Melanin Miami....The 1980 Miami Riots

Being Black in America is a struggle...a daily one. It should not come with a death sentence, but unfortunately, that’s all we have experienced since day 1. None of this is new....it’s just recorded now.


On May 17, 1980,Overtown and Liberty City erupted over the verdict given by a Tampa jury claiming they didn’t have enough evidence to support the killing of Arthur McDuffie.


Months earlier, McDuffie, a U.S. Marine veteran and insurance agent, was riding his motorcycle through the neighborhood when a chase ensued, ending with 6-8 officers beating him with clubs, flashlights and fists until he lay lifeless. The officers then tried to cover up the crime by staging a motorcycle accident. Days later, McDuffie died in the hospital.

All hell broke loose when the officers were acquitted of all charges. The story of Miami activist, William Clark, recalls the scene all too well. He says he realized how terrible things had become when a white couple drove by his aunt’s Liberty City neighborhood and he watched a mob shower rocks down on their sedan and drag the couple out of the stopped car and through the street.


It’s unfortunate that this narrative is still being shared 40+ years later. Black men are still being beaten, threatened and killed...not seeing the ”all” in ALL LIVES MATTER. There’s too much trauma, too much mourning, too many hashtags....



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