has greatly characterized 20th century Miami, creating what is known as "Cuban Miami".However, Miami reflects global trends as well, such as the growing trends of multiculturalism
Multiculturalism is the appreciation, acceptance or promotion of multiple cultures, applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, usually at the organizational level, e.g...
Multiracialism is a concept or ideology that promotes a society composed of various races, while accepting and respecting different cultural backgrounds...
; this reflects the way in which international politics shape local communities.
Essentially, the coexistence of growth and internationalization within Miami has perpetuated an ethnically driven social polarization. The growing number of Cubans
Cubans or Cuban people are the inhabitants or citizens of Cuba. Cuba is a multi-ethnic nation, home to people of different ethnic and national backgrounds...
in Miami have remained loyal to their cultural norms, mores, customs, language, and religious affiliations. The large influx of Cuban immigrants remaining loyal to their cultures was accompanied with local fears that these immigrants would greatly change the social and cultural landscape of Miami. Essentially, Miami's residents of non-Hispanic European
The ethnic groups in Europe are the various ethnic groups that reside in the nations of Europe. European ethnology is the field of anthropology focusing on Europe....
descent feared that the quality of life in their area would depreciate with an influx of 3rd World migrants. The transnational force of immigration defines Miami as a growing metropolis
A metropolis is a very large city or urban area which is a significant economic, political and cultural center for a country or region, and an important hub for regional or international connections and communications...
, and the 20th century Cuban influx has greatly affected Miami's growth.
After Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...
assumed power in Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...
in 1959, many Cubans emigrated in protest of the communist regime. Many of these immigrants chose Miami as their new home. As a result, Miami gained a certain magnetism to future Cuban immigrants wishing to settle in a land other than Cuba. "The so-called Golden Exiles of the early 1960s" comprised the first wave of Cuban immigrants to Miami. These refugees predominantly set out to secure and serve their ethnic group within Miami. Essentially, "this eased the absorption and accommodation of subsequent, less highly selected waves of Cuban refugees, including the large influx of immigrants during the 1980 Mariel Boatlift
The Mariel boatlift was a mass emigration of Cubans who departed from Cuba's Mariel Harbor for the United States between April 15 and October 31, 1980....
". The 1980 Mariel Boatlift
The Mariel boatlift was a mass emigration of Cubans who departed from Cuba's Mariel Harbor for the United States between April 15 and October 31, 1980....
illegally transported approximately 125,000 Cubans into Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...
, the majority of which settled within Miami-Dade County. Cuban immigrants further perpetuated Cuban migration through the emergence of a materialistic culture in Miami. "The bulk of Miami's many immigrants came here in order to advance themselves economically. This is also true for the Cuban community, which was driven to prove Castro wrong by building their own economic success story". This form of materialism acted to further attract Cuban immigrants to Miami. “Although direct emigration from Cuba ceased in 1973, movement of Cubans to Miami from elsewhere in the United States, a growing emigration from other Latin American nations, and higher than city average birth rates among the Latin Americans already resident in the county, have meant that the population continues to increase”.
Cuban Immigration pre-1959
The cigar industry was brought to New York, New Jersey, and Florida after the US imposed a tariff on imported cigars. Other immigrants came to the US hoping to escape political turmoil in Cuba, or as members of the deposed governments. The early migrants were racially diverse and about 20 percent were black or mulatto. Some black Cubans lived in separate communities and a few even funded their own educational institutions. Because of the tense environment created by Jim Crow laws in the South, many blacks began to move to New York. Similar trends of Northern migration grew with the decline of the cigar industry in the 1930s. In Tampa, the black population decreased by 50% of what it had been between the 1930s and 1940s.
