Laura Hernandez Nuñez : Miami as Text 2022-2023

Laura Hernandez Nuñez

Lhern389@fiu.edu

I am currently a sophomore majoring in International Business studies with a minor in Economics at Florida International University. With my degree, I would love to facilitate networking and job opportunities between international firms with a focus on the Floridian and Spanish markets. I would also like to create businesses internationally or join a law firm specializing in international business law. I am a firm believer in academic honesty, excellence, and struggle. Some of my favorite activities are reading, keeping score of my reads on Goodreads, hanging out with friends and family, as my top love language is quality time, and going on walks with my dog.

Historic Miami as Text

“Power of Love ” by Laura Hernandez Nuñez of FIU at Lummus Park Historic District.

The power of love is uncontrollable. It is the driving muscle that propels humans to do unimaginable things. Love can be excruciating, intoxicating, and all-consuming. But it can also be one of the most powerful tools humans hold when making history.
Lummus Park harbors the former residence of the Wagner family. This infrastructure is commonly known for being the oldest structure in Miami. I must admit the longevity of the abode impressed me, but it was truly the history made within those walls that reached my soul. This home was built in 1855 by a mixed-race couple consisting of William Wagner, a German immigrant, and his French-Creole wife Eveline Aimar. William and Eveline fell in love and hoped to start a family, but several discriminatory laws prohibiting the marriage of interracial couples prevented them from doing so. Determined by the magnitude of their love, the Wagner family traveled to South Florida following the end of the Seminole Wars and made a living off the land. Moving to South Florida allowed them to start a family, but it did not make their lives easy. Due to the difference in skin color, their children suffered the hardships of racism. The children of the Wagner family grew up in a society that did not cherish their lives. They were often the target of cruelty due to their biracial identities. Moreover, during this time tensions were high between the members of the Seminole tribe and settlers following the gruesome wars. This breach provoked conflict between members of the tribe and settlers. Regardless, the Wagner family opened their doors to the Seminoles and befriended them. It is inspiring to observe how the Wagner family, after being rejected and outcasted by the majority of society due to their love, still held enough compassion to acknowledge the value of every human being.


After learning the history behind the Wagner residence, I am utterly convinced this residence holds unimaginable value to society and should never be demolished. I believe William and Eveline’s story is truly admirable and will be able to move other people as much as it moved me. Their story proves that kindness and love always matter, regardless of past treatments, judgments, or race. The love William and Eveline held for each was so pure and raw that it helped them survive in a time when loving someone different was penal. William and Eveline’s love changed the course of history forever, and it has inspired me to share my love frequently and unapologetically. I think their story proves how powerful love can be when making history. The ability to love without limits is a tool that exists within all of us. This force can help us do unimaginable amounts of good, but if not careful, it can also cause tremendous damage. Wagner’s story inspired me to expose those pieces of myself I am scared to share with the world due to fear and rejection. It inspired me to be fearless and love others fully and unapologetically.

The power of love is uncontrollable. It is the driving muscle that propels humans to do unimaginable things. Love can be excruciating, intoxicating, and all-consuming. But it can also be one of the most powerful tools humans hold when making history.

Overtown as Text

“A Place to Call Home ” by Laura Hernandez Nunez of FIU at Overtown  on September 21st, 2022

 It wasn’t until I moved to the United States that I discovered how little I know about human suffering. I have always lived a privileged life. I was born in a wealthy country to diligent parents who cared for me in every aspect of my life. I have always had a roof over my head, warm food on the table, and clothes on my back. Most importantly, I have always had a place to call home, somewhere I could fall back on. Naturally, this is something I failed to recognize growing up. It wasn’t until I came to the United States that I found how important it is to have a place to call home. That is what Spain is to me, a familiar place of warmth and comfort. A place I can revisit, where I know my barrios, my customs, and my people. Alberta Godfrey made me realize how fortunate I am to have a place to call home.

Overtown is one of the most culturally impacting places I have ever visited. I was mesmerized by the culture of the once vibrant neighborhood where artistry and music overflowed the streets. Standing in front of Lyric Theater, I could almost imagine a time when every corner of little Broadway boomed with musicians and pedestrians who brought joy and music to the streets. It is incredible to consider that Overtown was the core of the Civil Rights movement in Miami. Many influential figures one day rummaged the streets of this neighborhood. The neighborhood where black families lived and thrived. A place these families could call home. Now all that is left are the pieces of a once-upon-a-time thriving ecosystem. We have destroyed a place of peace and comfort for many families, blinded by our greed and lack of human decency merely impulsed by our desire to build bigger, better, and fancier establishments. Failing to realize the importance of cultural and historic sites where so many historical figures have made history. The culture, the buildings, the life. The recognition of black excellence and culture. We have destroyed Overtown, and now the damage is too grave to repair.

I will forever be grateful to Alberta for what she taught me in a matter of hours. I will never forget the story of her neighborhood and her people. How she poured all her love into her people and her community, fighting for it. The history of Overtown shinning so vividly within her I could almost see it. Her story inspired me to do better, to go out into the world, and make a difference. To have compassion. Everyone deserves to have a place to call home. Alberta’s home was destroyed, gentrified, and remodeled to meet society’s standards. Losing in the process the masterful piece Overtown contributed to the history of Miami. Luckily, not all hope is lost, as the history of Overtown still lives in the hearts of its people. What a shame we can no longer enjoy Overtown in all its greatness and glory. What a shame community has lost its home. 

 

Author: Laura Hernandez Nunez

I am currently a sophomore majoring in International Business studies with a minor in Economics at Florida International University. With my degree, I would love to facilitate networking and job opportunities between international firms with a focus on the Floridian and Spanish market. I would also like to create businesses internationally, or join a law firm firm specializing in international business law. I am a firm believer in academic honesty, excellence, and struggle. Some of my favorite activities are reading, and keeping score of my reads on goodreads, hanging out with friends and family, as my top love language is quality time, and going on walks with my dog, no explanation needed here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: