The Mariel Effect: Social and Racial Tensions in South Florida in the Wake of the Boatlift


Thursday, October 15, 2020, 11:00am

This event is virtual, to register click here.

Speakers: Julio Capó, Jr., PhD, Associate Professor, Department of History and Deputy Director, Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab, Florida International University; Antonio López, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of English, George Washington University; Chanelle N. Rose, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of History, Rowan University
Moderated by: Alejandro de la Fuente, PhD, Professor of African and African American Studies and of History; Director, Afro-Latin American Research Institute, Hutchins Center for African and African American Research

The arrival of 125,000 Cubans from the Port of Mariel to South Florida beginning in April 1980 coincided with a particularly volatile period in Miami. The killing of Arthur McDuffie—an unarmed Black man—by White and Latino police officers who were later acquitted, exacerbated deeply rooted tensions in race relations among African Americans, Whites and Latinos (primarily Cubans) in Miami. At the same time, the new influx of Cuban refugees was associated with another crisis: the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Three distinct voices representing recent scholarship will address the complicated ways in which issues around race and gender played out post-Mariel during the 1980s and continue to shape Miami today.

Presented in collaboration with Cuban Heritage Collection | University of Miami Libraries