Cuban Immigration late 1880s
In 1886 Tampa, Florida expanded economically due to the increase of Latin migrants from Key West and Cuba. These migrants brought the cigar making industry to Tampa. In addition to Tampa, many of these migrants also inhabited Key West and Ybor City. This revolutionized the local economy, turning Tampa into the “clear Havana” cigar capital of the world. Thousand of white Cubans were employed through the cigar industry for several generations. By the 1930s, Tampa or this “New South”, was deeply divided among Jim Crow lines. Most of the Latin population of Tampa in the 1950s was working class and lived in restricted areas and ethnic enclaves near Tampa’s hundreds of cigar factories. Black Cubans were tolerated to an extent in the Latin quarter (where most neighborhoods and cigar factories were integrated). Ybor City and West Tampa were areas that bordered on other restricted sections like areas for U.S. blacks or whites only. In this Latin quarter, there existed racial discrimination despite its subtleness.
Those like author Evelio Grillo acknowledged that being Cuban in the South during the Jim Crow era included several limitations. Even white Cubans faced discrimination. As Kenya Dworkin y Mendez writes in the introduction of Black Cuban, Black American, “White Cubans in Tampa did not fit into the stereotype of the typical European immigrants, as did Spaniards and Sicilians”. The white Cubans resembled Europeans, but they came from Cuba where “whites and blacks had coexisted fore nearly 500 years, a place where blood and culture had irremediably mixed.”. Blacks and white Cubans were treated and perceived differently in the United States. Among the other immigrant groups, Cubans were viewed as the most politically troublesome and least upwardly mobile. This was in part due to their unionism, transience, and lack of homeownership when compared to Spaniards and Sicilians. These stereotypes and prejudices were even worse for black Cubans, who were often the first to be let go during lulls in Tampa’s cigar-making business.
Several factors contributed the high immigration of Cubans. One included the legally unrestricted nature of travel to and from Cuba during this time. Also because Cuba and Tampa were geographically close, travel was easy and cheap. Throughout Tampa and Havana, whenever there were slowdowns or strikes, immigration increased from one territory to the other . In Cuba, people earned lower salaries and despite constituting majority of the industry, they rarely rose to managerial positions. Many of these socio-ethnic and class-related factors made Cubans acceptance into mainstream society difficult. In Tampa, some locals exclaimed epithets such as Cuban nigger (which referred to white Cubans) and tally wop (which referred to black Cubans).
According to Kenya Dworkin y Mendez, due to blatant prejudices, in order to become upwardly mobile, many Cubans participated in deculturation and assimilation. Some Cubans denied their African heritage and celebrated their Iberian culture. This helped white Cubans to associate with other peoples of Spanish descent and as Mendez says, “left black Cubans in the lurch”(x). Blackness and Cubanness were left out of most of Tampa’s local imagery, leaving a fair-toned images (like the famous art work of a Spanish flamenco dancer) all around the Latin quarter. Cubans were kept out of certain beaches and picnic spots by signs that said “No Dogs or Latins Allowed”. Cubans were seen as violent and un-American and faced frequent overt racism.
Being white and ethnic was a considerable obstacle to entering mainstream society, some like Mendez argue that it was an even more difficult venture for immigrants both Cuban and black. Whereas lines were clearly drawn for Tampa’s black-Americans, immigrant blacks- who spoke Spanish, had Hispanic culture, and had higher literacy rates and better earning power than their black American counterparts-thoroughly challenged the established notions of race. They inadvertently disrupted the social order. Black Cubans were doubly marginalized by members of their own communities and outsiders. They also faced Jim Crow laws that their white Latin counterparts were not subject to.
Susan Greenbaum acknowledges that because the Afro-Cuban cigars workers looked black, they were subject to Jim Crow laws. Despite language barriers and differing political agendas, wages in the cigar industry were very high compared to average wages of African-Americans. Greenbaum emphasizes that Cubans in Tampa often identified themselves as black. Despite the fact that race was perceived as an uncomfortable situation in Cuba, American Jim Crow laws made the race factor more apparent and problematic to black Cubans in America. Greenbaum calls the Cuban émigrés transnationalist, as opposed to immigrants, because of the realization that they were able to foster their own communities as well as some economic institutions. They also maintained social relations that linked together their societies of origin and settlement. This theory contrast to Oscar Handlin theory of uprootdeness, that argues that the abrupt separation from home forces new immigrants to forge entirely separate communities. Greenbaum acknowledges that Cubans built mutual aid organizations. The La Sociedad la Union Marti y Maceo organization signified a post-independence organization for cigarmakers and other low skilled workers. This organization was racially integrated, but the white majority ejected the black members who later forged their own society named the Marti-Maceo Society. This group provided a “vessel” for Afro-Cubans to gather in collective action. The building of this separate institution formalized the previously perceived divide between black and white Cubans. Greenbaum argues that these recognized racial identities were socially constructed out of the conditions that mass emigration created. By building institutions like the Marti-Maceo society, black Cubans were distinguishing and asserting their own racial differences. Greenbaum also emphasis the hierarchical structure of the economic advantages that Afro-Cubans obtained over Black Americans, but the disadvantages that Afro-Cubans had in comparison to white Cubans.
