Politics
3:42 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

AUDIO: Cuban-Born Minister Encourages Tolerance At Inaugural Benediction

Thousands of people wait to attend Monday's inauguration ceremony, where Rev. Luis León delivered the benediction.
Credit Sarah Gonzalez

In his inaugural benediction, Cuban-born Rev. Luis León spoke to all Americans, disregarding lines of race, economic standing and sexuality.

"We pray that you will bless us with your continued presence, because without it, hatred and arrogance will infect our hearts," he said before hundreds of thousands of people Monday. "But with your blessing, we know that we can break down the walls that separate us."

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Richard Blanco's inaugural poem, One Today, may have addressed the whole nation, but the details were full of South Florida.

 

Blanco is the son of Cuban exiles. He was born in Spain and came to Miami as a small child. He trained to be a civil engineer but a class at Florida International University later launched his poetry career. His poetry draws on images of a childhood spent in a tight-knit South Florida Cuban community.

One Today
1:01 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

AUDIO: Full Text Of Richard Blanco's Poem For The Inauguration

Richard Blanco's poem describes apples, 'arrayed like rainbows begging our praise.'
Credit rc! / Flickr

Richard Blanco's inaugural poem, One Today, may have addressed the whole nation, but the details were full of South Florida. 

A father's hands callused by cutting sugar cane, a mother who taught Blanco to speak Spanish--these are some of the personal details that worked their way into the poem.

Blanco is the son of Cuban exiles. He was born in Spain and came to Miami as a small child. His poetry draws on images of a childhood spent in a tight-knit South Florida Cuban community.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Boston College Sociologist Charles Derber, author of The Surplus American

Charles Derber
https://www2.bc.edu/~derber/

01/21/13 - Monday’s  Topical Currents is with Boston College sociology professor Charles Derber, the co-author of THE SURPLUS AMERICAN:  How the 1% is Making Us Redundant.  Many Americans are rendered jobless, but the authors maintain that this is just the “tip of the iceberg.”  They examine the results of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, as well as how people are forcibly induced to leave the workforce.

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Arts
11:32 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Miami Poet Richard Blanco Puts FIU In The Creative Writing Spotlight

Credit Richard-Blanco.com

Richard Blanco will likely be Florida International University's most talked-about graduate today.

The 44-year-old is the youngest, first openly gay and first Hispanic inaugural poet.

Blanco has a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from FIU as well as a Masters of Fine Arts from FIU's creative writing program.

If it seems like Blanco came out of nowhere, author and Virginia Tech professor Ed Falco begs to differ.

"Well FIU, first of all," he said, "has one of the best poetry programs in the country."

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Inauguration Day
11:30 am
Mon January 21, 2013

How South Florida Is Spending Inauguration Day, And What People Are Saying

Carol City High School Band at the Adrienne Arsht Center of the Performing Arts
Christine Di Mattei

As South Florida prepares for a day of dual celebration for Inauguration Day and MLK Day, we are rounding up what is going on in the community, and what people are talking about.  There are watch parties all over the place- but we have sent our reporter Chris Di Mattei to the Arsht Center to sit in on the watch party there.  Our StateImpact education reporter Sarah Gonzales just happens to be in Washington D.C. for the event, and we are going to be hearing from her, too.

Inauguration Day
11:30 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Obama's Florida Body-Double In D.C. For Inauguration

Lynn University student Eric Gooden with a life-sized cut-out of President Obama, days before the Oct. 22nd debate.
Credit Lynn University

Among the throngs of people gathered at the National Mall to watch today's inauguration ceremony is Boca Raton's "President Obama."

That would be Lynn University student Eric Gooden.  Last fall, the 24-year-old senior served as a stand-in for the President during Lynn University's final preparations for the presidential debate in late October.

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Arts
10:00 am
Mon January 21, 2013

In D.C. and Delray, 'Poetry' Is The Word On The Street

Credit Palm Beach Poetry Festival

From the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to Old School Square in Delray Beach, poetry class is in session.

Today, 44-year-old Richard Blanco, the Miami-raised son of Cuban immigrants, becomes the fifth poet ever to take part in a President's inaugural ceremony.  Blanco is scheduled to read an original poem after President Obama is sworn in for his second term.

Meanwhile, poetry fans are converging upon Delray Beach for the 9th Annual Palm Beach County Poetry Festival, which runs through Saturday.

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The Rev. Luis León
8:00 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Priest Came Through Miami From Cuba To Earn A Place At Obama's Second Inaugural

SUNDAY AT ST. JOHNS: The Rev. Luis León greets the President and Mrs. Obama at the door of his church near the White House. Leon will give the inaugural benediction when the president is sworn in for his second term.
Credit Facebook

President Obama and his inaugural guests will receive their blessing from a Cuba-born minister who came to Miami as a child and now pastors a church just blocks from the White House.

The Rev. Luis León, an Episcopal priest, is the rector at St. John's Church where every president since James Madison has attended services at one time or another. His relationship with the White House is well-established: In 2005, he became the first Hispanic clergyman to deliver an inaugural benediction when President George W. Bush was sworn in for his second term.

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