Thursday, April 22, 2010

What role has racial diversity had in shaping the Florida experience?

The racial issues that were faced in Florida during the mid 1900s are proof that Florida was part of the South. Heavily restricted by Jim Crow laws, special resorts of beaches were established in the1950s that were exclusively for black Americans. Attractions such as Paradise Springs, which was opened up on Emancipation Day, allowed Negroes to enjoy the wonders that Florida had to offer, while keeping them separate from the white vacationers. This led to the creation of many exclusively black entertainment facilities – including jazz centers, movie theatres, hairdressers/barbers, cafes, service stations, pharmacies and music stores.
While the black population was being segregated, the Native Indians were enjoying a better lifestyle. They flourished with the increase in capitalism, exchanging their pelts, plumes and hides for a considerable profit. They also featured in several popular tourist attractions, such as gator wrestling.
The black population and the Native Indians, combined with the different Latin American races, made Florida a very racially diverse state. The different cultural traditions impacted greatly on the typical Florida experience.

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