Pivotal mass media pioneers of Caribbean descent you should know

Farida Dawkins February 12, 2018

Portrait of Garth Reeves…photo credit: Blogging Black Miami

Garth Reeves

The Bahamian native was born on February 12, 1919, and emigrated with his family to Miami, Florida. It was there that he inherited The Miami Times  – the first Black newspaper of its kind in the 1900s.  Reeves has been an integral figure in the civil rights in Southern Florida.  Though he served in the Army from 1946-1946, Reeves recalls experiencing segregation; he remembers Black residents only being able to play golf on Mondays and not having access to most beaches.

He started his fight for equality by becoming a member of a group that fearlessly swam for 15 minutes at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne.  When he and the entourage he was accompanying weren’t stopped, it became the start to combat discrimination.  Subsequently, he was able to meet with the U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.  Marshall helped Reeves and other activists in their seven-year battle to open up golf course accessibility.

In 2011, Reeves won the National Newspapers Association and the John B. Russwurm awards, which named The Miami Times as the best Black newspaper in the U.S.  In August of 2017, Reeves was garnered as a Hall of Famer by the National Association of Black Journalists.

Being the fearless man that he is, in 2017 his aim was to solicit the assistance of Black churches in the formulation of financial freedom for people of color – including opening up financial institutions.  He also hopes to launch an endowment for the Black Archives in South Miami – of which he is a board member.

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