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News, views and events detailing the Black presence in the Americas.

This website is designed to keep you up to date on Life in the Black Americas.  

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Race-based clubs see revival in Cuba:  Clubs based on racial exclusivity, for Afro-Cubans as well as other groups, are making a comeback in Cuba.

The Miami Herald is one of many publications noting the 50th year anniversary of the Cuban Revolution.  Journalist Liza Gross writes about the re-emergence of sociedades de color, or race-oriented clubs on the island:

"More than 50 years have passed, but Afro-Cuban author Pedro Pérez Sarduy still remembers the dances.

"He and his friends would dress smartly in white linen guayaberas and black bow ties to attend balls at La Bella Unión (Beautiful Union), a social club in his hometown of Santa Clara, Cuba. At these matinés, they danced cha-cha-cha and flirted with girls.

'' 'The matiné went from 1 until 5 with a local orchestra for the kids,' Pérez Sarduy said. 'After that, the dance for adults had a good orchestra because this was important for the prestige of the club.'

"Known in Spanish as sociedades de color, these and similar clubs fell victim to Fidel Castro's drive, shortly after he seized power, to eliminate any aspect of Cuban society that emphasized racial exclusivity. But their spirit and mission have been enjoying a renaissance over the past decade. And the same revolutionary government that once opposed them now seems to welcome their comeback.

"In prerevolutionary Cuba, where Blacks and poor, uneducated whites were denied access to good jobs and ritzy outings, the clubs served as centers to socialize and promote Black racial progress. Many had libraries and offered night classes and sports instruction.

"Above all, the sociedades sought to dispel any negative stereotypes of Blacks."

2:27 pm est          Comments


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In partnership with:
LUNDU Center for Afro-Peruvian Advancement 
 www.lundu.org.pe 
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THE SOUND OF MY FOOTSTEPS: NARRATIVES OF MIGRATORY JAMAICAN IMMIGRANTS.  

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Interviews with over 30 Jamaican immigrants on their pre-migratory perceptions of New York and England

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The book focuses attention on a large, vibrant, yet oddly invisible community in the United States: people of African descent from Latin America and the Caribbean. The presence of Afro-Latin@s in the United States (and throughout the Americas) belies the notion that Blacks and Latin@s are two distinct categories or cultures. Afro-Latin@s are uniquely situated to bridge the widening social divide between Latin@s and African Americans. At the same time, their experiences reveal pervasive racism among Latin@s and ethnocentrism among African Americans. Offering insight into Afro-Latin@ life and new ways to understand culture, ethnicity, nation, identity, and antiracist politics, The Afro-Latin@ Reader presents a kaleidoscopic view of Black Latin@s in the United States. It addresses history, music, gender, class, and media representations in more than sixty selections, including scholarly essays, memoirs, newspaper and magazine articles, poetry, short stories, and interviews.

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The View from Chocó: The Afro-Colombian past, their lives in the present, and their hopes for the future is an introduction to the lives of Blacks in Colombia. Afro-Colombians live in a resource-rich yet remote region of Colombia. They only recently won recognition as one of that nation's distinct ethnic groups. But Colombia's on-going civil war has led many Afro-Colombians to reach even farther than their nation's borders for recognition: many have made their way to the United States as refugees and as political activists working for peace in their homeland. The View from Chocó introduces the lives and struggles of a too-long neglected community of Colombian Blacks. 

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