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Cuba in a Global ContextInternational Relations, Internationalism, and Transnationalism$
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Catherine Krull

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049106

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049106.001.0001

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Oral History and Constructions of Racial Memory

Oral History and Constructions of Racial Memory

(p.271) 16 Oral History and Constructions of Racial Memory
Cuba in a Global Context

Yvette Louis

University Press of Florida

In 1891 José Martí, Cuba’s most prominent and popular intellectual, wrote: “There is no racial hatred because there are no races.” The Cuban revolution would later take up Martí’s call and revive his status as icon in its own campaign to eradicate racial inequality. Racial constructions are remarkably resistant, however, and rhetoric extolling a nation free of racial prejudice often does little to change racist paradigms, social practices, or the material conditions of blacks. How do Cubans perceive and experience post-revolutionary racial constructions compared to pre-revolution racism? The oral histories of Cubans of African descent living on the island as well as those living abroad not only highlight how national racial constructions are enacted upon the lives of individuals, but also reveal how racial constructions persist or change across historical and national boundaries.

Keywords:   Cuba, Transnationalism, Afro-Cubans, Revolution, Race, Racism, José Martí

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