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The New Tropic

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In our guide to Little Haiti, we’re exploring the region spanning from NW 54th St. through NW 79th St. — celebrating the patchwork of people and places that make up these vibrant neighborhoods.

As you walk through Little Haiti, you might encounter signs that read, “Welcome to Lemon City,” a name with a history reaching further back than the City of Miami itself. Following the Civil War, the area known as Lemon City included the land all the way from Biscayne Bay to modern-day Hialeah, owing its namesake to the lemon trees that grew on the fertile, sparsely populated land.

Throughout the 1980s, a wave of immigrants came to Lemon City, predominantly from the Caribbean and Haiti. Haitian refugees fleeing from François “Papa Doc” Duvalier’s oppressive regime arrived in the midst of a massive immigration of Cuban refugees fleeing Fidel Castro, at a time when racial tensions in Miami were already running high after the 1980 Miami Riots. Many Haitians made Lemon City their new home, transforming the area into a cultural mecca for the diaspora and earning

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