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Dorothy Fields

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Information about Dorothy Fields

Profile image of Dorothy Fields

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Archivist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Zeta Blue
Favorite Food:
N/A
Favorite Time of Year:
Winter
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Manhattan, New York
Favorite Quote:
Until The Lions Tell Their Story, Tales Of The Hunt Will Continue To Glorify The Hunter.

Birthplace

Born:
12/31/1942
Birth Location:
Miami, Florida

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Archivist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Zeta Blue
Favorite Food:
N/A
Favorite Time of Year:
Winter
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Manhattan, New York
Favorite Quote:
Until The Lions Tell Their Story, Tales Of The Hunt Will Continue To Glorify The Hunter.

Birthplace

Born:
12/31/1942
Birth Location:
Miami
See how Dorothy Fields is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Archivist Dorothy Fields was born on December 31, 1942 in Miami, Florida. She was raised as an only child in the African American neighborhood of Overtown, formerly known as Colored Town. The family then purchased property in the Brown Subdivision of Miami. Fields attended Phyllis Wheatley Elementary School and Booker T. Washington High School. In high school, Fields was a member of the concert and marching band, and excelled in journalism.

In 1960, Fields graduated from Booker T. Washington High School. The following year, she enrolled at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, as an art major. As a freshman, Fields participated in the 1960 march with Dr. King to desegregate Rich’s department store in downtown Atlanta. Upon completion in a student exchange program at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, Fields earned her B.F.A degree in art from Spelman College in 1964. After graduation, Fields worked as a school librarian, reading teacher and educational specialist for Miami-Dade County Public Schools for 40 years.

In 1974, Fields then received her M.A. degree in curriculum and instruction through a local outreach program out of the University of Northern Colorado. In that same year, in preparation for the nation’s bicentennial, Fields began a search for information from which curriculum materials could be developed on the black experience in South Florida. Fields was unable to find any information about South Florida’s black history in any school or public library. From this experience Fields established The Black Archives, History and Research Foundation, a photographic repository containing the legacies of Miami’s black community f South Florida in 1977. In the same year, Fields received a certificate from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, in Archives Administration and Historic Preservation. Later, at The Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio, she earned a Ph.D. in 20th century African-American history, historic preservation, and public history.

Fields’ vision was to establish a manuscript and photographic repository for the African American community of Miami. She initially began collecting oral histories from older African American residents living in the communities of Overtown and the Brown Subdivision. From her efforts, the city of Miami later designated the community of Overtown as a National Trust “Main Street” community. Overtown is officially named the Historic Overtown Folklife Village. Fields is also responsible for the successful restoration of the landmark Lyric Theater located in Overtown. Renowned artists such as Nat King Cole, Marion Anderson, Etta Moten Barnett once performed at this theater.

Fields has received numerous honors and awards for her efforts in preserving African American history and culture. She serves a member of the advisory board for the Haitian Heritage Museum, and a board member for the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami. She was also a Woodrow Wilson Teacher’s Fellow at Princeton University. A life member of the association for the Study of African American Life and History she also holds membership in the Society of American Archivists and the Academy of Certified Archivists. She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and The Links, Incorporated.

Fields has two daughters, attorney Katherine Fields Kpehyee Marsh and historian Edda Fields-Black, author of 'Deep Roots: Rice Farmers in West Africa and the African Diaspora.'

See how Dorothy Fields is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dorothy Fields' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dorothy Fields lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dorothy Fields talks about her maternal family history, pt.1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dorothy Fields talks about her maternal family history, pt.2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dorothy Fields talks about her paternal family history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dorothy Fields talks about family names and her maternal grandparents' occupations
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dorothy Fields talks about the high school education of relatives on her mother's side at historically black colleges and universities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dorothy Fields talks about Miami's Colored Town
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dorothy Fields describes her family's move from Miami, Florida's Colored Town to Brownsville, Florida
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dorothy Fields talks about her childhood education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dorothy Fields remembers the lesson she learned after earning an 'F' in physical education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dorothy Fields shares her memories of her Aunt Bert
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dorothy Fields talks about her close-knit maternal family, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dorothy Fields talks about close-knit her maternal family, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dorothy Fields talks about her experience at Booker T. Washington High School in Miami, Florida
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dorothy Fields describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dorothy Fields talks about Bahamian-style homes and why her family settled in Miami, Florida's Colored Town
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dorothy Fields describes her childhood memories and her family's involvement in black fraternal organizations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dorothy Fields talks about formative figures and events as a student at Booker T. Washington High School in Miami, Florida
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dorothy Fields remembers moving to Massachusetts and her experiences of Boston and New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dorothy Fields talks about her experiences at Camp Atwater in North Brookfield, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dorothy Fields recalls formative experiences from her youth
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dorothy Fields talks about her experience at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dorothy Fields talks about her involvement in an intergroup youth council, and segregation in the South
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dorothy Fields remembers Spelman College's policies and meeting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dorothy Fields talks about her participation in the Civil Rights Movement as a student at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dorothy Fields describes the response of Spelman College's president, Dr. Albert Manley, to student activism during the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dorothy Fields describes the environment of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia and her experience there
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dorothy Fields describes why she did not go to graduate school in New York City, New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dorothy Fields describes her experiences as an exchange student at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dorothy Fields talks about her experience as an exchange student at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dorothy Fields describes how she became a school librarian and reading teacher
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dorothy Fields talks about working in a federal color awareness program and her marriage to Eddie Fields
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dorothy Fields talks about her experiences of racial discrimination while working as a teacher at Myrtle Grove Elementary School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dorothy Fields describes meeting Thelma Peters and Arva Moore Parks McCabe through her search for the history of blacks in Miami, Florida
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dorothy Fields talks about how she came to work at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida and the skills she learned there
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dorothy Fields discusses her findings about the founders of the City of Miami, Florida
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dorothy Fields talks about her graduate studies in the University of Oklahoma's outreach program in Miami-Dade County, Florida
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dorothy Fields describes the beginning of her research on blacks in Miami, Florida
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dorothy Fields talks about her studies in archives administration and historic preservation at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dorothy Fields remembers being falsely told that Booker T. Washington High School in Miami, Florida could not become a part of the National Register of Historic Places
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dorothy Fields talks about her research on black ancestry in Miami, Florida
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dorothy Fields talks about assembling a board of directors after establishing the Black Archives Foundation in 1977
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dorothy Fields describes how Florida's I-95 expressway displaced black residents in Miami's Overtown neighborhood
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dorothy Fields compares Miami, Florida's Overtown and Downtown neighborhoods
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dorothy Fields remembers leading her board of directors into Miami's Overtown community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dorothy Fields describes how the thriving atmosphere of Miami's Colored Town was destroyed by the construction of I-95
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dorothy Fields talks about her discovery of Miami's Lyric Theater and her vision for the Historic Overtown Folk Life District
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dorothy Fields talks about the purchase of the Lyric Theater and buildings and its placement on the National Register of Historic Places
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dorothy Fields talks about working to preserve and restore the Lyric Theater
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dorothy Fields describes writing a last minute response to an RFP for Florida International University in Miami, Florida
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dorothy Fields describes her doctoral studies in her fifties through Union Institute & University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dorothy Fields talks about her two daughters
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dorothy Fields talks about her mentor, John Hope Franklin