The Max Reddick Experience

A replica of a home built by Mariah Brown & her husband, believed to have been among the first black Bahamian settlers, is fenced in and covered by weeds on Charles Avenue in Village West.  In this 1890 photo provided by HistoryMiami, Bahamian immigrants stand on the property of the Peacock Inn in the Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami. In this photo dated 1890 provided by HistoryMiami, Bahamian immigrants stand outside the Barnacle boathouse in the Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami. The community was the first black settlement in

South Florida’s First Black Neighborhood Is Struggling (PHOTOS)

MIAMI (AP) — When the first black residents of South Florida arrived in the 1880s from the Bahamas to work at the Peacock Inn on Biscayne Bay, they established the Village West neighborhood in Miami’s Coconut Grove section.

The neighborhood thrived in the early 1900s with many black-owned businesses and single-family homes. But after World War II ended, many of the homes were torn down and replaced with large apartment buildings. Today, many of those apartment buildings are in disrepair and the residents are struggling. There are many vacant lots, boarded up homes, empty storefronts along the main thoroughfare of Grand Avenue and numerous properties for sale, slated for development.

Here is a look at the neighborhood, and some of its residents, through photos:  [Continue reading article and view addition photos.]

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