Celebration of Black History at City Cemetery, Feb. 25

The African-American Committee of Dade Heritage Trust will celebrate Black History month by sponsoring the 22nd annual Commemorative Service and Youth Talent on Parade on Sunday, Feb. 15, 3 p.m., in the Miami City Cemetery, 1800 NE Second Ave., and Biscayne Park located next to the cemetery.

They will honor Christopher C. Scott, a little-known African- American incorporator of the City of Miami. A headstone will be placed at his grave and unveiled during the service.

According to the 1900 United States Census, Christopher C. Scott was born in November 1871 in Georgia. An African-American incorporator of the City of Miami, Scott was a homeowner who lived in Coconut Grove and worked as a plumber. He was present at the debate on July 28, 1896 when the discussion centered on whether Miami should remain a village or become a city.

Scott who was educated and was able to read and write dispels the rumor that Henry Flagler gathered up a group of Negroes who were unable to sign for themselves. Scott took the position that Miami should become a city and voted for the incorporation of the City of Miami.

The full text of the charter shows that the entire charter, including the name and race of each man who stood as an incorporator, was written in the hand of the Clerk of the Court.
Edna J. Williams did the biographical research on Scott.

Also to be honored is the life of Leome Scavella Culmer, who for 21 years served as chair of the Commemorative Service and Wilfred McKenzie, two pioneer members who passed away in 2014. Maud Newbold is now serving as chair.

The talent from Keya, Kayla and Kaysia Curtis; Jaquan Cannon; Jayson Michel; Franklin F. Sands III, and others will entertain the audience under the guidance of Dr. Richard Strachan.

Winners of the essay contest on the topic “Why I Am Proud of My Heritage” will be announced by Anita McGruder and Retha Boone-Fye.

Commissioner Audrey M. Edmonson will make presentations to the essay contest winners and Youth Talent on Parade participants; Laura Lavenia, president of Dade Heritage Trust, and Kevin Kirwin, head of the Parks and Recreation Department, also will bring greetings. Kirwin has made arrangements for the program to be videotaped which will enable others in the community to see it.

The public is invited. There is no admission fee and there will be free refreshments.

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