Historian Says Miami Beach Centennial Book Was Banned

The author of a book commemorating a century of the City of Miami Beach says his book has been banned ahead of next weekend's centennial celebration.

South Florida historian Seth Bramson has the memorabilia, and the knowledge to write a book on Miami Beach's 100 years. But when city manager Jimmy Morales read some of it, he nixed it, Bramson said.

"If when I was contracted, if they had said 'well, you know Seth, we don't want to cover the bad times, just make it a happy book' then I would have had the choice of saying 'look, I'm a historian,'" Bramson said.

Maybe, Bramson says, he would've declined the project.

The manuscript is still on his computer. Chapter 11, entitled "For 12 years things did not go quite right", spoke of some difficult times, and caught the attention of Alex Fernandez, with the city's Hispanic affairs committee.

"My intent was to make sure that we avoided anything that could end up offending the community or anything that could use the taxpayers dollars to put out a personal opinion," Fernandez said.

Fernandez recommended the city manager read the manuscript, who did and found fault, saying in a letter to Bramson, it "read more like a political and social commentary then a celebration of our city's history...This book will divide the community and rehash ugly chapters of our past."

Bramson has penned more than a dozen books on South Florida's rich history. His latest, for now, will stay in his computer.

"I don't have anything unkind to say about anybody, they made a decision, they have canceled the contract, I am certainly not angry, I am a little disappointed but you know life goes on," Bramson said.

Bramson's contract has been terminated with the city and he lost his official title of city historian. He's not sure if His book will ever be published or not.

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