Florida History Lecture Series Wraps up 2022 Slate

Nov 11, 2022

by FSC Staff

The Lawton M. Chiles Jr., Center for Florida History concludes its 2022 portion of the Florida History Lecture Series at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17 at Branscomb Auditorium with noted journalist, lawyer and author David Powell.

The lecture will examine Powell’s work documenting the stories of Cuban immigrants in his book Ninety Miles and a Lifetime Away: Memories of Early Cuban Exiles (2022).

The Florida Lecture Series is a forum that brings speakers to the Florida Southern Campus who explore Florida lifestyles and culture. The series covers a wide range of disciplines including history, public affairs, law, sociology, criminology, anthropology, literature, and art. The objective of the series is to bring members of the community, faculty, and student body together to interact with and learn from leading authorities in their fields.

“We are excited about hosting David Powell,” said James M. Denham, Director of the Lawton Chiles Center for Florida History. “Powell’s book combines inspiring, and sometimes heartbreaking, first-person accounts with historical background of the unforgettable saga of more than 600,000 people who fled Castro’s Cuba in the early 1960s - a transformational exodus that changed forever the future of both countries.”

Ninety Miles and a Lifetime Away:
Memories of Early Cuban Exiles

Powell is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the Columbia Journalism School. He began his professional life as a reporter for the Associated Press in New York, Miami, and Tallahassee. After earning a law degree from Florida State University, Powell practiced law for 30 years. In his work and through civic organizations, he met many Cuban Americans and was moved by the stories of their lives. Powell began recording interviews about their memories in 2016, first in Florida, and then elsewhere. Ninety Miles and a Lifetime Away: Memories of Early Cuban Exiles sets the scene for the stories of the 600,000 Cubans who came to this country in the 15 years after Fidel Castro assumed power in 1959. It offers historical background that illuminates a pivotal period in the context of the Cold War and shows how the U.S. government’s Cuban Refugee Assistance Program had far-reaching effects on refugee policy, bilingual education, and child welfare programs.

The event is free to the public.