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Garth Reeves has lived through events that most of us have only read about. Growing up in a newspaper family, he saw first-hand how his father published a newspaper every week, even through difficult times. They experienced true challenges, such as the paper shortages in the 1920’s, and then the infamous hurricane of 1926, when his family still got the paper out by turning the press by hand since there wasn’t electricity!
Born February 12, 1919 in the Bahamas, Garth Reeves grew up in a segregated Miami and was profoundly affected by his military experience in World War II. He was displeased with the hypocrisy of the United States, as he served as a soldier in World War II, but he didn’t have basic rights because of segregation.
Mr. Reeves thought about leaving the country for good. However, after a conversation with his mother, he threw his energies into using The Miami Times, the newspaper he inherited, to advocate for social change. He established himself as an important figure in the Miami community during the civil rights movement by taking a direct role in desegregating Miami beaches and golf courses. Mr. Reeves also maintained a voice in the governing of local boards and charities, using his clout to “prick the conscience” of other Miamians in order to bring about social justice. His service to his community is borne out by countless awards from the Boy Scouts of America, National Business League, the Urban League, Florida A&M University, the Urban League, YMCA, and the National Newspapers Publishers’ Association.
It was important to Mr. Reeves for The Miami Times to provide an important perspective that wasn’t a focus of other Miami newspapers. His experience led him to take a different look at journalism and the power of the press, and he didn’t mind using that power to bring about change.