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African Americans & Cuba

“Skin color alone is not enough to bind a people together. We need to find cultural ties. We have to find ways to make that happen,” said Dr. Marvin Dunn, who authored “Black Miami in the Twentieth Century.” Understanding Afro-Cubans  2/4/2015 Miami Times


African-American Artists and Abstraction
exhibit in Havana, 2014

African Americans & Cuba in the News

We Have Iré: Afro-Cuban in the United States  12/13/2018 Casita Maria: "Iré - the Lucumi condition of being blessed with positive energy. We Have Iré: Afro-Cuban in the United States, conceived by Cuban-American writer-performer Paul S. Flores and co-produced with Puerto Rican filmmaker and photographer Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, is an interactive, multi-disciplinary event that highlights the experiences of Afro-Cuban and Cuban-American artists as they seek to define their voices in the United States, finding success through hard work and “iré”."

Unearth Hidden Stories from African-American History in Digital Archive  12/4/2018 Urban Faith: "Previously unknown church records for Havana’s black Brotherhood of St. Joseph the Carpenter document the membership of Jose Antonio Aponte, executed by Spanish officials in 1812 for leading an alleged slave conspiracy. Our records similarly document the marriage and death of another famed “conspirator” – the mulatto poet Gabriel de la Concepcion Valdes, better known as Placido. Africans and their descendants also left a documentary trail in municipal and provincial archives, including petitions, property registries and disputes, bills of sale, dowries and letters from owners granting slaves their freedom."

I dig through archives to unearth hidden stories from African-American history  12/4/2018 The Conversation: "Many years ago, as a graduate student searching in the archives of Spanish Florida, I discovered the first “underground railroad” of enslaved Africans escaping from Protestant Carolina to find religious sanctuary in Catholic Florida. In 1738, these runaways formed Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose, the first free black settlement in what became the U.S. The excitement of that discovery encouraged me to keep digging. After doing additional research in Spain, I followed the trail of the Mose villagers to Cuba, where they had emigrated when Great Britain acquired Florida. I found many of them in 18th-century church records in Havana, Matanzas, Regla, Guanabacoa and San Miguel del Padrón."

Cuban Art Show Comes to South Bronx Gallery WE HAVE IRE: AFRO-CUBAN IN THE U.S.  11/16/2018 Broadway World: "Casita Maria Center For Arts & Education in partnership with Pregones Theater are proud to present "We Have Ire: Afro-Cuban in the United States." This exhibition and multi-disciplinary theater project will be produced by Cuban-American writer, performer, Doris Duke Artist and San Francisco resident Paul S. Flores, with collaborating Puerto Rican filmmaker and photographer Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi. "We Have Ire" documents the stories of four Cuban artists, focusing on their influences and dreams."

Rihanna and Donald Glover In Cuba: ‘Guava Island’ Is Likely Much Bigger Than a Music Video – Report  8/17/2018 Indiewire: "Director Hiro Murai, "Atlanta" cinematographer Christian Sprenger, and "This Is America" creative director Ibra Ake have been in Cuba prepping most of the summer."

Rihanna filma en La Habana, ¿sobre qué tratará la película?  8/16/2018 Nuevo Herald: "La sesión tuvo como telón de fondo varios rincones de La Habana Vieja y el restaurante La Guarida. En cuanto a Childish Gambino, aprovechó la visita estancia en el país para conocer la Fábrica de Arte Cubano."

Donald Glover And Rihanna Spotted Filming In Cuba  8/16/2018 Vibe: "Entertainment Tonight reports the film is being shot in several locations throughout Havana and is directed by Hiro Murai who directed the video for Glover’s “This Is America.” The Cuban website Visitar also reports Black Panther’s Letitia Wright and British-Nigerian actor Nonso Anozie are also featured in the film."

Childish Gambino visitó la Fábrica de Arte Cubano  8/14/2018 Vistar: "La Habana tiene caminando por sus calles a Donald Glover (Childish Gambino). Pasa desapercibido para muchos por su forma sencilla de vestir y la ola mediática que genera el regreso de Rihanna a la Isla para el rodaje de una especie de película musical."

