History on Civil Rights Issues Among African Americans in Miami

Civil Rights Issues among African Americans in Miami

Episode 14 “Back to The Movement” is about the challenges that the African American community has faced 25 years since the civil right movement began. The episode focuses on the African American communities, mostly dwelling in Chicago and Miami, and tells their stories about how they respond to these problems. In the early 1980s, the period after economic and social progress, the number of towns declined due to discriminatory housing practice, rising unemployment, lack of investment in businesses, and crime. Many people fled to the outskirts while the immigrants from Asia and Latin relocated to the cities where they caused economic and political challenges to the African American. The paper examines what the black Americans faced during the civil right movement in Miami.

In Miami, Florida, racial discrimination escalated due to limited opportunities and poor housing lead to riots and police brutality. In 1960, hundreds of black families were displaced as a result of a highway that was constructed through the town and the commercial and cultural fabric of this community was torn apart. The black community in Miami was isolated from the city. While blacks are free to live in the city, they are not part of it. Economically and politically, the Blacks do not form the larger group that makes community polices or control the resources. Neither the city nor the county has seen the need to address their concerns. Their frustration is witnessed through a series of violent incidents across the city. When the city came up with the new housing program to build low-cost housing, the black people had to relocate to areas where it was very difficult for them to survive. Moreover, the city failed to construct housing units even after the demolitions.

Since the late 1960s, the 1980s riots in Miami were the first racial based riots. In the early 1980s, the black community in Miami is faced with completion from migrants from Haiti and Cuba. Jobs are given to the immigrants leaving the African American lavishing in poverty due to unemployment. The Justice system of Miami was run without the involvement of the Blacks, and it was unable to condemn violence against them. The black Americans often complained about police brutality. The number of blacks who have been jailed in Miami is thrice of that of the entire population of Dade County, yet black people are a minority. In 1979, Arthur McDuffie, a successful salesman and a retired Marine is killed after a high speed chase. The police claim that McDuffie died after succumbed to injuries during his motorcycle accident. However, a story emerges that he died being beaten to death. After court cases the police officers all who happen to be white are declared innocent despite the evidence that had been presented. This leads to riots in Miami as the majority of the African Americans are angry with the court rulings. After 3 days of riots 17 people were announced dead and about 1000 African Americans are taken in. Jimmy Cater the U.S president visits Miami after the dust settles down and promises that the Federal government would provide funds to rebuild.

“Back to the Movement” episode in Eyes on the Prize is based on the real struggles that the black Americans experienced during the civil right movement especially in Miami. The Blacks in Miami were mainly discriminated in terms of lack of proper housing, poor education system, and lack of economic empowerment. The episode reveals the struggles that the blacks persevered for their voices could be he