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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Blacks and Cubans in Metropolitan Miami's Changing Economy


The exponential growth in selected Sunbelt cities since 1960 is now well documented, and metropolitan Miami is recognized as one of the acknowledged targets of Sunbelt growth and development. What is less often acknowledged, is the impact of the transformation of such places on segments of the residential population. In this paper, primary attention will be directed at two subpopulations -- Blacks and Cubans residing in metropolitan Miami just prior to the takeoff era. At the time of takeoff, Blacks represented a quasi-caste population whose role in the Miami economy was typical of that of Blacks in the economy of the urban South, a peripheral one. Cubans, on the other hand, were just beginning to enter the metropolitan economy in substantial numbers and the first wave of migrants from Cuba had yet to make its impact felt. After the passage of almost a generation it is fitting to examine how well metropolitan miami's two primary ethnic minorities have fared in penetrating, and/or altering the metropolitan economy.

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