Eddie Arroyo, 6200 N.E. 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL, 33138, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 65 x 50 in.

Eddie Arroyo, 6200 N.E. 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL, 33138, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 65 x 50 in.

Eddie Arroyo

This mural, painted by Serge Toussaint on the old St. Claire Cleaners building, said “Welcome to Little Haiti.” For me, it represented the prosperity, appreciation, and tribute to an immigrant community. Two months after I documented it, the wall was painted white and the mural completely erased. Why had it been redacted?

Ongoing efforts by developers to recognize the area as historic Lemon City and Little River had been proposed and assimilation encouraged. On May 26, 2016, Miami City Commissioners unanimously voted in favor of designating the neighborhood Little Haiti. Given Haitian cultural history of defiance and solidarity, this response was inevitable.