Miami historian/activist spearheads charge to erect markers commemorating 3 historically Black communities

A push to preserve history in one of Miami’s most historically black neighborhoods has happy ending.

MIAMI – There is a push to preserve history in one of Miami’s most historically black neighborhoods.

“People were going to forget the struggle as to how we have come to where we are today,” said Dr. Enid Pinkney, historian and director of the Lemon City Cemetery Community Corp. “We don’t appreciate that history. All we’re concerned about is what’s happening now.”

Pinkney has witnessed that history firsthand.

As a Miami historian and a longtime activist, she spearheaded the charge to erect brand new markers, commemorating three historically black communities in Lemon City, now known as Little Haiti.

“It is the people from Lemon City who, with a machete and the strength of their backs, cleared the land to make Miami what it is today. And we don’t know that history,” she said.

A Local 10 News crew was there Monday as city officials unveiled some of those markers — the culmination of a project Pinkney started more than three years ago.

The city even hired a film crew to record a message that will be shown at this week’s city commission meeting to commemorate Black History Month.

“Well, Ms. Pinkney is a figure here in the city of Miami. She’s a wonderful historian and activist here, and she’s been really active in trying to preserve some of the historic landmarks,” said Sandy Dorsainvil, of Miami.

Despite the time it took just to put the markers in place, Pinkney believes the end result will have an impact for generations.

“I think that this is a big accomplishment,” she said. “And I think, I hope, that this begins and serves as an example of our becoming interested in how we got to where we are.”

About the Authors:

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.

Five-time Emmy Award-winning newscaster Calvin Hughes anchors WPLG-Local 10's 4, 5, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts.