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Black Women, Citizenship, and the Making of Modern Cuba$
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Takkara K. Brunson

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781683402084

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683402084.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

Writing Black Political Networks during the Early Republic

Writing Black Political Networks during the Early Republic

(p.38) 2 Writing Black Political Networks during the Early Republic
Black Women, Citizenship, and the Making of Modern Cuba

Takkara K. Brunson

University Press of Florida

This chapter analyzes how women of African descent intervened in Black political networks through letter writing during the early years of the republic. It shows that women of African descent sought to shape the political system, despite being disenfranchised under the 1901 Constitution. Hundreds of literate and semi-literate Black women penned appeals to male politicians and the Black political party, the Independent Colored Party (PIC). Most requested access to pensions as the family members of veterans who served in the Wars for Independence; others sought aid in challenging racial discrimination. Their letters addressed exclusion from educational and professional opportunities, the limits of nationalist discourses that proclaimed racial equality, assumptions that African descendants lacked civil virtue, and the failure of the government to support Black veterans. They used letter writing, in other words, to shape an evolving political system in which they lacked formal power.

Keywords:   Black political networks, women, Independent Colored Party (PIC), letter writing, racial discrimination, nationalist discourses

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