Race and Revolution in Cuba
This Introduction outlines the central questions and arguments of this book: How do ideas about racial difference, racist stereotypes, and racially-discriminatory practices persist, survive, and reproduce themselves despite significant state efforts to generate social and racial equality. In what ways can racism and equality exist together? And, how have people of African descent challenged, participated in, and negotiated such processes? This chapter also situates the 1959 revolution’s racial politics within over a hundred years of Afro-Cuban history from the wars of independence, to the abolition of slavery, and the inclusion and exclusion of people of African descent in the Cuban republic. The Introduction ends with an anecdote about what it meant for the author, an African American woman from the southern part of the United States, to do field work in Cuba and how her experience reveal the similarities and differences between the US and Cuban racial identification systems.
Keywords: Racial Terms, 19th Century Cuban history, slavery, Cuban wars for independence, José Martí, Antonio Maceo, 1940 Constitution, coexistence of racism and antiracism, Partido Independiente de Color (PIC)
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