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Black Political Activism and the Cuban Republic$
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Melina Pappademos

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834909

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807869178_pappademos

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Inventing Africa and Creating Community

Inventing Africa and Creating Community

(p.92) Chapter Three Inventing Africa and Creating Community
Black Political Activism and the Cuban Republic

Melina Pappademos

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses Domingo Julia and Leon Escobar's use of newly granted constitutional rights to petition the governor of Santa Clara province. At the heart of Julia and Escobar's request was a plan to repatriate to the African continent with government assistance. The two claimed to represent about one hundred Africans living in and around the central coastal towns of Remedios and Caibarien in Santa Clara province, a historic stronghold of sugar production since the mid-nineteenth century. African laborers, brought throughout much of the nineteenth century to work the region's cane fields, had increased the population of African descent. The 1899 census, for example, reports that about a third of remedianos were the descendants of Africans, while significantly fewer were African-born. The men's petition, submitted to local officials on the heels of Cuba's shift from colony to nation, suggests that for these diasporans, one's political identity was newly subject to negotiation.

Keywords:   Domingo Julia, Leon Escobar, constitutional rights, Santa Clara province, African continent, government assistance

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