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Antiracism in CubaThe Unfinished Revolution$
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Devyn Spence Benson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469626727

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469626727.001.0001

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The Black Citizen of the Future

The Black Citizen of the Future

Afro-Cuban Activists and the 1959 Revolution

(p.72) 2 The Black Citizen of the Future
Antiracism in Cuba

Devyn Spence Benson

University of North Carolina Press

By the time 1959 arrived, Afro-Cuban activists, who had used a variety of tactics to fight for racial equality in the Cuban republic, interacted with the new government from three primary (physical and/or other ideological) spaces: black and mulato social clubs, black communists or labor leaders, and activists who used a black consciousness approach. Chapter Two uses articles and editorials from Cuban newspapers and writings by black and mulato intellectuals to examine what happened to these activists after 1959. This chapter seeks to answer the question of why revolutionary leaders incorporated some Afro-Cubans (and their ideas), like famous national poet and Communist Nicolás Guillén, into the “official” revolutionary fold, while others were labeled counterrevolutionary and forced into exile. This story of black inclusion and exclusion from revolutionary power demonstrates how interactions between Afro-Cuban leaders and the new government allowed for the coexistence of racism and anti-racism in the 1960s Cuba.

Keywords:   Juan René Betancourt, Walterio Carbonell, Lázaro Peña, Afro-Cuban social clubs, Afro-Cuban Communists, Club Atenas, Rafael Serra, Jesús Menéndez, Club Aponte, Santiago

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