News

New collection at Richter examines history of Grove

Coconut Grove has evolved in the last 50 years and the University of Miami is now sharing the city’s history with students and faculty.

With 5,000 negatives of every picture he took of Coconut Grove during the 1950s and 1960s, local activist and Board of Trustees emeritus member Bob Simms documented the community before and after segregation.

The “Bob Simms Collection,” which documents his life and work in the community, went on display at the Otto G. Richter Library on Feb. 15 and will remain until the end of March.

There are six display cases set up on the first floor of Richter, including a compilation of photographs called “Glory of the Grove.” The displays also present documents that chronicle Simms’ family history as well as his activism and work in the community as a teacher at George Washington Carver High School and later as executive director of the Community Relations Board.

The archives include father Harry Simms’ degree from Tuskegee Institute and campaign material from his daughter Leah Simms, who was the first African-American female to serve as a judge in Florida.

The display, which took the library two months to plan, is meant to strengthen younger generations by preserving the history of the Grove community.

“I’ve saved [the photographs]because it is my firm belief that the young people in the Grove ain’t got a clue who they are,” Bob Simms said at the exhibit’s opening event.

Robert Moore, a professor in the School of Education, was also present at the opening event and has been a close family friend of the Simms. He believes that the historical and social significance of the collection is relevant.

“Students need to know the growth of Miami,” he said. “[The exhibit] is a place where people can see and remember.”

Alumni and former students of Simms from George Washington Carver High School also attended the opening event wearing their school shirts.

Retired teacher Patricia Harper Garre, who graduated with the class of 1963, said that growing up “we never felt the segregation, because we just felt we were good as anyone else.” She gives credit to people like Bob Simms who functioned as a “motivator” to students.

“You can’t understand what makes me tick unless you understand all of me,” Simms said. “In the collection you have all of me.”

Farah Dosani may be contacted at f.dosani1@umiami.edu.

March 20, 2008

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Miami coach Jim Larranaga and his staff spent recent practices pushing his players to whip the ball ...

The University of Miami confirmed in a written release Sunday that starting cornerback Malek Young s ...

In 2016, the Miami Hurricanes had tight end David Njoku, who went in the first round of the 2017 NFL ...

Four days had passed since his University of Miami basketball team squandered a 13-point second half ...

The Miami Hurricanes’ search for offensive line help is set to continue on the weekend of Jan. 26, w ...

Presidents at three higher education institutions in Miami "lend our unified voices” to the cal ...

Thirty high school English teachers from Brazil are spending six weeks at UM in a new skill-building ...

Global and local efforts needed to respond to biological threats, UM President Julio Frenk warned at ...

As artificial Intelligence takes hold, tech visionary David Kenny stresses keeping human values in t ...

UM’s First Black Graduates Project committee visits an iconic D.C. museum for inspiration to create ...

Bruce Brown Jr. scored 19 points leading Miami to victory over NC State in Raleigh. ...

The University of Miami women's basketball team picked up its third straight win in eight days ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team (1-2) closed out its opening weekend with a 5-2 loss ...

With the help of dominating victories and dramatic comebacks, No. 19 Miami finished the day with an ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team (1-1) returns to action on Sunday, as it travels to N ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.