Brownsville was originally a settlement for white families in the 1920s. Blacks began moving into the neighborhood between the late 1940s and early 1960s as the population surrounding nearby Liberty Square expanded and many inner-city Whites moved to newly built suburban subdivisions surrounding Miami city proper in the wake of World War II.
By the mid-1960s, Brownsville was a thriving community for Black professionals. However, the wake of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (which outlawed the restrictive housing covenants which prevented most Blacks from moving to suburbs) and riots during the 1968 Republican National Conventionbrought the Black flight of middle- and upper-class families from the community. Brownsville experienced continued population loss from 1970 until 2000, following a greater American suburbanization trend of among similar, upwardly-mobile demographics.
By the 2010 US Census, Brownsville had gained population for the first time in over 40 years, rising to 15,313 residents.