Black Police Precinct Courthouse and Museum Director’s Message
WOW! What a year of groundbreaking moments we have had at the City of Miami Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum. We welcomed four new team members to our staff as well as new volunteers who were essential for special events throughout the year. If you’re reading this you already know we implemented a monthly newsletter, which has become a resource for guests who wish to stay connected to the museum from anywhere in the world. Speaking of launches, our very first online gift shop debuted on Black Friday. This gave us greater reach in to the community and you greater access to the unique merchandise we have in stock! 2023 also allowed us to explore new and innovative ways to connect with you, our community. We joined in with Nickelodeon’s Our World – Worldwide Day of Play to offer safety tips and strategies around gun laws and safety practices for storage and protection of firearms. We were also part of the Emmy-Award Winning Crossing Overtown; directed/produced by Scott Barnett of Fuxion TV. This gave the museum a national platform to share our local history.
Our on-going partnerships with community-based organizations (CBOs) like the Women’s Club of Overtown, Armstrong Creative Consulting, StephanieCreates, Overtown Children & Youth Coalition, Key2Miami, MyHistoryTour, and Tap Tap Tours have all provided community access to the museum for both out-of-town visitors and local residents. To aid in these and other endeavors, we are proud that we were awarded grant funding from the Southeast Overtown/Parkwest Community Redevelopment Agency (SEOPW CRA); which allowed us to continue our oral history collection efforts and our efforts to preserve our rich history. The support from Efroymson Family Fund, which came about after a member of the Efroymson family toured the museum and learned of our mission, will allow us to explore off-site oral history collections and provide additional resources around the importance of this historic institution. Of course, you, our friend and neighbor, joined us on Give Miami Day and Giving Tuesday to show your support for the museum and together we were able to raise thousands of dollars that will go towards programming and preservation of our beloved institution.
This year we welcomed hundreds of students on school tours as well as emerging artists into our Community [Activities] Gallery, where extended exhibits and workshop/events are hosted and presented. These efforts were supported through our partnership with Dade-Heritage Trust and The Villager’s Restoration and Preservation Grant. The list could go on and on, and we are grateful for the exciting moments 2023 has afforded us.
As we look back on our year, we cannot overlook that just a year prior, the world was still halted due to the pandemic. Several local businesses and even human lives were compromised as a result of COVID-19 and its long-lasting implications. To this day, our museum is facing the challenge of restoring history and ensuring that the legacies and contributions of so many Black folks are not diluted nor diminished due to changes in our political and social climate.
I am thrilled to announce that the museum is working closely with other local institutions, such as the Black Archives, HistoryMiami Museum, Wolfsonian and Florida International University to amplify the voices of the Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) to share Miami’s rich contributions to world history.
Happy New Year,
Black Police Precinct Courthouse and Museum Board Members
Police Chief Clarence Dickson, Ret., Chair
The first Black to attend the Miami Police Academy. Prior to 1960 Blacks and Women were denied this training. It took 16 years for Blacks to break this barrier. Dickson graduated June 14, 1060. In this fight for equality the Black Officers of the “Old Precinct” opened the door to a more level playing field. Dickson was the first through that door and it was from that playing field that he progressed from Police Officer to Sergeant, to Lieutenant, to Major, to Deputy Chief, to Assistant Chief and finally became Miami’s first Black Police Chief On January 11, 1985.
Police Sergeant Willie Jackson Ret., Vice President
Sergeant Willie R. Jackson, Jr. is retired from the City of Miami police Department. He serves as a volunteer to several community organizations. He mentors young people in addition to, mentoring the Miami Police Explorers. Sergeant Jackson is the President of the National Black Police Association (NBPA) Miami Chapter. He is a member of the NBPA Century Club, the Institute for Social Justice, the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice (NABCJ), and a Life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Police Lieutenant Archie McKay, Ret., Treasurer
Lieutenant Archie McKay Ret., holds the distinction as one of the few living police officers who served in the segregated Negro police precinct in the 1950’s. Lieutenant McKay went on to become one of the outstanding distinguished police investigator after the integration of the white police headquarters. Lieutenant McKay is considered to be one of the “pillars” of the community. He worked Uniform Patrol, Detective Bureau Burglary and Robbery. He went beyond the basic job as he dealt with victims of crime. He helped to bring about a positive change in their lives always willing to listen.