Miami’s watershed turned winter resort into a global capital
Written by Marilyn Bowden on April 21, 2020
In 1979, Miami was still mostly known as a winter resort town for tourists and retirees. Within a decade, it was well on its way to becoming an international business and leisure capital. In “The Year of Dangerous Days: Riots, Refugees and Cocaine in Miami 1980,” journalist Nicholas Griffin argues that the city’s character and fortunes were changed in a single year by the confluence of racial tensions, an international crisis and the infusion of drug money.
Pre-1980, Miami was divided into three separate communities, Mr. Griffin points out – white Miamians, including southerners, migrants and, in Miami Beach, an influential Jewish population; the Cubans of Little Havana, largely refugees from Castro’s revolution plotting his overthrow and a return to Cuba; and black Miamians, many native to the city but also Bahamians, Jamaicans and, increasingly, Haitians.
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