America s Playground by Derrick Adams © Jeff Greenberg/Alamy
In honor of Miami Art Week, which is underway right now in Miami, we"re looking at a work called "America"s Playground" by New York-based artist Derrick Adams. The installation was featured during 2018"s Art Week and was inspired by a 1969 photo Adams found in the Black Archives at the Historic Lyric Theater in Miami. The photo shows African American children at a playground beneath a freeway in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood, a historically African American neighborhood which was nearly destroyed by highway construction in the 1960s. The construction displaced thousands of black residents from their homes, threatening the livelihood of the community. In the late 1960s, city officials and private donors pieced together funding to install a playground under the new overpass. The park was well used for a time, but due to lack of lighting and maintenance, it eventually fell into disuse.