Super Bowl party kicks off Black History Month

An Overtown-based foundation held a Super Bowl watch event at the Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater to kick-off Black History Month.

The Feb. 3 event was one of several put on by the Black Archives History and Research Foundation of South Florida.

Timothy A. Barber, executive director of the group, said the organization’s purpose was to show off the rich history of Miami’s black culture.

“Dr. Dorothy Jenkins Fields founded the Black Archives as an archival repository for Miami’s black history from 1896 to present,” said Barber. “A part of that is saving and preserving historic structures like the Lyric Theatre we are in now.”

Fields founded the organization in 1977 and is currently the historian.

On the Lyric Theatre plaza, there were many tents set up with food vendors, games, a DJ and a giant projector to display the Super Bowl.

Kamila Pritchett, operations and programming manager, said that their job is to provide free events like this to activate the neighborhood and provide positive energy.

“Because the Super Bowl falls under the first weekend in February, it’s a way for us to provide a free community event,” said Pritchett. “It may not exactly fall under what you see as black history or preservation, but it’s helping the community building portion.”

Paul Williams, who was born and raised in the neighborhood, said events like these help Overtown become a better community.

“It helps Overtown a whole lot for a lot of black people, especially black people born and raised here,” said Williams. “So now this is for the black community, for what Overtown used to go through.”

Pritchett said this event will be a part of their Black History Month kick-off weekend next year despite the football game being a disappointment

“Now that we have incorporated the Super Bowl event on Sunday, that can be a part of it as well as the fun thing for the people in the community to come out and do,” said Pritchett. “And because it is at a black historic structure, it ties into Black History Month.”