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Celebrating Black History Month

Celebrating Black History Month


In celebration of BLACK HISTORY MONTH, 2021, we have curated a group of video interviews from the ArtSpeak archives with people who experienced the Hampton House during segregation, and with prominent Black people in the arts, who are connected to the Miami and South Florida areas.

ArtSpeak is an arts publication platform sponsored by Florida International University’s College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA), in the School of Communication + Journalism. ArtSpeak is currently offered as a website (, where we continuously publish content about all art disciplines; as a periodic e-Magazine that can be read on iPads and iPhones and can be installed through the Apple APP Store; and accessible online through Digital Commons, an open access publishing and archival platform supported by FIU Libraries. Contributors to ArtSpeak are a blend of FIU students, faculty, and a network of talented people who regularly appear in some of the best publications in the world. ArtSpeak supports CARTA’s mission by providing a platform and process for FIU students to critically examine and comment upon the art communities and activities of South Florida, and have the opportunity to publish their work alongside professional writers who are regularly published in The New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times.

Should you wish to receive a complementary subscription to the ArtSpeak e-Magazine and receive quarterly notices about new ArtSpeak content, please email

Beginning March, 2020, the videos below were recorded via Zoom. Click on any video link (below the images). You must be connected to the Internet to view the videos.


A typical night at the Hampton House. Circa 1958. Courtesy of Historic Hampton House Community Trust.


The Historic Hampton House: Most Important Nexus in African American History


In the 1950s and ’60s, when Miami Beach was still segregated and African-Americans were not allowed to sleep there, the HAMPTON HOUSE was an oasis for African-American leaders, activists, performers, and professional athletes, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Sammy Davis Jr., Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Malcolm X, and Muhammad Ali.  The Hampton House was also the setting for the play and feature film, One Night in Miami.




Video Chat with Robert Battle:  From Liberty City to the Big Apple


Miami-born dancer, choreographer ROBERT BATTLE became artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in July 2011 after being personally selected by Judith Jamison, making him only the third person to head the Company since it was founded in 1958. Mr. Battle has a long-standing association with the Ailey organization.




Interview: Nicole Henry — Jazz Vocalist


NICOLE HENRY is an award-winning American Jazz singer. Since her debut in 2004, she has been one of the jazz world’s most acclaimed vocalists, possessing a potent combination of dynamic vocal abilities, impeccable phrasing, and powerful emotional resonance. This year, she will perform in the new musical “A Wonderful World,” the story of Louis Armstrong, debuting at the Colony Theatre in Miami Beach, FL.




Rosie Gordon-Wallace: Founder, Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (DVCAI).


ROSIE GORDON-WALLACE is a recognized curator, arts advocate, community leader and pioneer in advancing contemporary diaspora art. She founded the Diaspora Vibe Culture Arts Incubator (DVCAI) to serve as a local and global laboratory dedicated to promoting, nurturing, and cultivating the vision and diverse talents of emerging artists from the Caribbean Diaspora, artists of color, and immigrant artists.




Astronaut Winston Scott: A Musician in Outer Space


WINSTON SCOTT is a former NASA astronaut and retired U.S. Navy captain. Scott performed a total of five spacewalks on two missions to the International Space Station. Scott grew up in Miami, Florida and is an excellent trumpet player. As a teenager, he sat in with several major bands and performed at the Hampton House in Brownsville. Today, Scott still plays trumpet and performs with the Winston Scott Cosmic Jazz Ensemble.





A Video Chat with Firelei Báez — Artist


FIRELEI BÁEZ was born, in 1981, in the Dominican Republic to Dominican and Haitian parents, and immigrated to the United States at the age of nine. She grew up in the Miami area.   Through a convergence of interest in anthropology, science fiction, black female subjectivity and women’s work; her art explores the humor and fantasy involved in self-making within diasporic societies, which have an ability to live with cultural ambiguities and use them to build psychological and even metaphysical defenses against cultural invasions.





Franklin Sirmans: Director, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)


Director FRANKLIN SIRMANS came to the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) from Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), where he served as department head and curator of contemporary art.  As a curator, writer and editor, Sirmans has established himself as one of the leading voices in contemporary art.