Little Known Black History Fact: Virginia Key Beach, Paradise Lost

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Virginia Key Beach was designed as a unique vacation spot strictly for blacks in 1945. Built in Dade County, Virginia Key Beach was the answer to Florida’s whites-only beach problem pre-civil rights. Prior to its establishment, NAACP activists staged a “wade-in” at nearby Baker’s Haulover Beach, which was whites-only. Although the organization had hoped for a spectacle and arrest, the city officials refused to acknowledge their request and decided to address the issue with segregation. That prompted the birth of “Virginia Key Beach, a Dade County Park for the exclusive use of Negroes,” in 1945.

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