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Virginia Key Beach


Miami’s historic Black-only beach opened in 1945. The luxurious Miami Beach we know today was off-limits to Black Miamians without a work-only permit. Therefore, Virginia Key opened as a sacred and safe haven for the Black community as a major gathering place. It remained segregated through the 50s but was closed in 1982 by the city of Miami due to claims of the high cost of maintenance and operations. In 1999 the Virginia Key Beach Trust was established as a board of Black stakeholders to oversee the park and in 2002 was registered as a National Historic Place. In 2022 the park was taken over by the Miami city commission in replace of the historic trust with talks of placing a homeless encampment on the site.