Liberty City, Miami, Florida

Liberty City, Miami, Florida

Liberty City is a neighborhood in northwest Miami, Florida, within Miami's city limits. It is listed as "Model City" on many Miami websites, however the name is rarely, if ever, used by anyone, especially local residents and South Floridians. [cite web |url=http://www.ci.miami.fl.us/nets/pages/ModelCity/ModelCity.asp |title=City of Miami-NET: Model City (Liberty City) |publisher=www.ci.miami.fl.us |accessdate=2008-06-11]

The area comprises more than half of Miami-Dade County's nearly half a million African American and Afro-West Indian communities (as of 2000 Census). Liberty City's boundaries are roughly as follows: Northwest 79th Street to the north, Northwest 27th Avenue to the west, Northwest 41st Street to the south, and Interstate 95 to the east.

Demographics

As of 2000, [cite web |url=http://www.miamigov.com/Planning/pages/services/Census.asp |title=Demographics of Liberty City Miami, FL. |publisher=miamigov.com |accessdate=2008-06-11] Liberty City had a population of 23,009 residents, with 7,772 households, and 5,428 families residing in the neighborhood. The median household income was $18,809.87. The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 3.04% Hispanic or Latino of any nationality, 94.69% Black or African American, 0.59% White (non-Hispanic), and 1.68% Other races (non-Hispanic).

History

Liberty City is named for the Liberty Square Housing Project built in the late 1930s for Miami's low-income African-Americans, the second of its kind in the South at the time.

Liberty City is home to Miami Northwestern High School which has had a student population of more than 2250 students the past four years with more than 90% African-American and 6% Hispanic. Liberty City also produced the Miami Heat's Udonis Haslem and professional wrestler Alvin Burke, Jr. (better known by his stage name MVP). Darlyne Chauve's art studio and gallery is in Liberty City. Liberty City has produced many of Miami's rap stars.

Known for its contributions to black politics championed by former black congressperson Carrie P. Meek the area now has its own college. The college is called the EEC, short for the Entrepreneurial Educational Center. The Center has attracted top-notch faculty -- including attorneys, scientists, and scholars -- whose mission is to level the playing field in this inner city locale. Special credit goes to EEC Librarian Theodore D. Karantsalis who has developed what is considered to be the finest collection of black literature in the area.

Liberty City is also the location of New Covenant Presbyterian Church of Miami, which was the first Christian congregation of a main-line denomination to be organized for the specific purpose of being an integrated congregation.

In 1980, the infamous Liberty City Riots broke out after an unpopular verdict in a 1979 case of white-on-black police brutality. The acquittal of five white police officers that beat a black motorist to death sparked the violence. By the time the rioting ceased the following morning, over 850 people had been arrested and 18 people lost their lives, including eight whites and ten blacks.

Police officers had pursued motorcyclist Arthur McDuffie in a high-speed chase. The officers claimed that the chase ended when McDuffie crashed his motorcycle and died. The coroner's report concluded otherwise. One of the officers testified that McDuffie fell off of his bike on a I-95 off ramp. When the police reached him he was injured but ok. The officers removed his helmet, beat him to death with their batons, put his helmet back on, and called an ambulance, claiming there had been a motorcycle accident. These actions were later admitted to by one of the officers while on trial. An all-white jury acquitted the officers after brief deliberation.

Liberty City was the focal point of the infamous drug wars of 1998, where Anthony Fail feuded with fellow John Does gang members. This feud began when the leader Corey Smith was taken down by Miami Police, which Fail saw as an opportunity to take control of the gang and reclaim revenue from drug sales.

Liberty City is also home to the Miami Workers Center. A strategy and organizing center for low-income communities and low-wage workers in Miami-Dade County. Initiated in March 1999, the Center’s mission is to work to end poverty and oppression. The Center’s most significant achievement has been the initiation and development of Low Income Families Fighting Together (LIFFT) – a grassroots membership organization of and for current and former welfare recipients, low-wage workers, and public housing residents that has become a growing force in Miami-Dade County. In these efforts the Miami Workers’ Center joins arms with South Florida’s low-income people to address issues of poverty and limited opportunity. Liberty City is a notoriously dangerous area of Miami as criminality is usually tied to this section. Liberty City leads the nation in various different crimes, and after a stereotypical remark was made at a press conference with Miami mayor Manuel A. Diaz about street crime, he stated "Miami is a rough city, but its no LA or New York". Liberty city and Miami is still known to be dangerous in some areas, but it has not reached the capabilities and statistics to be on the countries "Most dangerous cities list" with New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Camden,NJ, Philadelphia, Atlanta, St. Louis, Detroit, Gary, IN and so on and so forth.

Notable residents

*Alvin Burke, Jr. (known in professional wrestling as Montel Vontavious Porter or MVP)
*Luther Campbell
*Darlyne Chauve
*Udonis Haslem
*Arthur McDuffie
*Carrie P. Meek
*M. Athalie Range
*Mickey Rourke
*Trick Daddy
*Trina
*Yahweh ben Yahweh
*Chad Ocho Cinco
*Bershawn Jackson

References

ee also

*Liberty City Riots
*Liberty Square Housing Projects/Pork 'n' Beans Projects
*Miami Workers Center
*Nation of Yahweh
*New Covenant Presbyterian Church of Miami

External links

* [http://www.motherjones.com/photo/2007/05/fitting_tribute-10.html Photo Essay: Fitting Tribute by Hank Willis Thomas]


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