Jackie Bueno Sousa, Miami Herald, May 31, 2011
[A] dramatic police shooting on the streets of South Beach this past weekend was video-taped and posted on YouTube.
The incident has prompted some people to call for an end to the annual Urban Beach Week, a celebration of hip-hop culture that draws an estimated 250,000 people, many of them African American, to South Beach during Memorial Day weekend.
Complaints about Urban Beach Week have been common ever since hundreds of thousands of visitors swarmed South Beach for Urban Fashion Week about 10 years ago, catching many city officials by surprise.
Any talk of trying to bring an end to the weekend celebration needs to take place with a dose of proper perspective, keeping in mind that we’re allowing the acts of a few hundred trouble-makers to define the hundreds of thousands of visitors who simply seek a fun weekend.
What’s more, the event is a phenomenon, an organic burst of cultural identity that marketers and promoters can spend years studying and never replicate. Rather than quash it, city officials should embrace it and learn to better control and brand it.