Cuban Immigration 1959 to 1973
The Cuban Revolution grew after 1959, bringing post-Castro immigrants to America in three groups. Once Castro came to power in Cuba, over 215,000 Cuban supporters of Fulgencio Batista fled to America. The second group included migrants considered Cuban elites. Thirty-six percent of this group was composed of professionals, managers, and even executives, many of who were already familiar with the U.S. economic system. Others who migrated to the U.S. were Cuba’s middle class, composed of mainly unionized skilled workers. Cuba’s working class also migrated to America. This group included independent workers, semiprofessionals, and other blue collar workers. Because Cuba placed restrictions on men of military age, females and male children under the age of 15 were largely overrepresented in migration to America. Ninety-six percent of these migrants were white because Immigration and Naturalization Services policy favored those who had relatives in the U.S. and several of those already in the U.S. were white Cubans Also the Revolution broke down previous social class barriers and allowed for a less tumultuous social climate for Blacks in Cuba.
Most of the initial migrants arriving in the U.S. were unskilled low wage female workers. These migrants faced a great deal of hostility, especially from low-income Miami residents. While many of the men went to work in the cigar industry, several of the women worked in various jobs in the garment districts. The Subcommittee of the Refugees of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings the month of December 1961 in which local residents and officials testified about this perceived “Cuban problem”. The Eisenhower administration awarded these migrants status as political refugees and continued the tradition of allowing migrants from communist countries to be awarded asylum. Eisenhower also established the Cuban Refugee Program (CRP) which granted these émigrés access to an array of social service programs like health services, monthly surplus checks, government surplus food, special student loans for college students, and even airfare from Cuba to Florida. CRP even trained women and created an extensive job placement program that helped place skillful refugees in occupational positions that suited and matched their assets. The program even launched a public relations agenda to appeal to American employers and community members on behalf of Cuban émigrés. This public relations program was set in place to allow émigrés the ability to obtain better housing and jobs.
Emerging notion of the "ethnic citizen"
With growing Cuban migration to Miami, ethnicity has reached the forefront of political and social discourse. Increasingly, the notion of an ethnic citizen has become prevalent in 20th century Miami. With the segregation of Cubans from Miami's white and black communities, it has become easier to attach ethnic labels to Cubans. Furthermore, the appeal to ethnicity has often mobilized ethnic groups within Miami. "The term "ethnic citizen" is intended to flag the disquietude that the transformation of immigrants into ethnics since the 1960s poses for the many Americans who find references to ethnicity troubling and dangerous. Miami … increasingly defines citizenship in ethnic terms. This does not mean that individual and group behavior is determined solely or even predominantly by membership in an ethnic community, but that the progressive globalization
Globalization refers to the increasingly global relationships of culture, people and economic activity. Most often, it refers to economics: the global distribution of the production of goods and services, through reduction of barriers to international trade such as tariffs, export fees, and import...
in … Miami-Dade County tends to highlight differences between and among groups".
The notion of the ethnic citizen is further perpetuated by the news and media within Miami because they attach ethnic categorizations to isolated events. This creates feelings of alienation and vulnerability on an individual basis within larger ethnic communities. This often leads one to a life of crime and anti-social behavior which constricts assimilation
Cultural assimilation is a socio-political response to demographic multi-ethnicity that supports or promotes the assimilation of ethnic minorities into the dominant culture. The term assimilation is often used with regard to immigrants and various ethnic groups who have settled in a new land. New...
