During the Cuban Ten Years’ War, José D. Poyo participated in creating a multiracial revolutionary community in Key West safe from Spanish authority where activists freely supported Cuban insurgents. As early as the mid-1870s, Key West achieved a reputation as a militant center supporting the war against Spanish colonialism. Cigar workers and entrepreneurs provided generous economic resources while activists, factory readers, patriot orators, a nationalist press, political clubs, and Spanish-language schools kept Cubans mobilized and enthusiastic. Women infused the community with a powerful sense of cultural identity and an activist black and mulatto community symbolized the movement’s inclusiveness. Poyo and his many collaborators built a self-sustaining revolutionary community that became more coherent, determined, and influential with the passage of time.
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