FLORIDA CITY — The Miami-Dade County branch of the NAACP on Monday will discuss issues surrounding the display of the Confederate Flag in Homestead.
Led by Homestead Mayor Lynda Bell, all seven members of the Homestead City Council voted on April 20 to shut down the Homestead/Florida City Human Relations Board (HRB), which addressed racial issues in both cities.
Bell said the HRB was not taking on matters that are important to her city’s residents. The board’s members, however, said they believe the city council was trying to block their efforts against the display of the Confederate Flag at taxpayer-funded events.
The controversy flared up after black residents complained that they were surprised by Confederate States organizations that were allowed to participate in the November 2008 Veterans Day parade.
The Greater Homestead/Florida City Chamber of Commerce organizes the parade, which receives financial support from the city. The chamber invited the Sons of Confederate Veterans to participate.
Group members wore Confederate Army uniforms and displayed the Confederate battle flag as they made their way along the parade route, down Krome Avenue. Some black residents who attended the parade said they were offended, and sought to have the organizations and their memorabilia barred from future events.
Supporters of the Confederate Flag say it is a symbol of southern pride. Opponents, including many members of the black community, say it is a reminder of slavery, lynching and racial intolerance.
The NAACP last month petitioned the Miami-Dade County School District to keep students and school bands out of events where the Confederate Flag is displayed.
A week later, the Homestead City Council voted to dissolve the Human Relations Board.
Officials with the school district are reviewing the NAACP’s request, but have yet to reach a decision as the controversy continues to brew.
The NAACP meeting is open to the public. It will take place on Monday, May 18, starting at 7 p.m., at the Covenant Missionary Baptist Church, 1055 NW 6 Ave. in Florida City.
For more information, please call 305-248-5561.
Pictured above is Miami-Dade NAACP President Victor Curry.