Saturday, April 14, 2012

Miami Herald: 'In 1950s Miami, music bridged the racial divide'

[“Ruth Greenfield sits beside Jim Ford, her first black piano student, in this 1997 photo.” MIAMI HERALD File]

“For Ruth Greenfield, founder of what historians believe was the first interracial arts academy in Florida, music has always been color blind.

By Alicia Zuckerman
Special to The Miami Herald
"Ruth Greenfield's family moved to Miami from Key West when she was 6 months old, but she still calls herself a Conch.  It makes sense.  Beneath the polished exterior of the Paris-trained pianist, Greenfield, 88, is a renegade, a civil rights pioneer who bridged the racial divide - with music.

"In 1953, long before Miami was integrated, Greenfield founded what historians believe was the first interracial school for the arts in Florida.  The Fine Arts Conservatory offered music classes - and eventually dance, drama and visual arts - to black and white student together, taught by black and white teachers.  Greenfield established it with help from the mother of James Ford, a young black piano student from Overtown.  Six decades later, she and Ford remain close."

Read more here:

No comments: