Liberty Square—a place known by some as the "Pork & Beans" — is a public housing area in Liberty City, Florida. The first public housing project for African Americans in the Southern United States, Liberty Square was lobbied for as part of the New Deal, under the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Liberty Square stretches from 62nd Street to 67th (South to North) and 12th Avenue to 15th Avenue (West to East). Stretching along 12th Avenue is "The Wall," which signified a divide between the black and white communities. Not much of the wall remains, but it's history and its impact still live on.
The voices that you are about to hear have history, passion and melancholy. They belong to residents that know what life is like in Liberty Square and have remained in their community because they genuinely love it. Through the neighborhood’s ups and downs, the residents have remained faithful to their roots by residing in some of the same homes that they grew up in. Naturally, they know that Liberty Square has the potential to be an even better neighborhood and they are also hopeful that with the plans to redevelop the community, it will be just that.
Living in Miami-Dade has never been cheap, and in recent decades, it has become increasingly difficult for residents to afford soaring rents and home prices. As tourism and finance have turned Miami into a global destination, the prices for apartments, condos and homes have continued to rise. Chris Santiago and Aitana Cardoso went out into the city to discover the ways in which some residents are having trouble paying finding an affordable place to live and how the real estate business works in Miami-Dade.
These are the words most often used by the news media when reporting on Liberty City. The media plays a big part in shaping our perception of people and places. The documentary below offers an alternative narrative about Liberty City and the people who live there...
Miami-Dade County has announced plans to redevelop Liberty Square Pubic Housing. But what does that mean for Liberty City residents? What plans are in store for the redevelopment? And what comes next for Liberty Square?
This is not just a story about public housing—at its core are issues of poverty, violence, race, access to education and jobs, and social justice. The redevelopment is only the beginning of the journey for the historic neighborhood in the core of Liberty City.
(From Miami-Dade County Public Housing and Development plans for Liberty Square redevelopment. In order to read the full Request for Application from the county, click here.)