Art Africa Miami is located in historic Overtown, a neighborhood just northwest of Downtown Miami. Originally called Colored Town during the segregation era of the late 19th through the mid-20th century, it was the preeminent center for commerce in the black community in Miami and South Florida, and was later known as known as "the Harlem of the South."
Overtown's hallmark is its unique character and resilience of the people who live there. The Urban Collective continues to spotlight the distinctive cultural heritage of this community with its commitment to hosting the Art Africa Miami Arts Fair yearly in Overtown and creating a burgeoning art and creative scene. Each year we will continue to bring alive venues that were once gems to the community in the 1950’s and 60’s.
During segregation, black performers booked to perform for white audiences on Miami Beach were not allowed to stay overnight, so they headed "over town" to black owned hotels to sleep, and to party and perform for appreciative locals and visiting celebrities. Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald and many more played the Knight Beat, the Harlem Square, and other clubs in Overtown.
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