Stumper Detail

Date: Monday, May 24, 1999 
Question/Topic: I'm writing a report for school on Cuban immigrants, problems they faced and contributions they've made to the state's development. Any information you could provide would be appreciated. 
Answer/Pointer: I don't have material I can send you, but the following is quoted from the 1979-1980 Florida Handbook, compiled by Allen Morris, Tallahassee, Florida: The Pensinsular Publishing Company, p.308: "Cubans have been the most numerous of any foreign gorup seeking have in Florida. They began coming before Cuba won independence from Spain in 1898, establishing at Key West in the 1880s what was said to be at taht time the largest cigar manufacturing industry in the world. Strikes and fire ran the cigar makers to Tampa, where cigar manufacturer Vincente Martinez Ybor established Ybor City. Cuban independence failed to stpo the stream of refugees. New ones fled across the Florida Straits with the coming to power of virutally every new presidente. The refugee stream picked up during the Machado regime between 1925 and 1933, and continued with ups and downs until 1959, when, after Castro took over, an air armada was needed to bring the great numbers. Since 1959, more than 650,000 Cubans have fled their beautiful isle to find refuge inFlorida, concentrating in Dade County where 450,000 of them live. Little Havana, on the edge of downtown Miami, is indeed a Latin community,where English is seldom heard. But Spanish is about as common as English in downtown Miami, where numbers of Central and South Americans come to do their shopping." Bear in mind that the numbers of Cubans living in Miami given above are old. I can also make suggestions for books you can try to get on Interlibrary Loan. You didn't mention your grade level, so it was a little hard to select some titles for you to try to get, but I stuck with some books that sounded very general and that quite a few libraries had in their collection (so you'd stand a better chance of being able to get them through Interlibary Loan). You need to contact your local public library to make an Interlibrary Loan request. The following titles are listed by author first (if that was available), followed by title, publishing info, and year of publication. Greater Miami : spirit of Cuban enterprise. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. : Copperfield Publications, 1996 Masud-Piloto, Felix Roberto. From welcomed exiles to illegal immigrants : Cuban migration to the U.S., 1959-1995. Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield, 1996 Soruco, Gonzalo R. Cubans and the mass media in South Florida. Gainesville : University Press of Florida, 1996 José Martí in the United States : the Florida experience. Tempe : ASU Center for Latin American Studies, Arizona State University, 1995 García, María Cristina. Havana USA : Cuban exiles and Cuban Americans in South Florida, 1959-1994. Berkeley : University of California Press, 1996 Pérez, Louis A. Essays on Cuban history : historiography and research. Gainesville : University Press of Florida, 1995 Bretos, Miguel A. Cuba & Florida : exploration of an historic connection, 1539-1991. Miami, Fla. : Historical Association of Southern Florida, 1991 Cuban exiles in Florida : their presence and contributions. Coral Gables, Fla. : Published by University of Miami, North-South Center Publications for the Research Institute for Cuban Studies, 1991 Ronning, C. Neale. José Martí and the emigré colony in Key West : leadership and state formation. Praeger, 1990 You could also try the following web sites. From here, click on "historical clubs" at the bottom of the page. From here, you can click on each of the names at the top of the page (Centro Espanol, Centro Asturiano, etc). Each of these pages talks about the early life of Ybor City and the immigrant communities. This site, Journeys for the Junior Historian, is sponsored by the Florida Historical Society. There are a series of articles about Cuban life in Ybor City, and U.S. involvement in the Spanish American War. The first article is historically accurate and written in the form of a story. This site is for a cigar manufacturer, but this part of it gives a brief history of Cubans in Florida and their involvement in the cigar industry in Florida. Again, you can use some of the general themes in these web pages as starting points for research in your library, including in encyclopedias. 
Librarian: SLF 

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