Black Grove Conversations

In February 2020, the Vizcaya Village had the privilege of hosting “A Rich and Forgotten History of Black Coconut Grove.” Held in partnership with the G. W. Carver HS Alumni, it was the first in a series of community discussions designed to explore and share the early history (late 1800s-early 1900s) of the Black Coconut Grove community through the eyes of Black artists, historians, and scholars.

In an effort to continue amplifying Black voices, sound bites from this event are being shared on Vizcaya’s social media channels weekly. Catch up on what has been shared below and follow on social media for new installments.


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Carol Henley, VP of the G. W. Carver High School Alumni Association, talks about the significance of this local high school and the importance of knowing the stories and history of your community.

What was life like in a segregated Coconut Grove? .
Mrs. Thelma Anderson Gibson is back to share a memory of life as a Black child in “colored town,” as it was known then.

Mrs. Anderson Gibson is a descendant of one of Coconut Grove’s early black pioneers. She is also the granddaughter to one of Vizcaya’s cooks and author of the book “Forbearance … The Life Story of a Coconut Grove Native.”

Did you know that Charles Avenue was a cornerstone of the Black Coconut Grove community in its early day? Listen as Mrs. Thelma Anderson Gibson shares her memories with us.


Black Bahamians brought with them a world of knowledge and experience that proved invaluable to those unfamiliar with Miami’s climate and landscape. Listen as Dr. Fields sites records that credit this community for their expertise and impact.


Mrs. Thelma Anderson Gibson is back to share the story of her grandfather, Daniel William Anderson, one of the first Black landowners in #CoconutGrove.

Mrs. Anderson Gibson is community leader and author of the book “Forbearance … The Life Story of a Coconut Grove Native.”



There are countless opportunities to continue learning and exploring Black stories. Here just a few wonderful resources:

  • The Black Archives | Connect with the past and explore Black history in Miami
  • Special Collections, University of Miami Libraries | Discover stories of struggle, community challenges, and hope for Black Miami in the 20th century. Through a combination of personal papers, books, professional photography, fliers and reports of civil rights activities at this online resource, “The Civil Rights Movement and the Black Experience in Miami”



Ready to use your own voice? Take action towards change by voting in the upcoming elections. Learn about the issues and how to register to vote online.