From Ferguson to Miami: FusionMIA Project Gives Overtown Youth a Voice (Photos)

Boy Behind Metal Fence, Overtown, Elijah Wells
The Through My Lens: Art is Life photography workshop, which took place November 8 and was sponsored by the Play to Win Foundation, Nike, and Microsoft, gave several of Miami's teenagers the chance to express themselves and their life experiences through art. The opportunities and validation the workshop provides is in stark contrast to the teenagers fighting a corrupt system in Ferguson, Missouri, some in chaos, others in silent pleas. This essay is a look at how a city can uplift its youth or tear them down, inspiring them or teaching them that they don't matter.

The photography taken during the workshop will be featured at the FusionMIA 2014 African American Abstract Masters exhibit featuring the BET Art Lounge December 3 at Mana Wynwood Production Village (318 NW 23rd St., Miami) and lasts until December 7. Admission to the BET Art Lounge is free. Visit

See also: FusionMIA Photography Workshop Gives Students Art Basel Opportunity

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Florida Passed on Medical Marijuana: Here's How to Get Stoned Without Weed

Categories: Culture, Opinion

Photo by Mark | Flickr CC
After the recent midterm elections there are now five states where marijuana is completely legal. Almost half the country has medicalized or decriminalized pot. Colorado made so much tax revenue from selling legal bud that they are giving a rebate to citizens so even non-smokers have a pocketful of green. Foolishly, Florida decided to pass instead of puff, missing its spot in the legislative rotation. You "pass the dutchie 'pon the left hand side," and Florida leans to the right (wing).

Anything we eat, drink, inhale, or gently slide into our people holes alters us. Over time, humans have kept track of some interesting ones. From the Xanax you crush into your espresso to the protein powder you dust over icing dubiously called "stuf." Drugs are suffering from identity crisis, brand confusion, and bad PR. Like fucking curse words, they didn't do shit wrong but goddamn exist.

See also: Medical Marijuana in Florida: What Amendment 2 Means to You

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Movoto's Clichéd Reasons For Dating a "Hialeahan" Misrepresent the City

Photo by Ebyabe | Wikimedia Commons CC 3.0
Say what you wanna say about the City of Progress, but there's more to Hialeah than agua, fango, y factoria.

Just ask real estate site, Movoto. Last week, the realty company released, "13 Things You Need To Know About Dating Someone From Hialeah." And apparently, it's because everyone who lives in it is a passionate Cuban lover with an addiction to cafecito who can dance salsa like a pro.

Stereotypical much? While the whole point of Movoto's piece was to get non-natives to buy property in Hialeah, it only scratched the surface of what really makes the city one of the best places to live in.

But hey, at least they were completely right about one thing -- dating a Hialeahan is the best thing you can ever do for yourself.

Here are some of Movoto's gimmicky reasons for dating a Hialeahan.

See also: All 34 Cities in Miami-Dade County, Ranked From Worst to Best

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Medical Marijuana in Florida: What Amendment 2 Means to You

Categories: Opinion

Photo by Dank Depot | Flickr CC
Do you like smoking weed? I do. At the moment, though, as you may know if you've ever been pulled over and swallowed a roach or hidden a sack in your sock, marijuana is a Schedule I drug, meaning the DEA lists it in the top tier of dangerous drugs right along with narcotics like heroin. It's worth noting that cocaine is a Schedule II drug and that this scheduling scale is closely linked to the severity of sentencing in drug cases.

Marijuana, however, is the interesting exception in its class in that it is the only Schedule I drug that has been legalized in multiple states, with some, like California, allowing it only for medicinal use, while others, such as Colorado, have opted for full-on legalization. And next month, the Sunshine State might become one of the newest states to adopt such a policy regarding marijuana, depending upon what happens with Amendment 2.

But before you start feeding the grinder, let's hunker down and talk some numbers and what they mean. How likely is this amendment to pass come Election Day? What does it mean if Florida becomes the first Southern state to pass a medical marijuana amendment, and what does it mean if it doesn't? And what precisely does this amendment say in the first place?

See also: Eight Best Places to Go Stoned in Miami

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The Problem With Catherine Zeta-Jones as the Godmother

Flickr cc | David Shankbone
Last time I wrote about the way Hispanic actors and actresses are shoved into stereotyped roles, people got frustrated. But guess what? A lot of people are just as frustrated by the fact that a beautiful Welsh actress just got handed a role that should have certainly gone to someone else.

