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Many African American singers and musicians performed on Miami Beach, but the laws of the day prohibited them from staying in the hotels. Stars like Billie Holiday would return to Miami, often performing in Overtown for “late-late shows.” Georgette’s Tea Room in Brownsville housed many celebrities of the day, and Billie Holiday maintained a room of her own at the inn for her frequent visits to the city.  


Opening in 1913, the Lyric Theater quickly became a major entertainment center for blacks in Miami. The 400-seat theater was built, owned and operated by Geder Walker, a black man from Georgia. In 1915, The Miami News described the Lyric Theater as, "Possibly the most beautiful and costly playhouse owned by Colored people in all the Southland." The Lyric Theater served as a symbol of black economic influence, as well as a social gathering place free of discrimination. It was a source of pride and culture within Overtown.  


Black Archives founder Dorothy Jenkins Fields grew up in a home across the street. "It was quite a vibrant time," she remembers. "We couldn't go to white town, but they could come to Colored Town and do whatever they wanted."  

Billie Holiday

  • 2011

    Giclee on Canvas.

    Back of canvas is signed.

    Mat is signed & numberd.

  • Dimensions:

    W x H x D

    20 x 20 x 1/8 inch

    50.8 x 50.8 x 0.3 cm

    With Mat

    22 x 22 x 1/4 inch

    55.9 x 55.9 x 0.6 cm


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