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MLK Hallandale Beach Is Rich In History

By Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper

January 11, 2024

This weekend we will be celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Over the past months the Community Civic Association under the leadership of President Qunea Gordon in partnership with our Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Schanz have been tirelessly working to put together our Annual MLK Parade and Celebration this Monday. On Saturday there will be a Scholarship Fundraising Breakfast at our Community Cultural Center at 9:30 a.m. These events have been taking place for years and have grown into one of four major events we put on as a City.

In the past the Civic Association formerly the Northwest Civic Association did the Parade along the side streets in what is now called the Palms Area. Former Vice Mayor Julian brought forth the suggestion from the NWCA to extend that parade route to West Hallandale Beach Boulevard. While it seemed like a huge challenge to close down part of Hallandale Beach Boulevard it turned out to work wonderfully.

The route now begins on Northwest 2nd Avenue heads south to HBB then west to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. From there it heads north to OB Johnson Park on Northwest 8th Avenue. The parade route is closed off including West Beach Boulevard to traffic from approximately 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. It culminates at the park where there is a festival with food and fun for the entire family, the event is FREE for everyone.

It is apropos this event is the pride of the community. The rich history of our African American Culture in Hallandale Beach reaches far back before the City was established. In 1903 the earliest referenced date then referenced in 1910 the first Black school was opened here. The school is still standing and was used as a Union Hall for years. It was restored and was rededicated as a historical site in 2015.

Before the City was incorporated in 1897 Luther Halland came and settled along the Flagler Railroad. He opened a trading post on First Avenue and was the first Postmaster. The City was a farming community known for Tomatoes and other Local Crops. In 1927 the Town of Hallandale was incorporated and in 1947 we were incorporated as the City of Hallandale.

Around this time Developer E H Foster, namesake of Foster Park and two other developers began to build homes for many Black families from Miami. They believed in supporting ownership and felt it unfair the many families were paying large amounts of rent. As a note these men were all White.

Carver Ranches “The Promise in the Palmettos” was born. Many homes both in Carver Ranches and Hallandale Beach were built and became the hub of Black Culture. This was one of the few areas people of Color could own and live in peace. Back then there was sadly still Segregation. It was not unusual to see Sam Cooke and James Brown along Foster Road in establishments like The Palms. They would come to entertain in Casinos and clubs. This was one of the few areas they could stay.
As our City evolves and our country and world are faced with Racism and Antisemitism we need to understand and remember our history. It was only back in 1960 the Lanier James Junior High was an all Black School due to Segregation. This was only 53 years ago!

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous speech in Washington in 1963. So, you can see we often forget simply how fresh the scars are from this bleak history. The horrible face of hatred was not only in our City but our state and nation.

As we unite this weekend, I encourage all of our residents to come out and watch the parade and share in this wonderful event. Let us all remember how fragile our Democracy has become over the past few years. Let us all unite and share the support of all our brothers and sisters as we celebrate the life and message of Dr. King.

He stood shoulder to shoulder with many Rabbis and Pastors to speak out against Segregation and Oppression. As Antisemitism is on the rise and there are so many young Americans who are ignorant of the true history of not just Israel but of our country the time is now to unite. As Americans we should always stand against tyrants and groups that want to wipe out Jews.

As in WWII not only did Nazis go after Jews they proceeded to go after all minorities and marginalized individuals that were Disabled, Homosexual and Gypsies. While Nazi collaborated with the Arab countries due to their shared hatred towards the Jews, the Christians, the British, the French and Communism they still believe Arabs are inferior.

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. so eloquently shared. “When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, Black men and White men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

As always please feel free to contact me anytime with your questions, concerns, and ideas to make our City a better place! I am available at: Or: On my Office Number at: (954) 457-1318. Or on my Cell/Text at: (954) 632-5700. You can always visit my Facebook and follow me at: Mayor Joy Cooper!

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