Rowman and Littlefield International

Afrocubanas

History, Thought, and Cultural Practices

Edited by Devyn Spence Benson, Daisy Rubiera Castillo, and Inés María Martiatu Terry

There is no other published work in English devoted to analyzing the political and intellectual dimensions of black Cuban women’s thought across the island’s history. This text is essential reading for students of Afro-Latin American studies, Caribbean history, or courses focussing on black women in the Atlantic region.

Hardback ISBN: 9781786614810 Release date: Apr 2020
£80.00 €112.00 $120.00
Ebook ISBN: 9781786614827 Release date: Apr 2020
£29.95 €41.95 $43.99

Series: Creolizing the Canon

Pages: 384

Monograph

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Originally published in Spanish and edited by Cuban historian Daisy Rubiera Castillo and playwright and theater critic Inés María Martiatu Terry, this ground-breaking edited collection is the first work of its kind. It places the experiences of black and mulata women at the center of Cuban history. Including essays from a mix of well-known and newly published Cuban authors, the volume examines the lives of Afrocubanas from the late nineteenth century to the present. The volume’s contributors collect and interrogate the voices of black Cuban women and the political, cultural, social, and ideological contributions they have made to the history of their nation.

One of the unique qualities of
Afrocubanas is that the text is the product of a grassroots community working group in Havana. A number of antiracist organizations emerged to fight racial inequality in light of Cuba’s new economic challenges after the fall of its chief trading partner, the Soviet Union in 1991. But, the Afrocubanas Project (founded in the mid-2000s) is one of the few groups that challenges racism and sexism together. The members of the Afrocubanas Project hail from a variety of professions, ages, and sexual orientations. They share a collective interest in challenging negative stereotypes about black women. This volume merges their activism and scholarship to offer a counter discourse to existing narratives about black women in Cuba while also creating and disseminating new knowledge about Afrocubanas.

There is no other published work in English devoted to analyzing the political and intellectual dimensions of black Cuban women’s thought across the island’s history. This text is essential reading for scholars and students of Africana Studies, Afro-Latin American Studies, Caribbean history, and courses focusing on black women in the Atlantic region.


Part One: History

Lawsuits by Slave Women in Nineteenth Century Cuba / Digna Castañeda Fuertes

Reconstructing Ex-slave Belén Álvarez’s Story / Oilda Hevia Lanier

Women of Color in Santiaguera Colonial Society, A Commentary / María Cristina Hierrezuelo



Part Two: Thought

Women of Minerva / María del Carmen Barcia Zequeira

Gratitude: To My Friends and Colleagues of the Journal Minerva / Úrsula Coimbra de Valverde

Black Voices in Favor of the Independent Party of Color / Carmen Piedra

Our Ethnic Values / Consuelo Serra

What We Are / Inocencía Silveira

The Black Cuban Woman / Gerardo del Valle

Black Cuban Women and Culture / Catalina Pozo Gato

Black Intelligence / Arabella Òña

Women in Santeria or Regla Ocha: Gender, Myths and Reality / Daisy Rubiera Castillo

Gender and Raciality: An Obligatory Reflection in Contemporary Cuba / Yulexis Almeida Junco

On Afro-Cuban Women Stereotypes: Construction and Deconstruction of Myths / María Ileana Faguaga Iglesias

Proposing an Inclusive and Non-sexist Gaze: Mulata Women, A Profane Invention? / Onelia Chaveco Chaveco

Hairs / Carmen González Chacón

Passing for a White Woman / Sandra del Valle Casals

The Revolution Made Blacks into People / Yusimí Rodríguez López

Human Race? Ah…. It Had to Be! / Yohmna Depestre Corcho

A Room of Our Own for Black Cuban Women / Yesenia Selier Crespo



Part Three: Cultural Practices

Oriki for Elder Black Women of the Past / Georgina Herrera Cárdenas

The Black Female Imaginary in Cuba / Aymée Rivera Pérez

Oppositional Binaries in Nancy Morejón’s Octubre Imprescindible and Cuadernos de Granada / Lourdes Martínez Echazábal

In Memory of Excilia / Coralia de Mercedes Hernández Herrera

The Thick Skin of Teresa Cárdenas / Leonardo Estupiñán Zaldívar

El Negrito, The Little Black Man and the Mulata in the Vortex of Nationality / Inés María Martiatu Terry

Popular Theater and Collective Resistance / Fátima de la Caridad Patterson

Catalina Berroa, The Audacious Trinitarian (First Female Composer of “Cultured” Music in the Nineteenth Century) / Isabel González Sauto

The Marathon Exists for Both Men and Women / Edelvis López

Making Dreams Come True Is Not the Same as Dreaming / María Elena Mendiola

The Contributions of Sara Gómez / Sandra Álvarez Ramírez

Belkis Ayón Manso, Between Heterogeneous Sensibilities / Lázara Menéndez Vásquez

Black Women in Sports / Irene Esther Ruiz Narváez

A Lexical Semantic Analysis on the Discourse of Women in Cuban Rap / Yanelys Abreu Babi and Anette Jiménez Marata

Dr. Devyn Spence Benson is an Associate Professor of Africana and Latin American Studies and the Chair of the Department of Africana Studies at Davidson College. She is the author of Antiracism in Cuba: The Unfinished Revolution (University of North Carolina Press, 2016).

Dr. Karina Alma is an Assistant Professor in the Chicana/o Studies department at the University of California, Los Angeles. She coedited the anthology, U.S. Central Americans: Reconstructing Memories, Struggles and Communities of Resistance (Arizona University Press, 2017).

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