First Black-Owned and Operated Marketplace is Coming to Miami

Overtown Marketplace, the country’s first Black-owned and operated marketplace, is coming to one of Miami, Florida’s oldest and most historically significant neighborhoods. A soft launch event on August 17th is open to media and special invitees, and will feature a wide range of shopping, entertainment, food, and more

Urban Philanthropies, in cooperation with Urban Pulse Direct, has announced the grand opening of the Overtown Marketplace on August 24-25, 2019. Prior to the grand opening event, the organization will host a soft launch for media and special guests on August 17 from 5-9 p.m. featuring live music, poetry, art, shopping, and more. Both events will be held onsite at the Overtown Marketplace, located at 1000 NW 2nd Ave. in Miami.

Both events will celebrate the revitalization of the Overtown District, one of Miami’s oldest and most historically significant neighborhoods. Adjacent to downtown Miami, the area was originally segregated from the rest of the city and was limited to housing black workers at the turn of the 20th century. As time went on, immigrants from The Bahama Islands, then later Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and other countries arrived in the area, serving as the city’s hub for skilled labor.

Overtown eventually grew into a bustling enclave in the city, in spite of exclusionary Black Codes and Jim Crow laws enforced upon its residents. Black-owned businesses lined the streets and families and culture flourished. Throughout its illustrious history, many of the world’s most renowned African-American entertainers visited and performed in Overtown.

By the early 1960s, the fabric of Overtown was interrupted by the building of major interstate highways, I-95 and I-395 separating the neighborhood into quadrants. Businesses closed, and families were forced to move out. However, recent interest in revitalizing the area have seen great success thanks to the efforts of legacy groups, community volunteers, businesses, and civic and philanthropic organizations.

The groups leading the charge behind Overtown’s revitalization have played a key role in preserving and revitalizing historic sites as well as bringing in new housing options and mixed- use facilities, hoping to reclaim and bring back to life the area’s cultural and historical significance.

The Overtown Marketplace is one such space to proudly call the once-again burgeoning district home and seeks to become an iconic community-centric space that will celebrate the multitude of cultures upon which Miami was built. The space will feature seven carefully curated elements for the public to enjoy and utilize: events, vendors, food, art, The Chill, Content Corner, and culture.

As part of the Grand Opening celebrations, visitors to the Overtown Marketplace will get to enjoy two special events. Saturday, August 24 is Flag Day, with visitors and businesses encouraged to display the colors of their heritage while enjoying art, food, and music that represent the many cultures of Miami. Sunday, August 25 will feature A Taste of Overtown. During this foodie favorite, visitors will be able to stroll through a diverse assortment of food service providers from local restaurants, caterers, and chefs.

The public is invited to the Overtown Marketplace’s Grand Opening activities on August 24-25. For media and other guests interest in attending the soft launch on August 17, RSVP online at www.theovertownmarketplace.com/events/soft-launch-event. Both events are free.

To learn more about the Overtown Marketplace, visit www.theovertownmarketplace.com.

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