Disney Finally Has a Latina Princess; That's a Pretty Big Deal

Categories: Culture, Opinion

Courtesy of Disney/Collin Stark
Last week, Disney announced that a new princess would soon be coming to television: Elena of Avalor. She will be Disney's first Latina princess. The news, of course, spread like wildfire and many news outlets were celebrating Disney's move toward cultural diversity. Hell, even Saturday Night Live included the story in its "Weekend Update."

Not only does this announcement hit close to home because so many of us identify as Hispanic or Latino, but also because the actress who will voice the animated character grew up in Miami. Dominican-born, Miami-raised actress Aimee Carrero will make history with her latest role.

See also: Aimee Carrero: Storyteller on Stage

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Pepe Billete: Memories of My Abuela

Categories: Opinion

Photo by Pepe Billete
Fidel Castro is dead.

I've lived the majority of my life under the watch of the admittedly impulsive eye of the exile community. I've celebrated Fidel's death in the streets of both Hialeah and la saguesera at least three times in the past 15 years, but this time the news isn't coming from el primo mio Carlito que trabaja en Radio Mambí or el mechanico mio "Fix It Luis" que es tremendo troll y me dice vente mil cosas para joderme la vida. No. This time it is coming from una gringa culona I met in L.A. during the 2013 American Music Awards who works at a national news network in New York.

As the credits begin to roll on a red-carpet screening of Kevin Hart and Josh Gad's new comedy, The Wedding Ringer in theater number 17 at the Regal South Beach Cinema Thursday, January 8, I've completely forgotten where I am because I'm frantically texting the music-awards gringa. Are you sure? Five minutes later, the stage is set, the credits are nearing their end, the house lights begin to come on, and she sends me pics of the news graphics they're ready to run.

See also: New Cuba Travel and Commerce Rules Start Tomorrow

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Was Gina Rodriguez's Golden Globes Victory Really a Win for Latinas?

Categories: Culture, Opinion

Paul Buck/EPA

In what has been hailed as possibly the most memorable -- and moving speech -- of the night at the 72nd annual Golden Globe Awards Sunday, Gina Rodriguez took home the honor of Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy for her role as Jane in the CW's Jane the Virgin.

The Latina approached the stage mouthing the word "wow" over and over again. When she began to speak, her voice cracked with emotion when she said: "This award is so much bigger than myself. It represents a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes."

There's that word again - "represents" - it's a familiar word that get tossed around whenever we talk about Latina identity in all of its intricacies. Some have argued that Rodriguez's win was a win for Latinas across America, but I was left wondering if it really was.

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

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The University of Miami's Delta Gamma Recruitment Video Is Gross

Categories: Opinion

The Delta Gamma sorority at the University of Miami released its 2015 recruitment video Thursday. What do bright-faced gals need to join the ranks? Aviator sunglasses, an endless supply of cut-off shorts, and pearly-white teeth -- at least according to the video.

For more than three minutes, the group of women smiles at the camera and dances, bouncing in fun sisterly bliss on the beach. If not for a couple of flashes of the Delta and UM insignias, you would have no idea these girls were actually in college. In fact, this call for young women views more like a Miami tourism ad, one we've seen time and time again.

See also: Female Street Crew Few and Far Paints Underwater Fantasy in Wynwood (Photos)

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LeBron is Coming To Town, Let's Be Nice About It

Categories: Opinion, Sports

Photo by Alex Broadwell
How you hanging in there Miami? I know, I know - you don't want to talk about it. But we need to talk about this. He's gone. He left and I know it hurts, but it is what it is. These things happen, people change and they move on and you just have to figure out how to deal. Here's the thing...and you're not going to like it, but...he's coming back to town. We need to talk about how to handle this.

Miami, you have a bit of a reputation for being something of an asshole. Don't get me wrong, it's undeniably part of the charm, but sometimes it goes too far. And I get that it helps smooth out that big ol' chip on your shoulder to be petty and piss on anything that isn't MIAMI, it might just be time to show a certain degree of restraint and, dare I say it - maturity. And with Lebron rolling into town for Christmas, we ought to take a minute to talk about how to go about showing a little class and civility - neither of which are your strong suits - namely by not booing number 23 when he takes to the hardwood at the American Airlines Arena come the 25th.

See also: The Ten Most Festive Spots in South Florida

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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 fusionmia.com.

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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