The Historic Lyric Theater
Opened 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 Metropolis newspaper 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- and a source of pride and culture within Overtown.
The Black Archives
The Black Archives History and Research Foundation of South Florida, Inc. was founded in 1977 by Dr. Dorothy Jenkins Fields as a non-profit organization to collect and preserve the rapidly vanishing material that reflects the African American experience in Miami-Dade County. Over the years, the collection has grown, and the Black Archives is now a national resource for this history of the 19th and 20th centuries, providing a rich repository of materials that is used by scholars, students, teachers, the media and the community alike.
THE BLACK ARCHIVES
History in the Making
In 1988, The Black Archives, History and Research Foundation of South Florida, Inc. acquired the Lyric Theater. The Archives have three types of collections based on provenance:
Black Archives Records
Collections created by The Black Archives to document the activities of the Black South Florida ethnic community are considered to have ethnic provenance and are called Subject Collections because they are generally formed around a subject.
Collections created during the administrative activities of The Black Archives have organizational provenance and are called the Black Archives Records Collections.