Biography: Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, once called ‘Bears Cut’, was frequented in the early 1900’s by Black settlers arriving on the island by ferry from a dock at the end of Fifth Street, in downtown Miami. Established on August 1, 1945 as ‘The Colored Beach’ this site immediately became a spot for social gatherings sacred to Black residents who made weekly trips to enjoy amenities such as the carousel, the dancing pavilion or the mini-train that would run through the enormous park. During this era, there was a lack of beach facilities for Blacks and this 1000-acre barrier island characterized by a unique and fragile natural environment, served as the recreational location for those who wanted to bask in the splendor of the sun and ocean. Former City of Miami Commissioner, M. Athalie Range was instrumental, together with the Virginia Key Beach Park Trust, in adding this remarkable landmark to the National Register of Historic Places in June 2002. In partnership with Urgent Inc., the Trust organizes a community drum circle that brings everyone together to celebrate in unity.