In an AS/COA launch of Nicholas Griffin's new book, The Year of Dangerous Days: Riots, Refugees, and Cocaine in Miami 1980, the journalist shared his top findings in discussion with the Knight Foundation's Alberto Ibargüen. Griffin began by describing Miami as a city shaped primarily by its location, a crucial point to understanding the history and economic and social affairs of the South Floridian city. As former Mayor Maurice Ferré once said to him, "if you want to understand Miami, think of three things: geography, geography, and geography." From the Mariel boat lift and Cuban immigrant influx to the McDuffie 1980 riots to the exploding cocaine trade, the writer explores the key moments which took place in the "cauldron" city within six weeks of eachother in the year 1980, and how such turning points careened Miami into the 21st century and how it stands today as a "Latin American city" in the Unites States.
The writer spoke about the central figures highlighted in the book, such as former Miami Mayor Ferré, to marine Arthur McDuffie, whose murder by policy sparked a surge of violence and riots, and journalist Edna Buchanan, who covered crime and documented important events that election year. The author drew comparisons between movements that overcame the city in 1980 and the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020.