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Historic Hampton House Celebrates Dr. Enid Pinkney & Artist Ray Elman

Written By Shanieya Harris
October 20, 2022 at 5:44 PM

Artist: Raymond Elman. Title: “HHH Savior.” 2022 featuring Dr. Enid Pinkney. 40 x 60 inches. Mixed-media on canvas. Photo by: Raymond Elman

There is a time for everything in this world and Saturday, October 15th, 2022, was cause for celebration over at the Historic Hampton House.

The Historic Hampton House is the only hotel remaining from the era of segregation and remains a significant piece of black history in Miami, Florida. Finding a location that maintains the Miami aesthetic is very uncommon and, while the Hampton House eventually shut down in 1976, its legacy did not stop there.

On October 15th, the community gathered at the Historic Hampton House to thank Dr. Enid Pinkney for her unwavering dedication to Overtown, as part of a celebration of her 91st birthday.  Dr. Pinkney has always spent a lifetime working to bring honor to the neighborhood and has diligently facilitated the restoration of the Hampton House.

A Miami-Dade County native, Dr. Pinkney was born on October 15, 1931. She graduated from Miami’s all-black Booker T. Washington High School in 1949 and later earned a B.A. from Talladega College in 1953 and an M.S. from Barry University.

A force to be reckoned with, Dr. Enid Pinkney has been working on a $6 million repair project for the Hampton House as of 2022. Renovations will serve as sectors for the community to enjoy in the present day. Transformations include a museum, a community center, a house a café, a jazz club, and a gift shop.

The citizens of Miami and Overtown understand that it is important to keep the history of this building alive. It was once stomping grounds for the famous African-American celebrities of the early 20th Century: Muhammad Ali, Duke Ellington, Malcolm X, and the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to name but a few, all stayed at the Hampton House in the days of segregation. The significant history of this building continues to hold relevance today.

Raymond Elman receiving 2018 Ellies Award from Oolite Arts, which he used to create seven 40 x 60 inch, mixed-media portraits of people who were patrons or performers at the Hampton House. Photographer: Lee Skye.

Artist Raymond S. Elman is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of FIU’s digital arts magazine Inspicio. Hailing from Provincetown, Elman has had a passion for the arts since he was a child. Since his arrival in Miami, he has been attracted to the history over at the Hampton House and has made it his mission to help them tell their story through large-scale portraits.

As part of the celebration at the Historic Hampton House, Elman received special recognition for his work: he has completed seven mixed-media portraits measuring 40 x 60 inches of individuals who performed or patronized the Hampton House in Overtown during the time of segregation.

Elman says, “When I got the call that I too would be honored at the 2nd Annual Dr. Enid Pinkney Legacy Day, I started crying.” He never thought that it would happen. His goal was to simply capture the people when they weren’t working and to humanize them while doing the things they love.

He smiled widely saying, “Each time I walk into the room, the first thing Dr. Pickney does is opens her arms wide to give me a hug.” This lets him know that he is doing the right thing. His engagement is to preserve the history of the Hampton House. In each portrait, he works to make genuine connections with the people and allow their stories to prevail.

Have you visited the Historic Hampton House? You can learn more about Miami’s cultural heritage and history by scheduling a visit at historichamptonhouse.org. The Historic Hampton House is located at 4240 Northwest 27th Avenue Miami, FL 33142.

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