Project Description

A Conversation About the NPR Podcast, “White Lies,” Season Two with, Andrew Beck Grace co-creator, “White Lies,” Chip Brantley co-creator, “White Lies,” Brianna Nofil assistant professor, College of William & Mary, Mirta Ojito author, “Finding Mañana: A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus,” Daniel Rivero creator, WLRN podcast “Detention by Design.” Moderated by Michael J. Bustamante, Ph.D. associate professor of History, and Emilio Bacardí Moreau, chair in Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, University of Miami, and Antonio Mora, Wolfson Chair of Broadcast Journalism, School of Communication, University of Miami.

For 11 days in August 1991, 119 Cuban refugees from the Mariel boatlift incarcerated in Talladega, Alabama held federal prison officials hostage to protest their imminent deportation to Cuba. This incident followed even larger uprisings at prisons in Georgia and Louisiana in 1987 among Cubans who had been deemed “excludable” from the United States and indefinitely detained ever since.

In season two of the Pulitzer Prize-finalist NPR podcast “White Lies,” investigative journalists Andrew Beck Grace and Chip Brantley worked backwards from these crises to explore the unfolding of the Mariel boatlift, Mariel migrants’ struggles to navigate the U.S. immigration and criminal justice systems, and the ways such challenges were deeply inflected by the politics of race.

Watch this recording from Feb. 23, 2023, for the interactive conversation with the creators of the show and other experts about Mariel’s complex afterlives, comparative U.S. immigration policy then and now, and the power of the podcast form for investigative reporting.

This event was co-presented by WLRN and the University of Miami’s Center for Global Black Studies, Cuban Heritage Collection at the Libraries, Emilio Bacardí Moreau Chair in Cuban and Cuban American Studies, Immigration Clinic at the School of Law, and School of Communication.