‘This is where it all started.’ Liberty City turns out for inaugural Trina Day

·3 min read

There’s only one way to celebrate the Diamond Princess receiving the key to city.

Throw a big block party in the heart of Liberty City.

And that’s exactly what happened Saturday when friends, fans and family gathered on historic Northwest 15th Avenue for the first annual Trina Day. Featuring live performances, prize giveaways and food trucks, the festivities attracted hundreds of people, all of whom braved the scorching Miami sun to catch a glimpse of Trina.

“I’m super grateful, super humbled by the opportunity,” Trina, whose birth name is Katrina Taylor, said a week before she received the key.

At the event, the rapper was a ball of emotion, even briefly crying on stage as Miami Mayor Francis Suarez presented the “Pull Over” artist with a plaque for her mother Vanessa Taylor in addition to the physical key. Taylor died in 2019 from cancer.

“This is where it all started,” Trina said to the crowd through tears. “All of this wouldn’t have happened without your support.”

Born and raised in Miami, Trina is as Liberty City as can be. She graduated from Miami Northwestern High. Her father owned a store on 15th Avenue. She even now has her face painted on the very building where her father’s store was. Cory Evans created the mural back in August 2020. He made a few additions just in time for Trina Day.

“Around here, Trina is the queen,” said Evans who painted the work in association with Youth Concept Gallery.

“To have my art connected with her and be a part of Trina Day, I was happy.”

That very same queen has since traveled the world, a feat that Miami-Dade Commissioner Keon Hardemon believed was worthy of the key to the county, too.

“She’s an example to the young women and men,” Hardemon said after gifting Trina the key. “She’s no different from the kids in Liberty City now with a story to tell.”

That’s part of the reason why Samantha Quarterman, the executive director of the Multi-Ethnic Youth Group Association Learning Center, brought her students out.

Dressed in orange and black T-shirts with “I Love Trina” inscribed on the back, the kids danced, played with their friends and, once tired, cooled off with slushees. Both she and Trina have worked with kids for years — Quarterman through MEYGA, Trina through her nonprofit Diamond Doll Foundation — and Quarterman thought it was only right for her students to see a local legend.

“She’s not just a rapper,” Quarterman said. “She’s a community activist.”

For people like Connie “Kool-Aid” Williams who have been around Liberty City, Saturday was a full-circle moment. Williams remembers seeing and shopping at Mr. Wonderful, the store Trina’s father owned. Seeing Trina back in her old neighborhood brought a smile to Williams’ face.

“This is awesome,” Williams said, reclining under a tent. “I really think this is an accomplishment to come back to her own ‘hood and give back.”

American rapper Katrina Taylor, known professionally as Trina, reacts as she receives the key to the city from City of Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez during a block party on NW 15th Avenue between NW 63rd and 65th Street, celebrating Trina Day in Liberty City, Florida, on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
American rapper Katrina Taylor, known professionally as Trina, reacts as she receives the key to the city from City of Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez during a block party on NW 15th Avenue between NW 63rd and 65th Street, celebrating Trina Day in Liberty City, Florida, on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
A member of the Meyga Learning Center dances during a block party to celebrate Trina Day in Liberty City, Florida, on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
A member of the Meyga Learning Center dances during a block party to celebrate Trina Day in Liberty City, Florida, on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
People gather on the corner of NW 15th Avenue and 64th Street during a block party where a mural with the portrait of American rapper Katrina Taylor, known as Trina, was painted for Trina Day in Liberty City, Florida, on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
People gather on the corner of NW 15th Avenue and 64th Street during a block party where a mural with the portrait of American rapper Katrina Taylor, known as Trina, was painted for Trina Day in Liberty City, Florida, on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
Katrina Taylor, the rapper known professionally as Trina, talks to a crowd of people after receiving the key to the city from Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez, left, during a block party on NW 15th Avenue between NW 63rd and 65th Street, celebrating Trina Day in Liberty City, Florida, on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
Katrina Taylor, the rapper known professionally as Trina, talks to a crowd of people after receiving the key to the city from Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez, left, during a block party on NW 15th Avenue between NW 63rd and 65th Street, celebrating Trina Day in Liberty City, Florida, on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
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