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Miami Black publisher and civil right activist inducted into Florida Press Association Newspaper Hall of Fame

Garth Reeves (266462)
Garth Reeves

The publisher of Miami’s African-American newspaper during the Civil Rights era has been inducted into the Florida Press Association’s Newspaper Hall of Fame. Garth Reeves inherited the Miami Times from his family after serving in World War II, where the hypocrisy of fighting for freedom while living in segregation at home angered him. The association says the Bahamian native “exercised his clout to ‘prick the conscience’ of other Miamians in order to bring about social justice.” The association says his paper provided “an important perspective that other Miami newspapers often ignored.”

The 99-year-old Reeves was unable to attend the ceremony in Orlando on Friday, Aug. 10. Last year, the city of Miami honored Reeves by naming a street after him. The street is the home to the area’s historic Lyric Theater and the Black Archives History and Research Foundation of South Florida. Reeves was a key component in the fights for civil rights in Miami, and at 99, he says current times remind me of the era when Black people could only golf on the city’s public course on certain days, and when people of color were banned from the beaches, except on Virginia Key. Reeves was part if a group that stage a protest at Crandon Park on Key Biscayne. Along with fiver others wore bathing suits under their business suits, stepped into the water and swam for about 15 minutes, and no one stopped them. From that point on, Blacks started going to the beaches around South Florida. “I’m gonna make it to 100. I say a lot of prayers about it and [God] listens to me,” Reeves told the crowd at the street naming last year, reports the Miami Herald.