Feb 7, 2023 - Things to Do

New documentary highlights Miami's "Shangri-La" for Black families

Five people stand in front of a backdrop for a movie premiere

From left, Director Jessica Garrett Modkins, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, SBC Community Development Corporation's Mark Valentine, former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis S. Moss, and Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau VP Connie Kinnard. Photo: Joe Wesley with Hip Rock Star via PR Newswire

A new docuseries about the rich history of Richmond Heights in southwest Miami-Dade debuts next week.

What's happening: "Miami's Richmond Heights: The Black Shangri-La" chronicles the origins of the neighborhood key to Miami-Dade's civil rights movement through interviews with the grandchildren of its first residents.

Background: In the late 1940s, during the Jim Crow era, Frank C. Martin, a white developer and former Pan American Airways pilot, turned rural farmland into a housing community geared toward Black World War II veterans, per the Richmond Heights Community Development Corporation.

  • The neighborhood, called Richmond Heights, provided a pathway to homeownership and a middle-class lifestyle.
  • It's now grown to more than 9,000 residents, and its descendants — which include inventors, NASA scientists and NFL players — are working to preserve the neighborhood's legacy.

If you watch: The series will stream starting Feb. 15 on Crackle, LG and PLEX TV.


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