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florida has a new state anthem

May 2, 2008 § Leave a comment

From the Miami Herald online

by Nicole Bardo-Colon

A tune written by a Broward school teacher may soon serve as a new state anthem under a compromise reached by state lawmakers Thursday night.

The House, following the lead of the Senate, approved a measure calling for Pompano Beach music teacher Jan Hinton’s Where the Sunshine Meets the Sky to serve as the new state anthem, while retaining a cleaned up version of the Stephen Foster Old Folks at Home, also known as Swanee River, as the official state song. (though it has clearly racist undertones which reference Florida’s plantation days)

From Channel 6 in Tampa

The state altered Foster’s original lyrics, with their slavery-era dialect and racial stereotypes, but “Old Folks At Home” still referred to a long-gone era of plantations in Florida. The three new songs nominated as a replacement celebrated a more modern Florida.

The FMEA said 8,020 ballots were cast and that “Sawgrass” won with more than half the vote.In addition to state song legislation, lawmakers will also consider a bill by Rep. Dave Murzin, R-Pensacola, to designate a different tune as Florida’s official state “anthem.” But that wouldn’t affect adoption of a new state song.”Florida, Where the Sawgrass Meets the Sky” was written by Jan Hinton of Pompano Beach.

Click here to hear a version of the song.

zora neale hurston film on pbs

April 6, 2008 § Leave a comment

A documentary about Zora Neale Hurston will air this week on PBS.

Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun

April 9, 2008 at 9 pm
Check local listings
Writer, cultural anthropologist, chronicler of folk roots and ethnic traditions, daughter of former slaves, Hurston was one of the most celebrated – and most controversial – figures of the Harlem Renaissance.

castro resigns . . .

February 19, 2008 § Leave a comment

picture from the New York Times online slideshow
“I will not aspire to, neither will I accept — I repeat I will not aspire to, neither will I accept — the position of President of the Council of State and Commander in chief . . . It would betray my conscience to occupy a responsibility that requires mobility and the total commitment that I am not in the physical condition to offer.”
– Fidel Castro, February19, 2008
To read news stories related to this latest news, check out the New York Times, the Miami Herald, and BBC America. With little access to “real news” from Cuba, it will be hard to get at just how this official resignation will affect the country. From what I have heard so far, the scene in Miami is pretty mellow, and most people don’t see this as much different from his unofficial resignation in July 2006. With Raul Castro as Fidel Castro’s successor, hardline Miami Cubans doubt much will change in their favor. It is unclear at this point if Raul Castro will in fact take power as he is not the only one who has been groomed for this position. My question and concern is, what do the Cubans who are living in Cuba now want to see happen in their country?

film festivals cancel sugar babies screening

February 16, 2008 § Leave a comment

from Alesh over at Critical Miami . . .

Is the Florida sugar industry suppressing documentaries about its labor practices? It would appear so. The Women’s Film Festival canceled a screening of Sugar Babies it “would create controversy and endanger [their] funding” and the Miami Film Festival has dropped the movie as well. See an older documentary here.

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