Catherine Zeta-Jones was just cast as the late Griselda Blanco, the Colombian well known for her bloody rise to the top of the drug cartel and heavy presence in the Miami cocaine wars of the '70s and '80s. For most Miamians, her story is familiar because of its depiction in Billy Corben's Cocaine Cowboys films. Zeta-Jones will star as the drug kingpin in The Godmother, one of Blanco's many names during her reign.

See also: Griselda Blanco, Miami's Cocaine Queen, Assassinated In Medellin Butcher Shop

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Five Ways to Reinvent the Miami-Dade Public Library System

Categories: Books, Opinion

Photo by Alex Markow
It's going to take more than these to fix up the Miami-Dade Public Library system.
We here at Cultist looooooove libraries, but we'd be lying if we said we stepped foot in one more than once in the past year. Because we are learned, we can identify that as a problem.

We're not really alone. Of the 2,496,435 people in Miami-Dade, only 1,084,841 are registered. Not too long ago, there was talk of cutting the Miami-Dade County Public Library system budget, but overwhelming support from voters like you for something so drastic as tax hikes to keep the system running smoothly have changed the discussion from cutting back to total rehaul.

The Knights and Miami Foundations held a special panel discussion and conference luncheon on Monday to see how other cities have successfully revamped their libraries into the digital age, and it got us thinking. How could the Miami-Dade Public Library System improve? Here are some of our ideas.

See also: Library Advocates Say Gimenez Budget Would Slash Services For Miamians

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The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story: Barely Scandalous

Photo by Sergei Bachlakov
Mark-Paul Gosselaar, AKA Zack Morris (Dylan Everett), sans bulky cell phone.
"I'm so excited, I'm so excited, I'm so, I'm so... scared!"

Jessie Spano immortalized those words on Saved by the Bell. It also perfectly summed up how most felt before the premiere of last night's Lifetime docudrama The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story.

Unlike the more scandalous and indulgent Beverly Hills 90210, Saved by the Bell was made for Saturday mornings, it was preteen-focused and light heartedly blissful. The word "unauthorized" conjured up images of orgies and blow in the dressing room. Fortunately and unfortunately, it wasn't that.

Here is a collection of some of the fun, albeit vanilla, "facts" we learned:

See also: Kate Chastain and Kat Held of Bravo's Below Deck Talk Yacht Life and Crazy Passengers

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Sofia Vergara's Emmys Skit Proves We Need More Positive Representation of Latinas on TV

Thumbnail image for Sophia_spins_Emmys.jpg
There has been a lot of talk, Tweets, and Instagrams since Beyonce's powerhouse performance at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday and Sofia Vergara's spinning skit at the Emmys Monday night. The stark contrast between the two showings has caused a stir, with "feminism" and "sexist" hashtag-storming social media.

But let's bring it back home for a second: Vergara wasn't trying to make some feminist statement with her bit at the Emmys, instead she was just flaunting her assets at the request of the chairman of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Bruce Rosenblum. "What truly matters," Rosenblum said while Vergara rotated on a pedestal, "is that we never forget that our success is based on always giving the viewer something compelling to watch."

See also: Chef Filming in Miami: Behind the Scenes with Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo

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Miami's Hispanic Audiences Deserve Better Representation on the Big Screen

Marvel Studios
Captain America, one of this year's biggest hits with Latino audiences.
Practically every day this month, I've found myself getting into arguments with someone about how important representation is in media. As many studies have shown, not everyone who goes to the movies or watches television is a generic upper-middle class, straight, white cis male. But when you get down to it, isn't that the only thing we see on the big screen?

Yesterday, Entertainment Weekly posted a list -- five things Hollywood learned about Latino moviegoers this summer -- that looked into the way that Hispanic audiences spent their money at the movies, and what movies they went out of their way to watch. Unsurprisingly, it showed that Latino audiences accounted "for at least 20 percent of ticket sales opening weekend for the highest-grossing movies in May and June." Those of us here in Miami who go to the movies could have easily told you that just by stepping into the line for tickets at any theater.

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Stay, LeBron: An Open Letter to King James

Dear LeBron,

When I first read the news that you'd be opting out of your Miami Heat contract, I have to admit, I was more than a little upset. I imagine many Miamians had the same reaction, from the guy down the block with a picture of your face and the words "STANK DON'T IT?" painted on the hood of his Chevy Caprice, to the countless parents of children with names like LeBron Rodriguez or Louis LeBron Jameson.

But I've given it some thought, and you know what? I think I get it. To my understanding, the best case scenario is that you, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh all opt out, accept lower salaries, free up some contract money to bring in new talent, and win 18 more championships.

But I'm not writing this letter for the best case scenario. I'm writing because of the other case scenarios.

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