Neal Adams

Resident

Resident

Neal Adams

“Our people when they first came here, they were from Overtown and then they moved out and came to Brownsville. And most of the people who came to Brownsville came because they wanted to own their own home. It was homeownership oriented, they wanted to own land, they were tired to rent property, they wanted to own property and have their own homes. Very much homeowners oriented. Number two, we had a very strong civic association, with emphasis on registration and voting. We tried to get people to register and to vote, and from there. And we developed the Brownsville Improvement Association and we've done something historic here that’s never been done anywhere else in America. We built and financed ourselves a Brownsville Community Center, it’s the only one like it in all of America. It was built, paid for, by black people, working people, poor people, we didn't have any no grants.”

“We were political, the thing that I think speaks best about us is that we had, once, we had our big voting rallies and all that we did something that blew the people of mind downtown. That was we voted together, and we voted as a bloc, and they could not understand that. As the saying goes necessity is the mother of invention. When my father went and knocked on doors and started asking you to register and vote. They didn't know. And they didn't understand, they hadn't been voters before they never been about, and many of them were angry with him for intruding, on them, and asking them they register to vote, but they obeyed, they did what he said. And some of them, 15, 20 years later, came back and told him. I used to hate you. I used, but I didn't realize at the time that you were making me a citizen. I just didn’t know it and I'm happy that you did. But I didn't know, I didn't understand all that. I didn't want you coming to my house and be knocking on my door, but you came in and they came back later and appreciated. So, we were known as the voting bloc. Now, let me say this, there were, and they can, they can check the records. There were two big voting blocs in all of Dade County. There was Annie Ackerman, up at she was up in Aventura, she had that the condo votes. She had them and my father, had the black vote out in here. Not everywhere but out in here, and they were the people that had the most solid blocs for votes and all of Dade County, Aventura among the white and Brownsville among the black.”

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