During the 1950s and 1960s, Miami beachfront hotels welcomed prominent African American entertainers to perform for all white audiences. Due to segregation, Black entertainers and sports figures, like Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Muhammed Ali, could not sleep or book a reservation at the very hotels for which they drew sold-out audiences. As a result, the local Hampton House Motel in Brownsville became the “premiere getaway for Black Americans visiting segregated Miami.
The Hampton House also served as the hotbed for civil rights and social justice in South Florida. Legendary social activists Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. often held press conferences and met with local and national civil rights leaders at the Hampton House. It is reported that Dr. King also delivered an early version of his “I Have a Dream” speech during an event at the Hampton House before it made history on the National Mall in 1963.
Under the leadership of Dr. Enid C. Pinkney, the first African American president of the Dade Heritage Trust, the Hampton House was designated a Historic Site and now serves as the community hub with office and event space for community groups and rehearsal space for musicians. To learn more about the Historic Hampton House visit https://www.historichamptonhouse.org/.