New York Times Is Wrong About Jumbo's

Categories: Luke's Gospel

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Alex Izaguirre
Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke says good riddance to a restaurant that didn't serve blacks.

Last week, when Liberty City soul food restaurant Jumbo's closed its doors, it was big news. The New York Times' Frances Robles wrote a front-page story documenting how the joint went from discriminating against African-Americans to becoming a black Miami landmark. The Miami Herald and others followed.

I, for one, am glad the place is gone. Good riddance. If the black people who frequented Jumbo's had any sense, they would have put the restaurant out of business decades ago.

See also: Liberty City Icon Jumbo's, the Temple of Fried Shrimp, Set to Close After Sale

I always hated Jumbo's because it was the first place I experienced segregation. I remember my mom would take my brothers and me to Jumbo's in the late '60s. She'd drive the family's yellow Galaxy 500 to the back of the restaurant to pick up our shrimp order.

One day I asked my mom why we couldn't go inside. She explained that only white people were allowed to sit in Jumbo's. From then on, the place was a constant reminder of the inequality blacks face in Miami.

Jumbo's finally began allowing blacks in the dining area when Bobby Flam took over the spot from his father in 1967. Flam told the Times that 30 of his white employees quit when he told them he would welcome African-Americans.

Black community leaders hail Flam for being one of the first white business owners to integrate. But it's not like he had a choice. By then, Liberty City was becoming predominantly black. Jumbo's became the place for Miami's black powerbrokers and community activists to meet. When people rioted in 1980 after four white cops were acquitted in the beating death of a black man, Jumbo's was one of the only businesses left undamaged.

Flam said he's closing because a developer bought the building for $490,000 and has promised to turn it into a retail center and low-income housing. But it's probably just another attempt to gentrify a black neighborhood. For me, Jumbo's closing is like watching the Confederate flag being burned. While some black people are sad about it, I couldn't be happier.

I can't wait to see the bulldozers tear it down.

Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1 and @unclelukesempir.

Tune into Luke on the Andy Slater Show every Tuesday from 2 to 5 p.m. on Miami's Sports Animal, 940 AM.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

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51 comments
samueljackson864
samueljackson864 topcommenter

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Joseph Mazon
Joseph Mazon

Jumbo's didn't integrate until 1967. How mighty white of them! and then 30 employees quit. Yup, this is great history allright. I won't miss it either, nor will I forget that Perry, Florida ( yes that's a town south of Tallahassee had a restaurant within the last 7 years tell a black couple they had to 'eat in the back" or that an Indian motel owner charged a black family extra money after they had a swim in the pool because it had to 'be drained and cleansed". And that's the 21st Century folks. You gotta know your history before you come play. I praise Uncle Luke for knowing Miami history. Bet we can both tell you a thing or two about the McDuffie riots too and I'll bet most of you are reaching for Google right about now to see how right we are.

OhGeeMack
OhGeeMack

Black folks are so quick to forget.  If it was done to another race it wouldn't have lasted this long.  They say "Let It Go Luke"  but do they let the events of their history go?  Is Castro still the devil in their eyes?  Is Hitler still the devil in their eyes?  Thanks for the unbiased, unemotional truth about Jumbos.  And let's not even begin about the type of food that was being served to our community...straight GARBAGE!!!

