In Conversation: Riots, Refugees, and Cocaine in Miami 1980

Event starts Monday, November 16 at 6 p.m. The Year of Dangerous Days: Riots, Refugees, and Cocaine in Miami 1980 is Nicolas Griffin’s story of the rise and fall of […]


In Conversation: Riots, Refugees, and Cocaine in Miami 1980

Authors:Billy Corben , Nicholas Griffin


Event starts Monday, November 16 at 6 p.m.

The Year of Dangerous Days: Riots, Refugees, and Cocaine in Miami 1980 is Nicolas Griffin’s story of the rise and fall of one of America’s most popular destination cities, that was not so long ago rife with police brutality, an out-of-control drug epidemic, and a bulging refugee crisis. He’s speaking with filmmaker and lifelong Miamian Billy Corben, a Peabody Award-winning documentarian whose films includes Cocaine Cowboys, about the rise of Miami’s cocaine trade and subsequent drug wars of the 1970s and ’80s, and Magic City Hustle, an examination of the forgotten sport of jai alai and its ties to the city.

Sponsored by

Billy Corben

Billy Corben is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winner filmmaker. He is a Florida native, a lifelong Miamian and the co-founder of the Miami Beach-based content creation company rakontur. He has directed feature documentaries such as Sundance Film Festival selection Raw Deal: A Question of Consent (2001), Cocaine Cowboys (2006), Square Grouper: The Godfathers of Ganja (2011), Dawg Fight (2015), Screwball (2018), Magic City Hustle (2019) and the ESPN 30 for 30s ‘The U‘ (2009), ‘Broke‘ (2012) and ‘The U Part 2‘ (2014). His most recent project is the HBO Original Documentary 537 Votes.

Nicholas Griffin

Nicholas Griffin is a journalist and author of four novels and also works of nonfiction, including Ping Pong Diplomacy. His writing has appeared in The Times (UK), The Financial Times, Foreign Policy, and other publications on topics as disparate as sports and politics, piracy, filmmaking in the Middle East, and the natural sciences. Pete Simonelli is a writer, audiobook narrator, and vocalist for the band Enablers. Today, Miami, Florida is one of the most popular vacation spots, with nearly 10 million tourists visiting annually. The Year of Dangerous Days: Riots, Refugees, and Cocaine in Miami 1980 (Simon & Schuster Audio) is the story of how it came to be. There’s an improbable cast characters including Jimmy Carter, Fidel Castro, and Janet Reno; but also Edna Buchanan, a reporter for the Miami Herald who breaks the story on the wrongful murder of a black man, and the shocking police cover-up; Captain Marshall Frank and Mayor Maurice Ferre, who watches the city fall apart with the case. As drug cartels flood the city with cocaine and infiltrate all levels of law enforcement and government, the city explodes in one of the worst race riots in American history and over 120,000 Cuban refugees land on the Miami coast. A more vibrant Miami is born, literally built on corruption and drug money —and this will have severe ramifications for the rest of the country. Kirkus Reviews called it “An engrossing peek-between-your-fingers history of an American city on the edge.”

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