FIU library hosts black freedom lecture

Written by: Guethshina Altena/Staff Writer

One in six black men had been incarcerated as of 2001. If current trends continue, one in three black males born today can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime, according to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

To talk about the black community in South Florida and its struggle for racial equality; and to further discuss the hardships they encountered since the 14th century until the 1960s , The FIU Libraries will host a lecture by Chanelle Rose, author of “The Struggle for Black Freedom in Miami.”

“It’s crucial that students are aware of the factors that affect colored people in our community,” said Vickie Toranzo, library operations instructor.

Rose is associate professor and co-coordinator of the Africana Studies program at Rowan University.

An FIU alumna, Rose talks about the social and political history of civil rights movement in Miami. According to Rose, the city had a racially progressive national reputation that masked widespread inequality.

She says that white civic elites were historically interested in progressing their tourist economy by avoiding a social unrest that characterized other cities in the New South during the civil rights movement. They were less concerned about changing the city’s institutions of systematic racial oppression, according to Rose.

Rose also says that the black community continues to face systematic issues, like foreclosures, police brutalities and disproportionate incarceration rates. African Americans are incarcerated nearly six times the rate of white people, according to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

African Americans represent 26 percent of juvenile arrests, 44 percent of youth who are detained, 46 percent of youth who are judicially waived to criminal court and 58 percent of the youth admitted to state prisons, according to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice.

According to Miami-Dade County’s daily jail population statistics for Thursday, Nov. 19, 2,614 black people were arrested compared to 2,497 white people, the majority being non-Hispanic.

Rose will talk about her book and provide specific explanation about the topic. There will be a question and answer session after the lecture and refreshments will be provided.

The event is sponsored by the Government Resources and Information Department and the Special Collections and University Archives.

According to Toranzo, the lecture will be the first of its kind hosted by FIU Libraries.

“We encourage everyone to come out and learn about, ‘The Struggle for Black Freedom in Miami,’” Toranzo said.

The event will take place Monday, Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. at the Green Library Room 220 at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus. It is free and open to the public.

To register in advance, students can go to the Facebook page of Government Resources and Information Department at FIU Libraries.

Image Courtesy of Creative Commons

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