New Podcast Highlights the Rich History of Coconut Grove’s Black Community

Three Black women share their stories

MIAMI – Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is proud to partner with local matriarchs to produce a new podcast highlighting the history and accomplishments of Coconut Grove’s Black community. Titled “The Rich and Forgotten History of Black Coconut Grove,” this three-episode series features stories from legacy residents of the neighborhood’s establishment and through their life experiences from the 1930s to modern-day.

Vizcaya has been working with Black leaders in Coconut Grove since 2019, striving to build better relationships with the community while researching the estate’s past. In February 2020, Vizcaya joined forces with the G.W. Carver High School Alumni Association to launch a multi-part community forum, bringing together Black thought leaders to share their experiences and history of Coconut Grove.

With the rise of COVID, the team quickly pivoted to transform the remaining engagements into a podcast of the same name, allowing these stories to live on in perpetuity.

“We’ve been working with these women for years and hearing their stories firsthand has been such a gift. Now, getting to share those stories for a much larger audience is exciting and is so important. The stories featured on this podcast provide an intimate look into this community and in listening to these legacy residents, we learn how heritage is powerful and empowers us,” said Rebecca Peterson, podcast host and Community Programs Manager at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.

The podcast features interviews with Leona Louise Cooper Baker, Carol Ann Davis Henley Bird, Edwina Winifred Marie Prime, Thelma Anderson Gibson, Enid Pinkney, Iral Porter, and Clarice Cooper. There is also an interview recorded by Cooper Baker in the 1980s, featuring Rebecca Gibson.  They share the everyday events of the time as well as scandalous events.  The goal is not only to share their experience through segregation and post-segregation, but also to spotlight the accomplishments of scholars, doctors, and other prominent figures in the community.

To listen to the podcast, HERE or search for “The Rich and Forgotten History of Coconut Grove” on your preferred podcast platform.



Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a National Historic Landmark that preserves its cultural and environmental resources to engage people in connecting with the past, understanding the present and shaping the future. Built between 1914 and 1922 as the winter home of farming manufacturer James Deering, Vizcaya is one of the most intact remaining examples from this era in the United States, when the nation’s most successful entrepreneur-built estates were inspired by the stately homes of Europe. Vizcaya features a Main House filled with a decorative art collection, 10 acres of formal gardens, a rockland hammock (native forest), mangrove shore, and a historic village that is being restored to tell Vizcaya’s full story and provide additional spaces for programs and community outreach, including those on agriculture. Vizcaya has been a community hub since it opened to the public in 1953; it welcomes 300,000 visitors annually.


Located on Biscayne Bay at 3251 South Miami Avenue, Vizcaya is open Wednesday through Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Tuesdays, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. For more information, visit, connect via social media, or call 305-250-9133.