Discussion in 'FanForce Community' started by Pensivia, Jun 20, 2016.
*Boxing announcer voice with echo*
Well, the question as you phrased it is more of a Google-able question, so for the details I refer you to the Wik page on Florida demographics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Florida
However, I will try to to pull out some highlights and add a bit of personal commentary...
Florida is the third-most populous state in the United States. With a population of 18.8 million according to the 2010 census,
Within the United States, it contains the highest percentage of people over 65 (17.3%), and the 8th fewest people under 18 (21.9%).
^This second point definitely doesn't surprise me...FL has been a major retirement destination since the development of air conditioning. I would be curious what state has the 2nd highest percentage--maybe Arizona, which I think is also a big retirement area? Too lazy to look that up, though
Its residents include people from a wide variety of ethnic, racial, national and religious backgrounds. The state has attracted immigrants, particularly from Latin America.
Florida's majority ethnic group are European Americans, with approximately 65% of the population identifying as White. National ethnic communities in the state include Cubans, who migrated en masse following the revolution in mid-century. They have been joined by other immigrants from Latin America, and Spanish is spoken by more than 20% of the state's population, with high usage especially in the Miami-Dade County area.
According to the 2005 census, the racial distributions are as follows
17% African American (includes Afro-Caribbeans),
2.1% Asian American,
1.4% others (American Indians).
The remaining 20% are Hispanics or Latino (of any ethnicity or national origin).
Florida has one of the largest African-American populations in the country, and has the second-highest Latino population on the East Coast outside of New York state. Its ethnic Asian population has grown rapidly since the late 1990s; the majority are Filipinos, Vietnamese, ethnic Chinese who settled in the Gulf Coast. The state has some federally recognized American Indian tribes, such as the Seminoles in the southeastern part of the state.
Florida's Hispanic population includes large communities of Cuban Americans in Miami (mainly refugees and their descendants from communist Cuba) and Tampa, Puerto Ricans in Tampa and Orlando, and Central American and Mexicans in inland West-Central and South Florida, such as the Lake Okeechobee area.
The Hispanic community has become increasingly affluent and mobile: between the years of 2000 and 2004, Lee County in Southwest Florida, which is largely suburban in character, had the fastest Hispanic population growth rate of any county in the United States. Florida's diverse Hispanic population includes significant populations of Colombians, Dominicans, and Nicaraguans.
^I found that an interesting fact myself...would have guessed it to be in one of the bigger cities (Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, Miami) rather than the Fort Meyers area...
Among non-Hispanic White Floridians are descendants of families who settled here in the 19th century, as the region began to be developed for agriculture and cotton. Some native white Floridians, especially those who have descended from long-time Florida families, affectionately refer to themselves as "Florida crackers," while others consider that racist term akin to "redneck."
As in other Deep South states settled largely in the 19th century, the vast majority have British Isles ancestry: Scots-Irish, English and Welsh. Some also have French and Spanish ancestry related to colonial settlers prior to United States settlement and rule.
Non-Hispanic blacks live throughout the state, and the population is increasing, based both on a reverse migration from the North and immigration from the Caribbean. More than half of the non-Hispanic blacks are of African American descent. The remainder are largely West Indians and Haitians, descended from different colonial slavery traditions and longer histories of freedom after emancipation. African Americans live primarily in the metro areas of Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and throughout North Florida. A large West Indian/Haitian community is located in the Miami metropolitan area, with other populations in Orlando and Tampa. Florida has the largest population of Haitian Americans and the second-largest population of Jamaican Americans in the United States.[/quote]
I grew up in a small town in the peninsula (i.e., not in the panhandle/northern part of the state) and it was extremely white. I think in my entire high school graduating class of about 250 students, there were fewer than 10 black students.
As of 2010,
73.36% of Florida residents age 5 and older spoke English at home as a primary language,
while 19.54% spoke Spanish,
1.84% French Creole(mostly Haitian Creole),
0.60% Frenchand 0.50% Portuguese.
In total, 26.64% of Florida's population age 5 and older spoke a mother language other than English.
