural heartbeat of Overtown at the Lyric Theater, a venue that showcased legendary performances and celebrated the arts.
  6. Historic Mount Zion Church: Immerse yourself in the soulful sounds and spiritual significance of Mount Zion Church, a beacon of faith that has stood the test of time.
  7. The Historic Black Precinct and Courthouse Museum: Learn about the historic Black Precinct, where trailblazing African-American police officers served the community and broke down barriers.
  8. The Ward Rooming House: Step into The Ward Rooming House, a residence that played a crucial role in providing accommodations and fostering a sense of community.
This marks Brightline’s second partnership with The Black Archives. In 2021, Brightline and The Black Archives collaborated on an exhibit that featured original works by Purvis Young. The art installation, located inside the MiamiCentral PREMIUM Lounge, featured original works by the renowned artist who was born in Liberty City and lived and painted in historic Overtown. Open to all Brightline guests, the Purvis Young exhibit featured 19 original pieces.