Mark Braxton: Miami as Text 2021-2022

Photo by Melinda Braxton CC by 4.0

Mark Braxton is a sophomore at Florida International University and is double majoring in International business as well as supply chain management. He is 20 years old and from Pensacola Florida.

Downtown Miami as Text

Photos of Downtown Miami CC by 4.0

Miami is one of the wildest cities in the country. With its sprawling skyscrapers and bustling neighborhoods its hard to think that it ever was different. Miami is a city that was built on the backs of many and still keeps that diversity alive today.

One of the first places we visited was Fort Dallas. It is one of the oldest buildings in Miami that is still standing today and was created by slaves and used as their quarters. When you walk up and touch you almost get a sense of connection between the people who put all of their hardworking into creating this. Right next to this was a strange wood building with a even stranger story behind it

This wooden building used to be home to a man named William Wagner. he was a German immigrant who decided to marry a French creole immigrant who had children. He chose to build this house right by the fort because he was a soldier and wanted to live by the base. I think that it is very crazy how a mixed race couple built their house by former slave quarters in a time where that was very taboo.

One of the next building that we observed was the brutalist styled Miami Dade County Courthouse. This building was one of the coolest one I got to see whilst on my tour. the one thing that was strange about this building was the statue that was at the front. This statue was of Henry Morrison Flagler, a man who brought the railroad from the north and took advantage of the minority people. He even went as far as to make a “colored part of town” which is now known as Overtown. This building is actually structurally unsound and the courthouse is going to be moved. Hopefully this time they will put a statue of someone more deserving.

One of our last stops was the freedom tower. This tower used to be known as the Miami Daily News tower, until the influx of immigrants in the 20th century it got its name the freedom tower. Most of all the immigrants from Cuba came through this building. It is so significant in Miami culture some people call it Elis island of the south.

By Mark Braxton of FIU at Downtown Miami, 1 September 2021.

Overtown as Text

Photos of Overtown/ Hialeah Race track by Mark Braxton CC by 4.0

Overtown/ Hialeah

By Mark Braxton of FIU at Downtown Miami, 1 September 2021.

When I first heard about the Historic Overtown I did not know what to expect. I was pleased to find out it was a wonderful place with amazing people.

We started our journey from the metro rail At Santa Clara station. We ran into a small kitten and got to see a beautiful work of art that showed the diversity of Miami. After looking around the station we went to Historic Overtown and walked around looking at all the historical sites such as the African American archive. While walking around I noticed that something was off. The interstate seemed to cut through the middle of Overtown. This caused major damage to the community as a whole.

Since the threat of rising sea levels is rising more developers in Miami are looking to develop other parts of the city. This gentrification is about to cause even more damage to this community. While we were outside of a 100-year-old church we saw a high rise the was built on top of an old elementary school. this high rise’s average rent was $2,700 a month. This price is much higher than the rent that normal people can afford and is causing people to slowly be moved away from their homes.