jvernitad1
jvernitad1

If we boycotted everything in Miami that did not want us we will still be boycotting, I remember when we could not try on anything and had to only use the basement  in Burdines, did we boycott it no, I remember when the only place you could use a bathroom in Miami was in the basement of the courthouse in the filth but we steady shopped downtown, I remember when the only hotels we could go in was the Sir John or The Mary Elizabeth and all the well known hotels we could not, have you boycotted The Hilton, Ramada, Fontebleau or any of those...no, less get technical you all ride Metro did you boycott when you stood pass the back door and all the seats was in the front no, Did you boycott any of Coral gables that you go to now when you were not allowed and god forbid you to try to go to a game...that was unheard of....did you boycott...no..... did you boycott any of Miami Beach when your parents worked in area and had to be picked up and better not be in Miami Beach after dark with that little card that said you were a domestic...you carry yourselves to South Beach every chance you get....if we so strong and we took care of everything and stood up for everything when the Cubans were coming and going to the freedom tower getting money time they got off the boat and the Haitians were sent back we would of march about that...yes come on we complained but we did nothing yes I once lived there through all of this, I was in the line when Orchard Villa was integrated being spit at and rocks thrown at me, because my mother decided to move to the Orchard Villa area among the whites, and Athalie Range helped...When you talk about segregation and what you would have done, then do it, because the same thing that was happening back then in Miami is still happening and what are you doing about it, when Miami first got a Cuban mayor with all the African Americans there did you march on that.....I can go on and on...so you youngsters talking about what you would have done, now is the chance do it now and stop saying what you would of done.....Just my opinion....

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

See, that's the problem, that was 47 years plus back. Hold that healthy grudge against a building.

Sally Lance
Sally Lance

Funny all the people mad at Uncle Luke aren't African American. Great historical essay by Luke

Russell Adams
Russell Adams

Thank you! Thank You! Another GREASY spoon in Miami is gone. Everything they served was over price and GREASY and unhealthy to the arteries. What this GREASY spoon failed to realize is people in the area are starting to eat more healthy. Fried conch fritters will do you no good in the long run.

Christopher A. Haik
Christopher A. Haik

Between this, and that godawful self congratulatory piece about 2live crew last week. Its safe to say luke has run out of stuff to talk about.

gabrielMiami
gabrielMiami

Unfortunately segregation was a acceptable in those days.  If you were a white person and you went against segregation the community would have punished you for making a stand.  I am not about making a stand, I am about putting food on the table for my family.  It takes an entire community to make a stand.

Ernest Seow
Ernest Seow

Bonnie, yes, it was a hole in the wall, LOL

Bonnie Leung
Bonnie Leung

Ernest Seow Maurice Lim this was the place you guys wanted to eat at the other day? Lol

Tawnia Michele Turner Enmund
Tawnia Michele Turner Enmund

And for my Father its about the way he personally was made to feel. He doesnt care much about the restaurant closing. He just simply wouldn't eat there.

Tawnia Michele Turner Enmund
Tawnia Michele Turner Enmund

My Father feels the same way. He wouldn't go to Jumbos because blacks had to go to the back. He actually doesn't gob to drive thru restaurants at all.

Gema Menendez
Gema Menendez

Nicole Raymor, I didn't say YOU were bashing him.. Read the other comments on here from people who are..

Will Wright
Will Wright

Uncle luke thinks everything is racist...if he wants to boycott places that segregated in the 60s I'm sure his list is pretty long...

Nicole Raymor
Nicole Raymor

Not bashing just saying I don't agree. That being said I look forward to his op-pieces even when I disagree with them like I do here.

Daniel Paul
Daniel Paul

Uncle Luke is the worst writer in American history. How does he still keep writing for you?

Gema Menendez
Gema Menendez

He's entitled to his opinion, why bash him over it. It's something that Uncle Luke experienced firsthand. If never been so have no opinion on the restaurant itself, but I remember the positive influences Uncle Luke has made in this community and for the UM football days in the good ol' days and say let the man have an opinion.

Beci Figini Jacobs
Beci Figini Jacobs

He says it's because HE faced discrimination there...not because at one time it discriminated. If he didn't go places that at one time discriminated, he wouldn't back UM now would he? Reading is fundamental. ..

Nicole Raymor
Nicole Raymor

I usually appreciate Luke's take even when I agree with it, but faulting a restaurant that segregated at a time when all restaurants did? I'm sure he pours plenty of money into companies that one time did the same...it is an unfortunate time in history that none of us can rewrite. And then not giving credit for changing the policy when Flam took over...belittling it by saying "he HAD to" is just ridiculous. Change had to start somewhere and Flam instituted change when it was still a time when that decision was controversial. Sorry Luke I'm not with you on this one!

