Exploiting African American and Cuban Alliances for Equal Rights
Chapter 4 emphasizes how Cubans and African Americans exploited temporary transnational alliances in the 1960s to fight local battles against racism. Comparing the United States’ “colorstruck democracy” to the supposed racial paradise in Cuba, African American newspapers pointed out the dangers of labeling the Cuban Revolution an oppressive dictatorship while U.S. blacks remained second-class citizens at home. Similarly, Afro-Cubans invoked the promises revolutionary leaders made to entice U.S. blacks to visit the island and demand domestic social reforms for themselves. Ironically, the images each group used to describe the other were often inaccurate and illustrate more about local struggles than transnational solidarity. The temporary nature of black alliances with the revolution is a major theme of chapter 4. It speaks to the need to rethink assumptions that political change can achieve racial equality and that momentary collaboration between peoples of African descent necessarily means solidarity.
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