Historic Overtown 

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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Sir John Hotel
Sir John Hotel

photo: The Black Archives

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Historic Lyric Theater Overtown
Historic Lyric Theater Overtown
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Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin
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Lena Horne in Overtown
Lena Horne in Overtown

photo: Judge John Johnson / The Black Archives

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Poolside at the Lord Calvert
Poolside at the Lord Calvert

photo by Sammy Davis Jr.

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Historic Clyde Killens Pool Hall
Historic Clyde Killens Pool Hall

Associate Press-photo: Lynne Sladksy

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Clyde Killens
Clyde Killens

The legendary Clyde Killens photo: The Black Archives

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Sammy Davis Jr.
Sammy Davis Jr.

Sammy Davis Jr. performing 1966

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Josephine Baker & Joe Luis
Josephine Baker & Joe Luis

@ Sir John Hotel photo:The Black Archives

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Dr. Arturo di Filippi & Cassius Clay
Dr. Arturo di Filippi & Cassius Clay

Dr. Arturo di Filippi, founder of the Florida Grand Opera, with Cassius Clay (Muhammed Ali) photo: Miami Herald

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The Lord Calvert Hotel
The Lord Calvert Hotel

photo: The Black Archives

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Sam & Dave
Sam & Dave

photo: Sam_Joyce Moore via Miami Herald

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