Phillip Morris
Phillip Morris

So Jumbos allowed blacks since the 1970s and he's still being a little bitch about it? Don't surprise me, that's what he and people with that same mentality does.

Camilo Jaime
Camilo Jaime

One more uncle Luke post and I am erasing you from FB

JC Hernandez
JC Hernandez

Jumbo's became a shithole decades ago. Glad to see it gone !

Bobby Dazzler
Bobby Dazzler

Uncle luke is racist. Exactly what he hates he is

pdstout
pdstout

why would you want to watch any flag burn... no matter what it symbolizes?

that is bad karma. wishing places to close in an already sinking economy... that is also bad karma. uncle luke, you need to chilll out and be nicer to our community. every week you post something resembling hate...it's unfortunate!

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

....................... what i don't get is WHY anyone would patronize a place that doesn't want them as customers


you mean NO BLACK ONLY place owned and run by BLACKs could exist and cater ONLY to BLACKs ?


you mean if it weren't for WHITE people cooking shrimp the BLACK people couldn't cook shrimp on their own ?

ravburlesvif
ravburlesvif

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frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

"They killed the wrong man this time," a Black woman who watched McDuffie's funeral procession said at the time. The insurance executive's death and beating were different from the other cries of police brutality in the Miami community. For one thing, the victim died. Then secondly, in this instance, there were many witnesses, and the witnesses were police officers. Thirdly, McDuffie was a clean-cut, ex-Marine police officer, businessman, volunteer worker and father. He was no dope pusher; no drug addict; no robber. He ran from the police because his license had expired and he had already received one ticket for driving without it. All of the officers charged were fired by their police director, Bobby Jones, on February 2. Then on March 31st in Tampa, Florida, five Dade County police officers—four Whites and one Latin—went on trial for charges stemming from the beating of Arthur McDuffie.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.................there IS another group that has had similar "issues" .........and guess what they did ?


they used their combined economic resources together and requested from the business who among them would welcome their business - THEY DID NOT INSIST, they only asked


TODAY the gay lesbian transgender confederacy is UNITED and find those seeking their business and enjoy the power of the purse to obtain proper service and appropriate conditions and reception and AVOID anyplace that doesn't want them = period


why is that IDEA such a difficult objective to achieve for BLACK people



frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

..............WHY GO to places that obviously don't want you ?


if someone DISSed me i would just write them OFF = period !

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@OhGeeMack


as for letting it go - NO do NOT forget


BUT don't make it so corrosive and overwhelming that it totally consumes your whole reason for being


MOVING AHEAD means making due with what legacy and history you are BURDEN WITH and saying NEVER AGAIN !


problem going forward, as i see it,  is that most BLACK people have no legacy (and each must start from square one alone) nor do they remember their history (or want to remember it)


many many successful immigrants had financial assistance from their ancestors AND full written access to their history with interpretation and explaination


WHERE TODAY does a BLACK youth get grand-parental financial support (say to pay for college or downpayment on a house) AND access to an un-bias BLACK history (NOT from sharpton or jackson)


i think withOUT LEGACY and HISTORY there is no chance for success


frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@OhGeeMack


castro and hitler were FORCED onto people (and in fact many many german citizens left germany in 1933 to 1940 just as many many cubans came here)


WHY GO to patronize a restaurant if they don't want you ?