Here's an interesting fact I wouldn't have guessed:
Florida's public education system identified more than 200 first languages other than English spoken in the homes of students.[7
I mean, I would expect some significant diversity, but the "over 200" number surprised me!
Some info on regional accents:
Due to its diversity, a wide variety of different regional accents of English are spoken in Florida. The most common American English accents spoken, besides General American English, are identified along the east and west coasts of Florida.
The New York City area dialect (including New York Latino English and North New Jersey English) and various types of New England English can mostly be heard in Florida's eastern coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, especially along the Gold Coast and South Florida. The residents of the coastline along the Gulf of Mexico, by contrast, have had more of an Inland Northern American English, carried by migrants from the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. In Central Florida all of these accents are heard.
A Miami accent has developed among persons born and/or raised in and around Miami-Dade County and a few other parts of South Florida. It is more prominent among Hispanics (especially Cuban Americans and other Latino groups, influenced by the Spanish language).
In Central Florida and the Tampa Bay area, New York Latino English is more prevalent. This area has been settled by generations of Stateside Puerto Ricans (Nuyoricans), Dominican Americans, Colombian Americans, and other Hispanic Americans who have migrated from the New York metropolitan area in large numbers.
In the Florida Panhandle, North Florida, the Florida Heartland, some parts of the Florida Keys, and rural areas of Florida, residents speak a Southern American English dialect. Self-proclaimed Florida crackers tend to speak a Florida Cracker English variety of Southern American English. Those living close to the borders of Alabama and Georgia are more likely to speak with a Southern drawl.
As I mentioned before, the regional difference is really more in accents than in actual language differences, and I think that's largely true throughout the country, with maybe some exceptions in parts of Louisiana and the Northeast, where you might have a few words and phrases here or there that are used in a distinctive regional way.
So, in terms of general commentary, FL is definitely one of the most diverse states within a country that is overall becoming more and more diverse. I think the demographic prediction is that whites will no longer be the majority in the country by about 2050 or 2060. As of 2016, babies of color are now the majority, so the population of the nation's children is even closer to shifting in that direction. Honestly, I only wish this could come sooner--side political vent here (!), but I'm a middle-aged white woman who is really disgusted by a large segment of my own ethnic group. The level of white support for our total embarrassment of a President is just so truly nauseating to me.
Huh, so redneck is considered racist? Did not know that, I thought it was just a class based derogatory term, as in it meant lowerclass country people.
Have you noticed any returning misunderstandings about Florida from non-Floridians?
Now, onto the issue of Florida's alleged "weirdness". I'm actually not sure when this reputation really started to become pervasive, but I think it really started picking up after the fiasco of the 2000 Presidential Election (Bush v. Gore) and the infamous "Florida Recount" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_United_States_presidential_election_recount_in_Florida ). I actually wasn't living in FL at that time, but of course it was _the_ major national news story.
Then you add to that our "exotic" wildlife population, with its attendant news-worthy sightings of large gators strolling through golf courses (see gif on previous page ), a huge elderly population, an association with "Mickey Mouse" (do to the presence of Disney World in Orlando), our sometimes extreme weather and our near-constant level of heat, and you end up with a "weird Florida" reputation...as evidenced by a bunch of pages that come up with you google "Why is Florida considered a weird state?" :
The above page includes four "theories" to account for Florida's "weirdness": "population, the laws, the land itself, and the media."
Or here's a page from a respected periodical (National Geographic) with an interesting tile "Florida Man Explains His State's Weirdness," with the tag line:
"The Sunshine State has a frontier mentality and way too many people"
Or this from the Huffington Post:
I guess my own view is that while we definitely have some distinctive elements, I think it's really kind of overblown by both state and national media because it has become its own running joke (reinforcing itself every time it is repeated) and sure, it's kind of a fun joke for both non-Floridians and Floridians . For example, there's a never-ending stream of "stupid criminal" headlines of crimes that happen in Florida that manage to sometimes get national mention, when really you have plenty of odd headlines about "stupid criminals" that come from every state (the old late night talk show host David Letterman used to do a humor segment he called "Small Town News" that had plenty of examples of this from all states).
