By Contributor Alexis Brown, creator of Social Xchange Miami
Miami is a magical place that boasts great weather, unique events and one-of-a-kind cultural diversity. This diversity informs experiences that easily connect people with like interests, such as music, food and the arts. These experiences, however, are rarely curated for Black residents of South Florida. This lack of culturally-relevant programming, specifically for young black professionals, led me to create Social Xchange. Over the past six years, we have grown from curating monthly happy hours for young black professionals to hosting some of the largest events in the region. In parallel, other companies with similar missions and values have emerged and expanded.
Every Memorial Day weekend, Miami residents that elect to stay can often feel like prisoners in their own city. This is especially true for Black people. As a woman of color, the thought of going to the beach to have some fun on a long holiday weekend gives me anxiety. The thought of a good time on the beach is overshadowed by the realities of traffic, restricted roads, paying top dollar for everything and (drum roll, please) a heavier-than-usual police presence. While it is no secret that every year thousands of out-of- towners flood South Beach for a weekend of wild and crazy fun, where does that leave the Locals? Once again, this is especially true for residents of color that don’t want to get caught in the craziness of “Urban Beach Weekend”. While Memorial Day weekend is only four days out of the year, the narrative of the weekend has lasting effects on curators that cater to the wide range of Black residents in South Florida.
Now, I, and other curators, who work year-round to create safe spaces for black professionals to unwind and enjoy our beautiful city, are extending our efforts to Memorial Day Weekend. These efforts serve to counter the negative narrative around Black tourism during this and other holiday weekends. Below is a list of select Black curators in South Florida. The events that we host this weekend and beyond cater to not only African-Americans, but to populations throughout the African Diaspora.
Here is a selection of fun, diverse events that are hosted by Black Curators like myself that young professionals may enjoy during the weekend.
I Hope the information of the events below will liberate you to not be afraid to enjoy Miami During Memorial Day Weekend!
Day Party Vibes
SocialXchange | Day La Soul 90s-2000s Party
Saturday, May 25 | 5pm-10pm
African Elite Entertainment & Ankara Miami | Afrobeat Day Party
Saturday, May 25| 6pm-12am
2K Life | 2K Pool Party
Saturday, May 25 | 2:00 PM – 9:00 PM
The Link Upp | Bad & Boozy Brunch Party
Saturday, May 25 | 12pm-8pm (Early Arrival/ Reservations Suggested)
Big Three Alliance | Beyond Brunch Sundays @ Café Iguanas
Sunday, May 26 | 11am-5pm (Early Arrival/ Reservations Suggested)
The Brunch Babes | Mimosa- All Inclusive
Saturday, May 25 | 12pm-5pm
XO Management | Best of the Best Music Festival
SN: Check out Hy-Lo News’ guide telling you all you need to know about the Best of the Best music festival.
Sunday, May 26
The Poetry Spot Open Mic Night
Thursday, May 23
12th Annual Memorial Weekend Comedy Festival
Benji Brown, Steve Brown, Tony Roberts, Trick Daddy, Shawty & Vena E
Sunday, May 26
Feel Good Vibes (Art, Health, Wellness)
In Good Company | Soap Making Workshop
Saturday, May 25
Mind Body Vibes | Half Day Wellness Retreat
Saturday, May 25th from 7 am- 2pm @ Zen Mind Space
· Join event curator and mental health advocate Ashley Bianca Jones for day filled with:
· Yoga and meditation
· Light breakfast sponsored by Zen Juice Bar
· Mindfulness and mental health workshops with Ashley Bianca and Simone Russell.
· Fitness class sponsored by YouFit (and a chance to win a 3 month paid in full membership)
· Nutrition and wellness class: FitLife foods Fort Lauderdale
· Lunch sponsored by: FitLife foods Fort Lauderdale
· Spiritual Motivation by Joshua Fredenberg
MUCE 305 | Art Campus | Art Installation by Melissa Martinez
By Appt only : Email Melissa@Muce305.org
ReFrame: All Weekend, Various Location See Art Programing Installations and Locations Below
Octavia Yearwood | Art Installation | I See You Too
“I See You, Too”, an exhibition about how propaganda and misinformation have compromised us. Curated by Octavia Yearwood and Naiomy Guerrero featuring artist, Loni Johnson & Rodney Jackson
When: May 23rd-May 27th, opening May 23rd at 6pm
Where: 737 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL
When: May 23rd-May 27th
Where: Digital Signage on Ocean Drive
Reframe – Photo Pop up –
* Is an immersive photo pop-up where photographer, Michelle Polissaint, will capture the true essence of Memorial Day Weekend on the beach.
When: May 25th and May 26th
Where: Ocean Drive- Saturday pop-up 7-ELEVEN 890 Washington, Miami Beach FL 33139
(This 7-ELEVEN will also be a pick-up spot for our map of all activations! Get the 7-Eleven App to get coupons for free snacks as well!)
Out of Context – FIU – Chris Friday
Chris Friday’s brunch opening will feature an interactive piece surrounding the theme of trust being the currency.
When: Saturday and Sunday, May 25th and 26th, opening brunch May 25th @ 10:30 am
Where: Washington Gallery, 1618 Washington Avenue, FIU Miami Beach Urban Studios.
PLAY, LAY, AYE, by GeoVanna Gonzalez at The Bass Museum of Art explores a contemporary queer interpretation of tete-a-tete, a classic French design, which translate to “head to head”. The structure acts as an intimate meeting point with its completely open design acting as a declaration, a place to not feel shame or need to justify one’s self. This new design is now a place for openness and outness.
When: Saturday and Sunday, on View. May 25th will be Performances by Queer artist from Queer Membership Club, This Girls Lunchbox & the FemPower Artist Collective- 12pm-3pm with Open Mic at 3 pm
Where: The Bass 2100 Collins, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Miami New Drama presents Betsayda Machado y La Parranda El Clavo
A vibrant Afro-Carribean performance laced in storytelling.
When: Monday, May 27th at 5pm (Free to the public, supported by the City of Miami Beach)
Where: Colony Theatre,1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139