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Disrupting a Racial Politics of Division: Black Voices on the 1980 Mariel Boatlift
Intro by Holly Ackerman, Librarian for Latin America, Iberia, Latino/a Studies

The 1980 Mariel exodus, when 125,000 Cubans came to the United States by boatlift, underscored racial/ethnic tensions that had been brewing between African Americans and Cuban Americans in Miami for decades. While scholarship primarily focuses on the event from the perspective of its relevance for Cubans, this talk shines a light on black voices on Mariel, to highlight the complexities involved in the fight for black rights as the definitions of “black” and of “Cuban” underwent significant shifts as the Cuban newcomers arrived.

Monika Gosin is an Associate Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Program in Latin American Studies at the College of William & Mary. Gosin's research and teaching interests include Latinx and Africana studies, international migration, popular culture and media, and inter-minority relations. She is the author of "The Racial Politics of Division: Interethnic Struggles for Legitimacy in Multicultural Miami" (Cornell University Press, 2019).


The John Hope Franklin Center (JHFC) and the Duke Center for International and Global Studies (DUCIGS) are launching the 2020/2021 Wednesdays at the Center (W@TC) series virtually.

The W@TC series, the John Hope Franklin Center, and the international area study centers in DUCIGS have worked in the past to address issues of racism, inequality, and marginalization both globally and locally.

This year, we will intensify our focus on anti-racism under the rubric: JHF | Global Anti-Racism (histories of action).

If you require closed captioning to access the material in our event, please email Meredith Watkins (

Oct 21, 2020 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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