i wouldn't care HOW GOOD that shrimp was = period

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@jvernitad1


as for the BOYCOTTing of anything - generally they do NOT work


when BLACKs went on to boycott southbeach urban weekend the local - yokels said YES please boycott us here AND do not come back


as for TODAY if anyone came in with their pants pulled down and their cap on backwards i would ask them to leave MY restaurant = period


i realize it IS DIFFICULT to "boycott" these same places that EMPLOY black workers who may get the consequences of being fired and replaced by hispanics - yes that sucks but BLACK LABOR today is "economically redundant" (means it is easily and readily replaced with substitutes)


basically you canNOT FIGHT yesterdays battles with TODAYs realities


the young (BLACK) people you may be summoning TODAY may NOT have the education or the social status or even the ability to MAKE A MOVE TODAY and that means "THE MAN WON"


today a replica ORCHARD VILLA could be condemned by code compliance as "an unsafe structure" and section 8 vouchers could be given out to those residents, meaning ALL the unity of conviction and progress among those BLACK people could be disbursed among various other low-income housing black community locations IN THE COUNTY


as long as most BLACKs are housing dependant THE MAN can move people around and disburse sentiment and stiffle organization - DO YOU EVER WONDER WHY high-rise luxury condo units replace so many vacated BLACK neighborhoods ?

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@jvernitad1


i simply do not see why someone would go somewhere they are NOT WANTED = period


JUMBOs is what YOU make of it - why not just have avoided it ?

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.................not mad just WHY go to a place that doesn't want you and then complain about it as IF you have nothing else as an alternative


BLACK people can't cook for shrimp themselves ?


IF you cook chicken and ribs you can cook shrimp so QED you didn't need JUMBOs = PERIOD !

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@gabrielMiami


why would someone WANT to go someplace that doesn't want them ?


i simply cannot understand the logic


for example i never ever have eaten at a middle eastern restaurant and i have never wanted to = period = i might even like GOAT and yogurt and some of that other stuff BUT if they don't want americans then i'm OUT - it's THAT simple

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.................SO IF youR DAD avoided it why is that so difficult for everyone else ?

jvernitad1
jvernitad1

@Tawnia, I truly understand how your father felt, I attended your grandparents kindergarten, but we should of boycotted more them Jumbo's, I can give you a list and I do now live in Miami, but I see everyone patronizing a long list of other business, that we were not allowed to go in, that we praise everyday not only in Miami but all over the United States, in Miami we were not allowed on Miami Beach unless you were a domestic and had they finger printed ID hanging around you neck, but now everyone wants to me in South Beach...I can name a few other places, but will all let this happen to us and did nothing. I have since moved from Miami to Atlanta but I still look at stuff going on there, and have friends that tell me stuff.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

................why is that idea so difficult for other BLACK people to follow = if i am not wanted someplace i do NOT go there = period


YOU tell me if a white person didn;t make it BLACK people couldn't make shrimp on their own ? for themselves ? you can cook RIBs but you can't cook SHRIMP ? with some rice ?

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

................okay so the BLACK community rioted


here is the POTENTIAL response for a community - USE the $1,1oo,ooo CASH settlement hire outside hitmen to assassinate the five cops WITHOUT injury to anyone else = period


otherwise simply being a terrorist style response only creates more and more confusion and escalates the matter into a muddle of various issues and more importantly it solves NOTHING !


.............FIVE perfect hits to ONLY each one of those FIVE officers would have made a lasting impact indeed,  both ending their involvement and psychologically sending the message of organized and precise retaliation



jvernitad1
jvernitad1

@frankd4  Jumbos was not the only place I was there doing that time and it was not boycotted in fact people in Miami are still going to places that  we were  not allowed in the same way,not only in Miami, all over the United States.... And your question about black people not cooking shrimp had nothing to do with it, no black person stepped out there then and opened a restaurant with the same menu to go out to.  I can tell you might be a little younger if I told you a few other places in Miami that did the same I wonder if you would be going there now being unaware, just a question...because it is a long list trust me, I moved away early to Atlanta but I still keep up with stuff there.



frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@jvernitad1


i'm just saying if i'm not accepted somewhere i just don't go there = period


no one was forcing BLACK people to go to JUMBOs and if i were BLACK i wouldn't go there no matter how good it was 


i simply cannot understand why any BLACK person would go there in the first place and patronize JUMBOs even if that means NOT eating shrimp

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