The 44%: PPP Loans and Spring Break


Alabama State University Spring Breakers Jacory Lee, 21, Justin Stephens, 22, and Terry Haynes, 22, march on South Beach Thursday, March 17, 2022.

Alabama State University Spring Breakers Jacory Lee, 21, Justin Stephens, 22, and Terry Haynes, 22, march on South Beach Thursday, March 17, 2022.

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Miami Beach has a dilemma on its hands.

Elected officials have made it clear that they see spring break as a problem, but every March the revelers keep coming. And why wouldn’t they? South Beach is iconic, a cultural staple thanks to the wealth of television, movies and music that have built the area’s appeal.

Although I never went to South Beach in college, I do know this: Spring break is spring break. The same things that happen at 10th and Ocean Drive are probably happening on South Padre Island, the Bahamas, or wherever the spring breakers flock. Sure, South Beach can get a little wild at times, but that’s the image the city of Miami – and by default Miami Beach since most visitors don’t know the difference – has created for itself.

The question now is who will give in first: Miami Beach or the tourists?

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C. Isaiah Smalls II author card


Crowds fill the beach promenade along Ocean Drive during spring break in Miami Beach, Fla., Saturday, March 19, 2022. Daniel A. Varela [email protected]

“The only urgency is that the blacks are on the beach.” Critics slam the Spring Break curfew:

Two shootings led Miami Beach to declare a state of emergency – and many were unhappy.

“The only emergency is that black people are on the beach,” said Miami-Dade Black Advisory Board member Stephen Hunter Johnson, adding, “I don’t understand how this city has been doing spring break for at least 25 years. .and I can’t figure it out.

Miami Beach has imposed a daily curfew, from midnight to 6 a.m., Thursday night through Monday morning.

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People walk down Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, Florida on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. MATIAS J. OCNER [email protected]

“We are back to square one.” Spring Break curfew evokes Miami Beach’s history of black visitors:

As Johnson alluded to, Miami Beach has a history of being unwelcoming to its black visitors.

For example, after boxer Muhammad Ali, then Cassius Clay, beat Sonny Liston for the heavyweight title at the Miami Beach Convention Center in 1964, Ali couldn’t stay on the beach because segregation laws barred black people from hotels in the city .

Although that law has changed, critics say these types of incidents in Miami Beach’s history have a bearing on where the city is today.

“If you don’t know your story, you’re doomed to repeat it,” said Pierre Rutledge, chairman of the Miami-Dade Black Advisory Board. “And it looks like that’s where we’re headed.”

Performance by Kenya Safari acrobats. Touring band owner Karen Makange struggled to get her Paycheck Protection Program loan cancelled. Karen Makange

PPP loans were made to be forgiven. In heavily black areas like South Florida, many are not:

Miami-Dade and Broward counties have PPP loan forgiveness rates well below the national average, according to an analysis by the Miami Herald.

Why? The large black and Hispanic population of both counties, Ben Wieder reported.

The percentage of unforgiven loans in the majority of black ZIP codes is more than three times higher than the percentage of unforgiven loans in the majority of white ZIP codes, while the percentage of unforgiven loans in the majority of Hispanic ZIP codes is more double that of the majority of white postcodes. codes.


In the Harvard years of Ketanji Brown Jackson:

Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings had a bit of everything.

Through it all, Jackson appeared calm and composed — a demeanor likely honed during her time at Harvard, according to a recent New York Times article.

“She’s fearless in a world where sometimes it’s scary to be fearless,” said Lisa Fairfax, who was one of Judge Jackson’s roommates and is now a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania.


Atlanta, FX Series COURTESY OF FX

“Atlanta” returns tonight:

Few shows have captured my attention quite like Donald Glover’s “Atlanta.” So much has changed during the series’ four-year hiatus that I’m even nervous to watch. Who knows if I’ll be in space to receive the show like I did in 2018?

That said, “Atlanta” is one of the best shows ever made in my opinion, so I for one will be front and center at 10 p.m. tonight.

Where does the name “The 44 Percent” come from? Click here to find out how Miami’s history influenced the title of the newsletter.

C. Isaiah Smalls II is a reporter covering race and culture for the Miami Herald. Previously, he worked for ESPN’s The Undefeated as part of their first class of Rhoden Fellows. He is a graduate of Columbia University and Morehouse College.


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