So, yeah, my overall answer is "kinda yes" and "kinda no"...kinda wishy-washy, I know, but there you have it.
Switching topics, here;s a look at some of my favorite natural sites (parks, etc) in the state:
Saint George Island State Park (panhandle area, southwest of Tallahassee):
Wekiva Springs (center of the state near Orlando):
Everglades National Park (south Florida):
"Canopy Roads" (where old oaks on either side of streets join together in the middle to form a "canopy" over the road) (they occur in a number of places, but some of the best IMO are in Tallahassee)
Manatee Viewing at Homosassa Springs State Park (central Florida):
And this is random, but one of the things I love about the Florida is how we do Christmas lights!:
Do Florida have any cryptids and/or tall tales heroes?
Oh, I like that look. Can we have the next SW movie use Everglades instead of just another desert?
Wow, that's something. Looks like Pandora.
Hmm, that line in the Wik entry is interesting. In my experience, "redneck" is pretty much only used to refer to a certain category of "country"/"lower-class" white people, so I guess that's the reason that line in the entry is worded that way. It's definitely mostly seen as a derogatory term (though I have heard that there are some examples of people who try to "embrace" or "claim" the term "proudly," as in "yeah, I'm a redneck and proud of it!").
Non-white "country" people perceived as "lower class" would not really be called "rednecks," so I guess it is somewhat comparable to racially prejudiced slurs used about people of color. However, a key difference would be that the structural racism in US society and culture has always been against people of color, so while use of the term "redneck" may reflect an individual's prejudice against a certain category of white people, I would never see the effect of its use as "equivalent" to the effect of the use of racially based derogatory terms used against people of color (which are tied to a long-standing, institutionally based racial hierarchy which has disadvantaged people of color).
Other than the "crazy/weird" state reputation, not really, no. I do have friends in other states who say they can't imagine living in a state where hurricane evacuations are part of "normal" life, but that would be about it. I also have friends who say they can't imagine living in Florida heat, but then I can't imagine shoveling snow all winter. Though the heat factor does mean that, in much of the state, there are really only about 3 to maybe 6 months (max) out of the year when it's actually very comfortable to be outside except for the early morning or evening (and in the summer months, even those times can be stiflingly warm!). And it does seem to be getting "worse" in that I have noticed that what passes for "winter" weather here seems to be arriving later and later and to not last as long.
That's an interesting question...I don't know of any off the top of my head, but let me page my good friend B3 whom I consider to be rather knowledgeable about cryptozoology
I'm tempted to say that with all our real/"verified" strange animals, we don't need any cryptids!
Yeah, the Everglades are really amazing...let me add a couple more pics!:
Preferred mode of transportation there (riding in one of these "airboats" is sooooooo much fun!):
You have Skunk Apes.
Oh, right...now that you mention it, I do remember some childhood references using one of the "alternate" names listed on that page: "Swamp Cabbage Man"
I noticed that there was a supposed "sighting" in Myakka River State Park, with which I am familiar:
Haven't spotted anything unusual there yet, though
Shifting gears from Florida's natural beauty, let me post some of the best of Florida's artificial kitsch:
whaddya know...here's a site referencing skunk apes (B3)
Oh, and have I mentioned that we have actual mermaids?!:
(as in yes, you can go and see a "mermaid show" from an underwater viewing theater there
Oh you've been to Myakka? Those Myakka ape pictures are weird.
Do you know how the drinking culture overall looks like in Florida?
I would say pretty similar to the US overall--college kids, sporting events, etc.
However, a notable cultural reference to a drinking culture with a specifically Florida tie-in that immediately pops to mind is Jimmy Buffett's well-known (well-known in the US) song, "Margaritaville": I recommend watching this version with the lyrics
The roots of the song also relate to Austin, Texas (according to the Wik page), but I think it is predominantly associated with "Key West" culture specifically, and Florida culture more generally:
"Margaritaville" is a 1977 song by American popular music singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett from the album Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes. This song was written about a drink Buffett discovered at Lung's Cocina del Sur restaurant on Anderson Lane in Austin, Texas, and the first huge surge of tourists who descended on Key West, Florida around that time. He wrote most of the song that night at a friend's house in Austin, and finished it while spending time in Key West. In the United States "Margaritaville" reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and went to number one on the Easy Listening chart, also peaking at #13 on the Hot Country Songs chart. Billboard ranked it number 14 on its 1977 Pop Singles year-end chart. It remains Buffett's highest charting solo single.
