In an exclusive announcement on Feb 2, Hip Rock Star announced a 2-part docuseries, “Miami’s Richmond Heights: The Black Shangri-La.” Crackle, Plex, and LG were among the streaming platforms that released the DocuSeries’ world premiere on Wednesday, Feb 15, 2023.
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What Is “Miami’s Richmond Heights” Based On?
Based on the book, “Images of America: Miami’s Richmond Heights” by co-authors Patricia Harper Garrett and The Historic Society’s Founder and Executive Director, Jessica Garrett Modkins, “Miami’s Richmond Heights: The Black Shangri-La” explores the lives of early Black World War II veterans in detail and the rationale of the white developer Captain Frank C. Martin who perpetuated social change during Jim Crow.
Furthermore, this book explores the unique circumstances allowing Black veterans to flourish despite suppression by the system. In 1949, Frank C. Martin made the courageous and unpopular decision to establish an autonomous community for these veterans. His pioneering work advocating for and developing the Black veteran community during difficult times was a beacon of hope. This demonstrated the power of one individual to bring about positive change.
Throughout this documentary series, we meet the grandchildren of the 1949 Black World War II veterans. We learn how they became successful in their professions and about their legacy. Additionally, the documentary explores the socioeconomic fabric of this period, including segregation and civil rights. For example, according to data from 2022, 74.6% of White households owned their homes, compared with 45.3% of Black households — a gap of more than 29 points.
In her remarks at the premiere of the docuSeries, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said, “I’m thrilled that this is the way we’re kicking off Black History Month. I could not be more delighted that Jessica…put together this incredible tribute. We have great history right there in Miami-Dade County, right here, and must not be forgotten! I just wanna say I’m super, super proud of this great team.”
Watch the “Miami’s Richmond Heights” trailer below.
Jessica Garret Modkins, Executive Producer, Director, and Writer of Miami’s Richmond Heights: The Black Shangri-La, also declares her enthusiasm at being able to present the documentary. She argues that the documentary tells the story of the original residents, veterans, Tuskegee Airmen, doctors, and university professors.
“In 2017, we debuted the foundation in the documentary “The 49er.” This project focuses on the grandchildren living the wildest dreams of the original pioneers. It is beyond measure that these grandchildren are inventors, NASA scientists, NFL players, the vice-president of the NBA,” said Garret. Continuing, she said we personified Black World War II veterans’ dreams of a legacy and the birth of industry leadership.
Who Is In The Film, And With Whom Are They Partnering?
Furthermore, the film contains interviews with Samuel and Queen Armstrong, Jubbie Deon Battle, Jubbie Battle, LaTeef Battle, Senator Dwight Bullard, Marvin Dunn, Patricia Harper Garrett, Robert Linton II, MD, MBA, Frank Carroll Martin, Charles Minder, Jacquelyn Cambridge Porter, Melissa McGhee Proctor, Sheldrick Redwine, Dr. Alvin Smith, Larry Spring, LaTasha Stirrup, LaToya Stirrup, LaTrice Stirrup, Mark Valentine, Avery Washington, and Dr. Graylyn Swilley Woods.
“Miami’s Richmond Heights: The Black Shangri-La” works closely with the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB). The GMCVB aims to promote Miami as a premier tourist destination by providing comprehensive visitor information, marketing, and sales services to ensure a successful visit for all travelers. Also, the film receives the support of APEX Content Ventures, which provides investment for Media Owners in exchange for media assets and deals in and around that project to enable them to create and obtain quality content.
Watch the documentary here.
For more information, follow “Miami’s Richmond Height’s” social media here.