The Miami Heat Amazes All With Black Excellence Tribute for HBCU x D9 Night

The Miami Heat Amazes All With Black Excellence Tribute for HBCU x D9 Night

By: The Culture

It’s Black History month and it is expected that all companies, municipalities and agencies salute Black History.  What the Miami Heat has done was unexpected.  On Wednesday night, the Kaseya Center buzzed with excitement during the basketball game. The arena was filled with anticipation. Under the guise of Clara Stroude Vazquez, Culture & Inclusion Chief for The Miami Heat, the theme Black Excellence: HBCU x D9 Night was birthed.  

This inaugural event drew participants from Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Omega Psi Phi, Delta Sigma Theta, Sigma Gamma Rho, Kappa Alpha Psi, Phi Beta Sigma, Zeta Phi Beta, Howard University, Savannah State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Florida A&M University, Howard University, and Hampton University.  THe evening started with a group photo shoot and throughout the night the programming was electric; National Negro anthem, Divine 9 acknowledgements, Drum Line and Florida Memorial University’s danceline.  

The half time tribute to the roots of the City of Miami was the coup de grace – Miami 162. A momentous poem and storytelling that would honor the 162 Black men who were among the founding fathers of Miami paid a special tribute for Black Miami History.

As the halftime show began, the lights dimmed, and the crowd hushed in anticipation. A spotlight illuminated the center of the court, where more than 200 Black men, including Miami Heat players, coaches, employees, and community stakeholders, gathered. Each of them donned a Miami Heat 162 t-shirt, a symbol of unity and recognition for the original 162 Black men who played a pivotal role in the city’s incorporation.

They stood arm in arm at center court, locking arms to signify solidarity and strength. The significance of this gathering spoke volumes, echoing the historical impact of the 162 Black men who, 128 years ago, participated in the crucial vote to incorporate the City of Miami.

The announcer’s voice echoed through the arena, narrating the profound history that unfolded on July 28, 1896, when Miami was officially incorporated, thanks to the determination and contributions of those 162 Black men. The halftime show was more than just entertainment; it was a living tribute to the resilience, strength, and excellence of the Black community in Miami.

The crowd erupted in applause, recognizing the significance of the moment. The Miami Heat had not only celebrated Black History Month but had also taken a bold step to acknowledge and honor the often-overlooked Black contributions that play a crucial role in shaping the city’s destiny.  The Miami Heat had not just entertained the crowd; they created a poignant moment that would be etched in the memory of the city, fostering a sense of unity, pride, and appreciation for the rich tapestry of American history during Black History month.