Named for the cocktail margarita, with lyrics reflecting a laid-back lifestyle in a tropical climate, "Margaritaville" has come to define Buffett's music and career.
^and I can confirm from personal experience that it is a most excellent song to kick back with on a balmy Florida evening, enjoying any number of wonderfully fruity/tropical beverages
There are some funny examples of "weird" town names in Florida...my personal favorite:
yes, that's "Yeehaw Junction," a town in the central area of the state
I loved going to Weeki Wachi when I was a kid. Seemed so magical.
Also, Silver Springs. What a wonderful place! Florida is a beautiful state.
Ah yes, Silver Springs (north central part of the state)...home of the "World Famous Glass-Bottomed Boats"!:
A comment on something said earlier: There are those who both embrace and make fun of the "redneck" appellation. A prime example that comes to mind is Jeff Foxworthy and his famous "You might be a redneck if...." routines.
Oh right...I forgot about that--definitely a good example of use of the term for humor!
related vid (pick up at about the 2:00 mark)
and a sample of one those routines:
Great stuff, Pensivia, thanks for all your replies
Florida has something in common with Greece, apparently. We also love putting Christmas lights on non-Christmas trees like palm trees or olive trees. I need to take a picture when they put them up next month.
Can you please tell us more about the Keys? The only thing I know about them is the movie Key Largo.
It seems at least one group of non-white can be rednecks
Are there any famous/historical people from Florida* that floridians are proud of?
* or that identify as floridians
^that sounds lovely! I would definitely love to see a picture of that--especially of a lit olive tree, because an olive tree is very "exotic" to me
Ah, unfortunately that is another one of my weak areas of FL familiarity....I have only been to the northernmost/first key, Key Largo, and that was years ago when I was a kid. It's on my list to do the whole long Keys drive "someday." My general impression of the Keys culture (by reputation) is just that of extremely touristy and extremely laid-back
Here are a few of my personal faves. To make it easy on myself (and to make sure I don't mess up any basic facts going from memory), the summary text for each will be from Wikipedia, but I knew of all of them independently before looking up the text to post:
Chief Osceola (1804-1838)
In 1836, Osceola led a small group of warriors in the Seminole resistance during the Second Seminole War, when the United States tried to remove the tribe from their lands in Florida. Osceola led the war resistance until he was captured in September 1837 by deception, under a flag of truce, when he went to a meeting spot near Fort Peyton for peace talks. Because of his renown, Osceola attracted visitors as well as leading portrait painters. He died a few months later in prison at Fort Moultrie in Charleston, South Carolina, of causes reported as an internal infection or malaria.
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938)
James Weldon Johnson was an American author, educator, lawyer, diplomat, songwriter, and civil rights activist. He was born in Jacksonville, Florida and lived there until the age of 16. Johnson is best remembered for his leadership of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), where he started working in 1917. In 1920 he was the first African American to be chosen as executive secretary of the organization, effectively the operating officer. He served in that position from 1920 to 1930. Johnson established his reputation as a writer, and was known during the Harlem Renaissance for his poems, novels, and anthologies collecting both poems and spirituals of black culture.
In 1934 he was the first African-American professor to be hired at New York University. Later in life he was a professor of creative literature and writing at Fisk University, a historically black university.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1893-1953)
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings was an American author who lived in rural Florida and wrote novels with rural themes and settings. Her best known work, The Yearling, about a boy who adopts an orphaned fawn, won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1939 and was later made into a movie of the same name. The book was written long before the concept of young adult fiction, but is now commonly included in teen-reading lists.
