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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Miami in Miami-Dade County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Virginia Key Beach Park

 
 
Virginia Key Beach Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, December 2, 2014
1. Virginia Key Beach Park Marker
Inscription. Virginia Key Beach Park is an environmental and historic landmark located on a barrier island. Its earliest recorded history is of an 1838 skirmish during the Second Seminole War in which three Seminoles were killed on this site. From the early 1900s onward, during the era of segregation, this location became a popular unofficial colored recreation area, popularly known as "Bears Cut." In 1945, following a bold protest led by Attorney Lawson E. Thomas and others to demand an officially designated beach, Virginia Key Beach was opened on August 1, "for exclusive use of Negroes." The new park, at first accessible only by boat, was an immediate success, attracting over 1,000 visitors on any given weekend. In addition to the baptisms and sunrise services which regularly took place, churches, organizations, and families gathered here for memorable picnics and social events. The park brought together all neighborhoods and social classes of the "Colored" community. By the early 1960s, another courageous protest brought segregation to an end. The beach park is a symbol of the efforts of Black Miamians who persevered to bring about change for future generations.
 
Erected 2006 by A Florida Heritage Site sponsored by the City of Miami Parks and Recreation Department and the Florida Department of State.
Virginia Key Beach Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, December 2, 2014
2. Virginia Key Beach Park Marker
(Marker Number F-573.)
 
Location. 25° 44.102′ N, 80° 9.375′ W. Marker is in Miami, Florida, in Miami-Dade County. Marker can be reached from Virginia Beach Drive 0.4 miles north of Rickenbacker Causeway (State Road 913), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4020 Virginia Beach Drive, Key Biscayne FL 33149, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Congregation Beth Jacob (approx. 2.9 miles away); Brickell Park (approx. 3.1 miles away); Mary Brickell Park (approx. 3.1 miles away); Saving the Circle (approx. 3.1 miles away); The Miami Circle (approx. 3.1 miles away); The People of Brickell Point (approx. 3.2 miles away); The Miami Circle at Brickell Point (approx. 3.2 miles away); Vizcaya (approx. 3.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Miami.
 
More about this marker. The marker is located on the Atlantic Ocean beach next to the bath house and snack bar. The park is directly off Rickenbacker Causeway connecting Key Biscayne and Miami. Nearby facilities include the Miami Seaquarium, a major tennis center, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
 
Also see . . .
Virginia Key Beach Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, December 2, 2014
3. Virginia Key Beach Park Marker
1. The Seminole Wars. (Submitted on December 4, 2014, by Marsha A. Matson of Palmetto Bay, Florida.)
2. Little Known Black History Fact: Virginia Key Beach, Paradise Lost. (Submitted on December 4, 2014, by Marsha A. Matson of Palmetto Bay, Florida.)
3. Historic Virginia Beach Park. (Submitted on December 4, 2014, by Marsha A. Matson of Palmetto Bay, Florida.)
4. Remembering protest that led to opening first beach for Black Miamians. May 10, 2015 Miami Herald article on the opening of Virginia Key Beach for blacks in Miami in 1945. (Submitted on May 10, 2015, by Marsha A. Matson of Palmetto Bay, Florida.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansCivil RightsNative AmericansWars, US Indian
 
Virginia Key Beach image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, December 2, 2014
4. Virginia Key Beach
Virginia Key Beach image. Click for full size.
By Marsha A. Matson, December 2, 2014
5. Virginia Key Beach
Virginia Key Beach image. Click for full size.
By FlashbackMiami.com (Miami Herald History Series)
6. Virginia Key Beach
Colored Only Sign image. Click for full size.
By Virginia Key Beach Park Trust
7. Colored Only Sign
Collaborative Archive from the African Diaspora, University of Miami Libraries
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 4, 2014, by Marsha A. Matson of Palmetto Bay, Florida. This page has been viewed 302 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on December 4, 2014, by Marsha A. Matson of Palmetto Bay, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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