Little Haiti (French: La Petite Haïti, Haitian Creole: Ti Ayiti), is a neighborhood of Miami, Florida, United States. It is known historically as Lemon City, Little River and Edison. It is home to many Haitian immigrant residents, as well as many residents from the rest of the Caribbean. The fastest growing group in the area is Hispanic.
La Petite Haïti
Lemon City (historic name)
Little Haiti neighborhood within the City of Miami
|• City of Miami Commissioner||Keon Hardemon|
|• Miami-Dade Commissioner||Audrey Edmonson|
|• House of Representatives||Dotie Joseph (D) and Cynthia Stafford (D)|
|• State Senate||Larcenia Bullard (D), and Oscar Braynon (D)|
|• U.S. House||Frederica Wilson (D)|
|Elevation||7 ft (2.1 m)|
|• Density||9,946/sq mi (3,840/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-05 (EST)|
33127, 33137, 33138, 33150
|Area code(s)||305, 786|
Little Haiti is a known neighborhood of Haitian exiles. The area is characterized by its French–Creole designations, with its street life, restaurants, art galleries, dance, music, theatre performances, family owned enterprises, and other cultural activities.
Steeped in the complex and rich cultural histories of Caribbean immigrants who brought life to its area, Little Haiti has evolved into a colorful beacon in Miami’s arts communities. Throughout the years, small businesses like celebrated record stores, kitsch bars, and authentic eateries have eased into the neighborhood, creating their own particular patchwork within the already distinct Little Haiti.
The area now known as Little Haiti was called Lemon City for well over a century. Several people settled near Biscayne Bay north of the Miami River after the civil war, squatting on unclaimed land. Some of the squatters eventually applied for homestead grants for the land they were squatting on. By 1889 a community had formed, with a post office named "Motto". "Lemon City" replaced "Motto" as the name of the community by 1893. A school had opened in 1890, and Lemon City also included several businesses and a newspaper, as well as port facilities on Biscayne Bay. With the extension of the Florida East Coast Railway to Miami in 1896, Miami quickly overshadowed Lemon City.
Viter Juste, a noted Haitian businessman, activist and respected community leader, came up with the name of Little Haiti. According to Jean-Claude Exulien, a retired professor of history and friend of Juste's since 1977, Juste wrote an article in the Miami Herald in which he first referred to the neighborhood as "Little Port-au-Prince." However, editors at the Miami Herald found the name, "Little Port-au-Prince," too long, so the newspaper shortened the term in the headline to Little Haiti. Over the objections of historians and African-Americans, Miami commissioners in May 2016 voted in favor of designating Little Haiti as an official neighborhood with boundaries overlapping the historic Lemon City, which was founded by Bahamian immigrants before Miami existed.
As of 2000, Little Haiti had a population of 3,365 and 1,983 residents, with 9,368 households, and 6,181 families residing in the neighborhood. The median household income was $18,887.49. The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 64.92% Black or African American, 4.78% White (non-Hispanic), 14.74% was Hispanic or Latino of any race and 15.56% other races. Hispanic people are the fastest growing group in the area.
The zip codes for the Little Haiti include 33127, 33137, 33138, and 33150. The area covers 3.456 square miles (8.95 km2). As of 2000, there were 14,708 males and 15,357 females. The median age for males were 31.0 years old, while the median age for females were 33.8 years old. The average household size had 3.0 people, while the average family size had 3.7 members. The percentage of married-couple families (among all households) was 27.6%, while the percentage of married-couple families with children (among all households) was 13.8%, and the percentage of single-mother households (among all households) was 20.7%. 2.1% of the population were in nursing homes. The percentage of never-married males 15 years old and over was 21.7%, while the percentage of never-married females 15 years old and over was 22.0%.
Rooted in the Haitian immigrants that sought refuge here in the ’80s, today Little Haiti, has some Afro-Caribbean culture mixed with global trends. Restaurants in this area showcase a diversity and mix of tastes and settings.
Little Haiti is a small, non-touristy pocket in Miami where you can experience authentic Haitian culture and flavors. Go there for a real glimpse of life in the Afro-Caribbean culture and a taste of what the island’s unique ambiance and people have to offer.
Little Haiti’s main strip is NE 2nd Avenue. This region is “ripe for improvement” as one local activist in the area put it. Neighboring Wynwood and Design District have quickly become popular arts and culture havens with streets lined with galleries and commercial art storefronts. The whole area, in just a handful of years, has been overtaken by an artistic energy and an appreciation for high-design and street-art. It’s only natural that the area north of the Design District, nestled due north of these two increasingly popular neighborhoods, deserves some attention of its own.
With the development of Wynwood and the Design District and the increasing prices for space in those areas, Little Haiti and Little River have emerged as an indie arts haven.
The eventful programming at the Little Haiti Cultural Center offers just some of the local community initiatives that visitors are welcome to enjoy. Located next door, The Caribbean Marketplace was designed by Charles Harrison Pawley in the style of the typical Haitian gingerbread architecture. The colorful pastel buildings with funky cutout shapes are a great place to stop and peruse local Haitian goods.
The Little Haiti Community Garden is a not for profit organization “dedicated to using traditional farming techniques.” The small space was once an empty and rundown urban lot. Today, the fresh produce that is grown there gives kids and local residents a reason to connect with the earth and provide the community with a gift. The fruits of their labor are for sale at the garden and at the Upper Eastside Farmers Market, a year-round market just a few blocks away.
Named after Jon Mapou, the man who owns and founded this tired little bookstore, Liberei Mapou has been a cultural staple in Little Haiti since it first opened in the early 1990s. While it originally opened as a place to get books, newspapers and other critical reading materials and news sources to members of the Haitian community in Miami, today it’s both a library and a gathering place. With 3,000+ books in Haitian, Creole and English, this place isn’t just any library. Paintings by Haitian artists hang on the walls, live dance rehearsals and drum performances occur within its walls, and on Friday evenings, rumor has it visitors can come and take French and Creole lessons from the owner himself.
Little Haiti’s cultural scene promises a unique 4-6 minutes in the Magic City.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools runs area public schools. Schools within Little Haiti include:
- The Cushman School
- Edison Park Elementary School
- Jesse J. McCrary Elementary School
- Morningside Elementary School
- Toussaint L'Ouverture Elementary School
- Itech @ Thomas Edison Educational Center
- Miami Edison Senior High School
Miami-Dade Public Library System operates all area public libraries, including:
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