Migration and Mediatization: Where South Florida and Iowa Meet

Millions displaced from New Orleans and other Southern cities following Hurricane Katrina.IMG_3039

Hundreds of thousands forced from Detroit neighborhoods.

Thousands more moved throughout the Midwest as cities like Chicago change their affordable housing plans.
Each of these cases have the same thing in common – the forced migration of dark skinned U.S. citizens – something that may at some point happen in South Florida as land grabs for the rich occur during a time of rising seas.

This was the argument eyesontherise.org team member Robert E. Gutsche, Jr. made Oct. 4 during a reading of his new book, A Transplanted Chicago, at the Iowa City Book Festival in Iowa City, Iowa.

The book examines diaspora in the Midwest, specifically to Iowa City.

Gutsche’s book focuses on the movement of blacks from inner-city Chicago to the collar counties and to mainly white communities throughout the Midwest. Such movements, he said, have led to cultural conflict and shed light on possible conflict that may come in the future migrations, including from South Florida.

“Already in South Florida, we see discussion about the future movements of people,” Gutsche said. “And while it’s speculative to suggest South Floridians may face their own diaspora in the next 100 years as seas continue to rise, the idea’s not too far out there. As we’ve seen in recent years – this movement is happening to many in U.S. cities.”

The issue of possible diaspora because of sea level rise emerged during a Sept. 29 sea level rise rally hosted by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University. Check out slides from the Sept. 29 sea level rise rally. And such discourse continues to emerge in news coverage about future development, as the wealthy prepare for their futures, Gutsche said.

“I hope we can begin to have these types of conversations about how to shape the future of South Florida,” Gutsche said. “They are just as important as discussions about the environment, how to slow the effects of sea level rise, and how to engage the public with understanding the science behind our ecological changes.”

WHO: Florida International University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication
WHAT: eyesontherise.org King Tide Day
WHERE: Miami Beach
WHEN: Oct. 9 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.