. "Ethnic participation in criminal activities is as old as the establishment of the first ethnic communities in nineteenth-century cities. The search for security behind walled and gated communities in Miami … affects directly the nature of civil discourse in democratic
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...
societies. The globalization of the drug trade
The illegal drug trade is a global black market, dedicated to cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of those substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws. Most jurisdictions prohibit trade, except under license, of many types of drugs by drug prohibition laws.A UN report said the...
, immigrant smuggling, and money laundering
Money laundering is the process of disguising illegal sources of money so that it looks like it came from legal sources. The methods by which money may be laundered are varied and can range in sophistication. Many regulatory and governmental authorities quote estimates each year for the amount...
are defining characteristics of many of the cities' poorest neighborhoods".
Thus, a major challenge that Miami faces is to create social institutions that are inclusive and that counter-act the notion of ethnic alienation and discrimination.
On the other hand, many Cuban-Americans have no desire whatsoever to embrace globalization, multiculturalism, or any activity or entity that classifies them as an "ethnic citizens."
With the influx of Cuban immigrants into Miami-Dade County, there was increased residential competition and segregation. Cubans have migrated to Miami in large numbers since 1950, and the majority of these immigrants had middle class backgrounds. Essentially, this propelled their economic assimilation and prosperity. However, these 20th century Cuban immigrants have not become residentially assimilated with the non-Latin population. "Instead, through invasion and succession they are creating their own ethnic ghettoes … typical of ethnic minorities who have recently arrived in United States cities, the Miami Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...
population was highly centralized; 70 percent lived within a three mile semicircle on the western side of the city's central business district
A central business district is the commercial and often geographic heart of a city. In North America this part of a city is commonly referred to as "downtown" or "city center"...
”. As a result, Miami's non-Latin populations (which includes Jewish and Black populations) has become increasingly polarized in a geographic sense. Essentially, the vast impact of Cuban migration has greatly affected Miami's non-Latin populations.
As Cubans began to arrive in large numbers the number of residents within the average household grew, and single unit homes became multiple units. Furthermore, many houses were removed to make way for the building of apartment structures. "Zoning restrictions, however, regulated the conversion of homes to multiple unit dwellings as well as the construction of new apartment houses, preventing a precipitous rise in the density of population. In addition, urban renewal in the inner city converted much land from residential to other uses”.
With the emerging importance of ethnicity and the increased effects of segregation, Cubans within Miami attempted to reassert the Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...
. In Miami, the Spanish language was spoken to a larger extent than in other cities with large Hispanic
Hispanic is a term that originally denoted a relationship to Hispania, which is to say the Iberian Peninsula: Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal and Spain. During the Modern Era, Hispanic sometimes takes on a more limited meaning, particularly in the United States, where the term means a person of ...
populations; also it was spoken in more diverse settings in Miami than any other city. Furthermore, the 1970 census confirmed that Miami's Spanish-speaking population was 24 percent. The Spanish language was becoming a norm in Miami as it was more extensively spoken by Miami's Cuban elite. Language became increasingly important in 20th century Miami as a result of the Cuban influx and this had impacts on other non-Latin communities.
Essentially non-Latin communities began to oppose the rise of the Spanish language as a growing force within Miami. This can be seen in the anti-bilingualism/English Only movement. This movement came about in 1980, after a long period of vast Cuban immigration and social reform. Language was becoming a pressing issue as "Miami had the first bilingual public school program in the modern period (1963) and the first English Only referendum (1980)". In fact the debates of English as Dade County's official language led to violent and dangerous riots within the 1980s. Cubans felt that by preserving their language, they were preserving a fundamental component of their culture. In the 2000 census, 59.2% of people in Miami-Dade County said that they spoke Spanish at home.