Reasons I chose these three: I'm interested in minority histories and issues, so that's what I chose Chief Osceola and Johnson. Also, Johnson wrote a book called The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man that I enjoyed reading. I chose Rawlings because her book The Yearling (about a young boy in late 19th-century Florida who has a fawn for a pet) was one my favorite books I read as a kid! I think I also saw the 1946 film adaptation when I was a kid:
Also, Chyntuck: I must note that while looking for a pic of Rawlings to post, I saw a line on Pinterest that said she was a "great cook and like to make Crab Newburg."
Another random note for Chyntuck... I was trying to think of more distinctive Florida dishes, and I remembered one time when my grandmother made some kind of soup using coquinas:
Donax variabilis, known by the common name "coquina", is a species of small edible saltwater clam It is a warm water species which occurs in shallow water on sandy beaches.
Unfortunately, my grandmother was not really all that great of a cook and all I remember is that the soup seemed way too salty
My mother used to catch "mullet" (a type of fish) and serve it smoked:
I really didn't eat it, though, because I never liked seafood. But maybe Chyntuck is familiar with mullet, because I see from its Wik entry that:
The mullets or grey mullets are a family (Mugilidae) of ray-finned fish found worldwide in coastal temperate and tropical waters, and some species in fresh water. Mullets have served as an important source of food in Mediterranean Europe since Roman times.
Best and worst representation of Florida in scence-fiction stories/comics/RPG:s/movies/etc.?
Hmmm...I'm afraid don't have much to offer on the above. I don't read comics or participate in RPGs (I don't even know of any RPGs), I don't really read science fiction stories, and I don't have any additional movie examples to add to those I already posted about earlier. Sorry to come up empty for you!
And with that, perhaps this last interview has run its natural course.
Let's leave this thread open for general socializing (or any random posts that seem related to some aspect of "international exchange") through the end of the year, with the plan of "rebooting" a new version (not based on individual interviews) shortly after we welcome 2018!
With the end of the year rapidly approaching, feel free to share any aspects of Christmas/New Year's/other end-of-the-year holiday traditions where you are that you think might be interesting...
This film is getting a lot of awards buzz right now...haven't seen it yet, but it looks interesting...
The Florida Project is a 2017 American drama film...The name is derived from the early project name for the Walt Disney World Resort, located near the setting of the film.
Evidently it makes good use of Florida tourist kitsch settings:
I just remembered another really good recent movie with a Florida setting:
The 2016 winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, Moonlight:
"The new movie Moonlight is set in Miami in the 1980s, at the height of the war on drugs. It's an authentic, intimate portrait of a young, gay black man whose mother is a crack addict. "
"The low-budget film based in Miami has cemented a special place in movie history. ...Rarely do we see neighborhoods like Liberty City or Miramar on the big screen when movies are shot in South Florida, with the glitz of South Beach often cloaking Miami's more authentic and less sexy neighborhoods, seemingly on the other side of the planet from the bikinis, beaches, and mojitos that have become synonymous with the Magic City. Moonlight was filmed throughout Miami's core, and while the picture couldn't escape the beach entirely, most of the Miami filming locations were sites probably never before seen by the average tourist or even resident..."
I saw it on DVD this summer. Really well done, touching, coming-of-age story and beautifully filmed.
Pensivia What do you think of how Florida is represented in Kung Fury?
Not much, since I've never heard of Kung Fury
*goes to Google, reads Wik summary*...
well, hmmm...I don't exactly know what to make of this :
"Upon his arrival, Kung Fury singlehandedly mows down dozens of Nazi soldiers with his kung fu skills, but is gunned down by Hitler using a Gatling-type gun from inside his podium. Suddenly, Thor, Hackerman, Triceracop, the Viking Babes, and a tyrannosaurus hack into the timeline and kill the rest of the Nazi army while the tyrannosaurus squares off against Hitler's robotic Reichsadler. After being revived by Hackerman, Kung Fury gives Hitler an uppercut before Thor drops his hammer on the Nazi leader and his robotic eagle. Seeing his mission as accomplished, Kung Fury returns to his timeline."