New director introduces local Black Archives and Historic Overtown to an international stage

New director introduces local Black Archives and Historic Overtown to an international stage

BAHLT Press Release

Kamila E. Pritchett, who assumed the role of executive director of The Black Archives History & Research Foundation of South Florida, Inc. in July of last year, has big plans for the nonprofit organization.

“For an organization that has been around as long as The Black Archives, it is important to keep growing, and evolving to remain relevant with the interests of society-at-large,” said Pritchett.

“The Black Archives has restored our properties, enlivened the neighborhood with activity at the Historic Lyric Theater, gained solid financial support with the goals of sustainability and now, I believe we are at the place in our journey where the world needs to know about the important work we are doing at The Black Archives.”

Last week, Pritchett was invited to travel to Sandefjord, Norway as an guest speaker for the Arkivforbundet National Norwegian Archives Conference. She was invited to present on the work of the Black Archives and the importance of its mission, specifically in the face of the current anti-black history legislation in Florida and nationally in the U.S.

In March, two Norwegian archivists visited the Black Archives while in Miami on vacation. They took a tour of the archival repository and learned from Pritchett about Miami’s rich Black history and the work being done to preserve it. They were so impressed by what they had learned, they offered Pritchett a flight to Norway to share her story.

“It is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, to have people on the other side of the world have more respect and interest in the history of Black people in the United States than some of our own neighbors,” Pritchett said. “No matter how challenging it can be, the work of history keeping is vital to society –and so, we persist.”

This year, the Black Archives is celebrating the 110th anniversary of the Historic Lyric Theater, which was opened in 1913. Follow them on Facebook @BlackArchivesMIA or Instagram @bahltsoflo to find out about upcoming events.