Although the media in Miami allows a certain amount of cultural labeling to flourish within the community, it also portrays the growing importance and domination of Cuban immigrants. For example, the Miami Herald's June 14, 1996 headline reads "Vanishing Spanish". The headline refers to, and deplores the fact that, only a small percentage of recent high school graduates were fluent in Spanish; whereas the majority of second-generation Cuban immigrants spoke broken Spanish, and only spoke it in the home. "This was described as an alarming trend since it erodes Miami's advantage as a bilingual community and diminishes its economic competitiveness".
Within 20th century Miami many Spanish-language newspapers were founded. "The Miami Herald created a Spanish-language insert, El Nuevo Herald
El Nuevo Herald is a McClatchy newspaper published daily in Spanish in Miami, Florida, in the United States. El Nuevo Heralds sister paper is The Miami Herald, also produced by the McClatchy Company.-About El Nuevo Herald:...
, in 1976". This addition received a vast amount of support and "by 1981 circulation reached 83,000 on weekdays and 94,000 for weekend editions. El Nuevo Herald is now published as an independent newspaper and reports a weekday circulation of about 100,000. It too is accessible on the World Wide Web (http://www.elherald.com). As the Hispanic population has grown and achieved considerable economic success, it has also moved beyond Miami's city limits: Spanish-language newspapers are now published in adjacent Hialeah and Fort Lauderdale. This expansion can be seen at a statewide level as well, for Tampa
Tâmpa may refer to several villages in Romania:* Tâmpa, a village in Băcia Commune, Hunedoara County* Tâmpa, a village in Miercurea Nirajului, Mureş County* Tâmpa, a mountain in Braşov city...
Orlando is a city in the central region of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat of Orange County, and the center of the Greater Orlando metropolitan area. According to the 2010 US Census, the city had a population of 238,300, making Orlando the 79th largest city in the United States...
, and Immokalee each have Spanish-language newspapers".
Essentially, through the founding and growth of distinctly Hispanic newspapers, Cuban immigrants established a distinctly Latin American media.
Rioting and social upheaval
The growing number and power of Miami's Cuban population increasingly impacted African-American communities within Miami. In fact, "countless media and public reports portray Miami in terms of a fragile truce among Hispanics, blacks, and Anglos that threatens to dissolve into a full-blown culture war".
"African American rioting erupted on four separate occasions during the 1980s in Miami. With the exception of the events following the Rodney King
Rodney Glen King is an American best known for his involvement in a police brutality case involving the Los Angeles Police Department on March 3, 1991...
verdict in Los Angeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...
, Miami experienced the worst U.S. rioting since the 1960s when Liberty City erupted in violent protests in 1980. African Americans' non-traditional protests and civil disturbances in Miami coincided with the social upheaval attendant on the arrival of 125,000 refugees from the Cuban port of Mariel". Although the link between racial tensions and ethnicity need to be further examined, African Americans nonetheless are impacted by Cuban immigration into Miami. Cuban Americans' attachment to their culture further fuels the conflict and promote social fragmentation. Essentially, "racial tensions and periodic episodes of civil unrest in its ghettos".
In-migration, out-migration, and interregional migration
Cuban immigration greatly affected the Miami's future demographics. For example the net in-migration of African American's into Miami was reduced during the 1960s in comparison to previous years. This was the result Cuban immigrants competed for jobs that were often afforded to African Americans living in Miami. This reduction of in-migration of non-Hispanics displayed the growing power of Cubans in Miami. Miami "posts a low out-migration rate-43.6 per 1,000. This, of course, stems from the huge Cuban presence in Dade County and is testimony to the holding power of the Cuban enclave in Miami".
Furthermore, Miami receives much interregional Cuban migration. "Miami posted an in-migration of 35,776 Cubans from elsewhere in the United States between 1985 and 1990 and an out-migration of 21,231, mostly to elsewhere in Florida. Flows to and from Miami account for 52 percent of all interregional migration in the Cuban settlement system". This migration to Miami shows Miami's appeal to diverse Cuban communities. Furthermore, it greatly effects non-Hispanic communities causing them to leave Dade County.
- Immigration to the United States
Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants,...
- El Nuevo Herald, a Spanish-language supplement to The Miami Herald