THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Until the lions tell their story, tales of the hunt will only glorify the hunter.
Timothy A. Barber is a native Miamian and matriculated through the Miami-Dade County Public School System. Barber attended and graduated from Bauder College formally located in Oakland Park, Florida in 1993 with a Specialized Associate of Science degree in electronic engineering technology. After working in the field of electronics for several years, Barber entered Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee in 1996 to further his academic career.
He is a trained musician, and former Head Drum major of the world-famous Florida A&M “Marching 100.” He concluded his service with the band as the head drum major for two consecutive terms (2001 and 2002), an honor that had not been accomplished in ten years.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Education in 2002. Concluding his tenure at Florida A&M University by earning a Master's degree in History in December of 2003. During his master's theory work, he began engaging the late Professor James Eaton and Dr. Murrell Dawson at the South East Regional Black Archives on the campus of FAMU. He received his formal archival management and administration training under Dr. Dawson. Later Dr. Dawson introduced him to Dr. Dorothy J. Fields in Miami where he fulfilled his semester internship requirements.
In the fall of 2003, he began working at the Black Archives in Miami as an archivist intern. Upon graduation, Barber was hired as the assistant archivist at the Black Archives where he developed and perfected his craft in collection management. In 2004, Barber attended and successfully completed The Georgia Archives and the Atlanta Regional Consortium for Higher Education in conjunction with training at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 2006, Barber was promoted to Archivist and Curator at the Black Archives, and during this time he was appointed to the City of Miami Historic and Environmental Preservation Board where he served as chair of the board for many years. He has been an attendee, participant, and presenter at many national workshops on preservation, conservation, archiving, and museum administration. He has attended the Institute of Museum and Library Science Connecting to Collections Symposium in Buffalo, NY; Association of African American Museums Conferences; Society of American Archivist Workshops; Preservation American Conference; Leadership Initiative for African American Museums in Birmingham, AL; Restore America and many, many, more.
In August of 2009, Barber was selected as the executive director of the Black Archives History & Research Foundation of South Florida. He was extremely excited about the opportunity to serve the community in which he was raised and in the capacity of executive director at the organization that he served as a faithful employee for sixteen (16) years.
As executive director, he raised over five (5) million dollars in programming funds and was key in securing annual sustainable funding for the Black Archives. Barber envisioned the Black Archives having an online searchable database, and successfully secured two (2) IMLS grants beginning in 2009 to do so. He successfully completed the third phase expansion of the Historic Lyric Theater through a Ten (10) million dollar Miami Dade County General Obligation Fund, which reopened in February 2014.
After opening the new 56,000 square foot facility and rebranding it as the Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater Cultural Arts Complex, he was key in securing the Visions of our 44th President Barrack Obama exhibit from the Charles Wright Museum and co-curated the exhibition in Miami in 2016. He expanded the Black Archives holdings of original artwork of the late Purvis Young from 21 pieces to over 200. Barber curated the showing of the Funky Turns Forty Black Character Revolution on loan from the Museum of Uncut Funk and exhibited in Miami as part of the 40th Anniversary of the Black Archives. He led the charge, raised the funds, and managed the second restoration of the historic D. A. Dorsey House, home to the richest black man in Miami built in the 1920s. Barber has curated No More Blues exhibition and countless other exhibitions throughout Miami.
Barber has been successful in creating original programming at the facility and beyond like Lyric Live, Expressions, and Glasshouse Comedy Fest. In 2019, Barber successfully led the 2nd restoration of the historic Dana A. Dorsey House with only a $150,000 grant from the SEOPW CRA, and money raised from a go fund me drive.
Barber said, “It is great to now be able to bring to fruition those dreams and visions of Dr. Dorothy Jenkins Fields, who is the founder of the Black Archives. Along with former and present board members, trustees, and friends of the archives, it gives me the motivation to continue the journey and build on the work that they have done for the thirty-two (32) years prior to me being selected to be the director. Their persistence in the face of trials tribulations, and the financial sacrifices that they made to keep the organization open, inspires me to carry the mantle and continue on the path that they have forged.
Barber is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity, Inc., Society of American Archivists, the Association of African American Museums, which he now serves on the Board of Directors. He has been an adjunct professor of history at Florida Memorial University, and formally the past chair of the City of Miami, Historic, Environmental, and Preservation Board.