There’s a beach in Miami that marks the history of segregation in America — and Black residents are fighting to preserve it.
Virginia Key Beach Park was founded Aug. 1, 1945, as Miami’s only beach for people of color, including Black residents. And because of resolutions passed in the Florida House and Senate in March, Aug. 1 is now officially Historic Virginia Key Beach Park Day.
“It was a place where segregation literally worked to the advantage of the Black community,” Gene Tinnie, chairman of the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust, said.
In May 1945, seven Black people led a “wade-in” at the all-white Haulover Beach. The act of civil disobedience eventually yielded the establishment of Virginia Key as the “colored only” beach. Though Virginia Key’s size and location was inferior to other beaches in South Florida, including Crandon Park just a few minutes away by car, the Miami Black community embraced Virginia Key as its own.
Virginia Key boasts amenities that were usually associated with white-only beaches, such as its carousel, running train and colorful cabanas.
Click link below for full Miami Herald Story.