Miami mayor signs resolution to create Virginia Key Beach Park Civil Rights Museum

Virginia Key Beach known as 'colored beach' during segregation

By Neki Mohan - Anchor/Reporter

MIAMI - A special signing ceremony was held Monday regarding the future of Virginia Key Beach. 

"It's my honor to sign this as the mayor of Miami," Mayor Francis Suarez said.  

Suarez signed a resolution to create the Virginia Key Beach Park Civil Rights Museum. Virginia Key Beach was known as the "colored beach" during segregation.

"We want to make sure that we preserve its history and its legacy, not only for those who experienced discrimination back when the beach was segregated, but for the next generation -- to teach them so that they never repeat those mistakes," Suarez said. 

Errol Braynon Jr. said he remembers going to the beach as a child.

"This is our beach. This is your beach. This is everyone's beach. But it started out with people who dug a path where there was no path, and now, we're going to build a highway," he said. 

Maude Newbold also went to the beach as a child. She said she is honored to be a founding trustee of the museum that will honor it as an oasis for black families.

"It was a way to escape the city, to come out to a soothing environment where children were safe," she said. 

The signing of this resolution opens the way for Miami-Dade County to appropriate funds to help them build the museum.

The museum will honor the past but embrace the present and the future of Virginia Key Beach.

"We are all citizens," said Eric G. Knowles, of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce. "We are all here together. This is our beach now."

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