The All-American Cuban Comet

As a Cuban immigrant, 10-year-old Carlos Alvarez felt the sting of discrimination, but soon found a way to combat it: football. Excelling at a sport few Latinos played, “the Cuban Comet” became a record-smashing receiver at the University of Florida and an inspiration to others struggling to adapt to life in a new country, all [...]

A Long Way from Home

Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color line in 1947, but it took another generation of Black and Latino players to make the sport truly open to all. Playing in remote minor-league towns where racial segregation remained a fact of life well into the 1960s, these were the men who, before they could live their big-league dreams, [...]

ESPN 30 for 30 Short: The Guerrilla Fighter

In 1983, Alexis Argüello was a three-time boxing world champion whose career was winding to a close. What few realized was that his next fight would be the most dramatic of his life: Argüello returned to his native Nicaragua and joined the guerrilla war against the Sandinista regime. Filled with unexpected twists, The Guerrilla Fighter chronicles how [...]

Plastic Paradise

The return of American GIs from the Pacific theatre after World War II helped launch a Polynesian craze. Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki expedition, James Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific, and Hawaiian statehood all fueled the phenomenon. This “tiki” culture — so named after the large, wooden sculptures found throughout Polynesia — included candy-colored rum cocktails, [...]

Hecho a Mano: Creativity in Exile

Francisco 'Paquito' Hechavarría played piano for some of Cuba's biggest bands, performed at the famed Fontainebleau Hotel in the 1960s, and authored one of the catchiest hooks in pop music history; Tony López created countless sculpted works, including the Holocaust Memorial on Miami Beach; and Nelson and Ronald Currás's unique painted-tile mosaics grace private homes [...]

Nixon’s the One: The ’68 Election

In 1962, Richard Nixon's once meteoric political career lay in ruins. The former vice-president had suffered two bitter losses; one in the 1960 presidential race against John F. Kennedy, the other in a bid for the governorship of California. Yet, only six years later, Nixon would be elected President of the United States. How did [...]

Muhammad Ali: Made in Miami

In 1960, an 18-year-old boxer named Cassius Clay arrived in Miami, determined to become heavyweight champion. He moved into the city’s Overtown district — a vibrant center of Black entertainment and commerce — and trained with Angelo Dundee at the Fifth Street Gym on Miami Beach. Over the next few years, coinciding with the height [...]