Surly Voices: liberation of divorce and Gasparilla’s troubled history


During the pandemic, lives were turned upside down. For some, it left them struggling, and for others, it brought a new sense of freedom. Original Surly Voices host Nadia was one who found freedom. Joining the Surly hosts Liz and Amina, she described what her changes have been like.

Then, in the spirit of getting back to the “new normal”, Tampa’s Gasparilla Festival is back. But, the celebration’s troubled history hasn’t been forgotten and comes to the forefront of the conversation.

Listen to the full show here:

The Liberation of Divorce

After 17 years of marriage, original Surly Feminist Nadia said that enough was enough. She put aside up the life she had and began a fresh start. She moved to Texas with her children, who are now all teenagers. She filed for divorce and celebrated her singledom with the Surly women in New Orleans (which became the quintessential “girls’ night out” movie). Looking back, it wasn’t all bad, but it was a learning experience. What she learned: It was time to move forward.

“It feels extremely liberating,” Nadia told the Surly Voices Podcast. “It almost feels like a rebirth.”

Gasparilla’s Dark History and Continued Trouble

Tampa’s Gasparilla Festival is right around the corner, with the annual parade happening this Saturday. But, it isn’t all pirate hats and beads: The festival has a darker history riddled with racism and trouble with its community.

In 1991, then-mayor Sandy Friedman canceled the parade after a Gasparilla crew refused to accept Black members. And while the event has made some pushes for diversity, many still hold doubts and qualms.

One caller to Surly Voices called the festival a “smokescreen” to hide the racism and lack of diversity that Tampa has shown its citizens. Other callers raised concerns that the festival glorifies pirates, historically despicable characters. The Surly Voices hosts, in an understanding of the concerns, discuss potentially putting efforts into glorifying other important historical events, such as the M.L.K. Day Parades in Tampa.

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