claiming power by one seaside

Beach photo

My name is Sharony Green. Here is a photo of my mother, father, me and my brother on the now historic Virginia Key Beach, which is in Miami, FL, my hometown. The year is 1967.

Today I am an Associate Professor of History in the Department of History at the University of Alabama. These days, I am seeking answers to a key question: “How do oppressed groups in one region claim power by moving through space?” The initial leg of the journey found me conducting oral histories with people who live or once lived in Miami. The oldest was 96-years-old. The youngest was eight.

My first article on Miami was published by the Journal of Urban History. A recent talk can be found here. A book manuscript that includes attention to how people of African descent have made claims to power across time in the state of Florida, especially South Florida, is presently being evaluated. I recently won the 2020 PEN America Jean Stein Literary Oral History grant, which will allow me to deepen my focus on postwar black settlement in the “Baa Haas/Bajas,” a neighborhood formerly known as Carol City, now the City of Miami Gardens in northwest Miami-Dade County.

My attention to Florida also includes an investigation of  writer-anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston’s experiences in Miami during the winter and spring of 1950 and the Honduras. This research will be enabled in part by a fellowship during the winter and spring of 2021 at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

A running thread throughout my work is my deep desire to sort through how human beings encounter one another in a modernizing world. This is the case even though the idea of “modern” has many meanings, some more pertinent to the questions before me than others. As true of some researchers, my queries often pose tensions with a good many of my personal experiences.

For more about my research and creative interests,  please visit

Greater Miami Map
Places of special import for the racial and spatial politics study. Courtesy of the University of Alabama Cartographic Lab.
Zora Neale Hurston Movements.jpg
Places of special import for my present research on Zora Neale Hurston’s time in Miami. Courtesy of the University of Alabama Cartographic Lab.