The Time Fidel Castro Hired Joe Louis as a PR Flack  8/7/2018 OZY: "...a group of prominent African-Americans assembled by former world heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis, who wore a traditional hat called a guajiro for the occasion. Since 1935, two years before he became world champ, Louis had been a partner in Rowe-Louis-Fischer-Lockhart, an all-Black public relations firm in New York City. Castro greatly respected Louis’ athletic skills and his inspirational rise from poverty as the son of an Alabama sharecropper. And that admiration helped the boxer and his firm land a gig to organize the influential Americans toasting the arrival of 1960 with Castro."

bell hooks: “Lo más importante es lo que digo en mis libros, no quién soy”  7/23/2018 Afrofeminas: "bell hooks es un autora afroestadounidense, profesora, académica y activista social. En su carrera, que abarca cuatro décadas, ha explorado y escrito sobre una variedad de temas, incluidos el racismo, el feminismo, la cultura y la educación. Su trabajo se ha centrado en identificar y desafiar los sistemas de opresión y discriminación que se basan en la raza, el sexo y la clase. Hay un amplio consenso en considerarla como una de las intelectuales y escritoras más importantes de su generación."

Visiting Cuba: My Nigerian-American Perspective, By Bunmi Fatoye-Matory  6/9/2018 Premium Times, Nigeria: "Cuban socialist leaders claim to have slain the monstrous dragon of racism in Cuba, but this is a myth. The reality is that there is a distinction in how resources are distributed between the descendants of Africa and those of Europe. The white ruling elites fled after the revolution, so Castro and his peers had the opportunity to reset the race button. This means black and white Cubans who remained there after the revolution were starting at more or less the same line. As we went around Havana, we found that the leaders of all the institutions we visited were white, even at the Casa Da Africa, a museum devoted to things African. We also heard the familiar negative and racist construction of black people as “lazy”, “not liking education” and other unsavory characteristics that the oppressor white groups heaped on descendants of enslaved Africans in the Americas."

Why African-American Doctors Are Choosing to Study Medicine in Cuba  6/6/2018 New Yorker: "In the U.S., black and Latino students represent approximately six per cent of medical-school graduates each year. By contrast, nearly half of E.L.A.M.’s American graduates are black, and a third are Latino. “You would never see those numbers” in the U.S., Melissa Barber, another American E.L.A.M. graduate, told me."

The Puerto Rican Who Inspired The Collection of Black History  2/20/2018 Al dia: "Schomburg proudly defined himself as an Afro-Puerto Rican, the son of a black mother from St. Croix and a Puerto Rican father of German ancestry. (In 1560 Puerto Rico had 15,000 Africans and only 500 whites.) Schomburg was very active in the liberation movements in Puerto Rico and Cuba – then colonies of Spain at the time he moved to NYC."

Oakland group hopes film will aid sainthood effort of Mother Mary Lange  2/19/2018 The Catholic Voice of Oakland: "A Cuban filmmaker, whose mother was educated by the Oblate Sisters of Providence, is researching a film focusing on the Sisters' time in Cuba. The Sisters arrived in 1900, and left in 1961, after Fidel Castro came to power. A group of Bay Area people who don't want to see Mother Lange's legacy lost to history is working to help provide funding for "Sisters of Hope," Gloria Rolando's film project. Rolando spent a month at the convent in Baltimore researching alongside Kathy Knecht, the Sisters' archivist."

We Are Not Hidden: Race in Cuba  2/19/2018 Pulitzer Center: "Castro and the Revolution promoted the concept of la cubanidad, or "one Cuban identity"—thus, essentially erasing Cuba’s rich racial history from the overall narrative. Forty-nine years later, Fidel’s brother, Raúl Castro, performs the inverse of his actions." [This was not an idea of Fidel's, but based on Cuban Republican thinking exemplified by Marti, a hero on both sides of the Florida Straights. This thinking was inherited from the French Republic and is found across Latin America. Fidel did not erase any history, how could he? His approached had a lot of merit and worked pretty well until the special period in the 90's, producing many Black doctors, engineers, scientists and other professionals. He finally admitted it was not working around 2000 at the time of the Malcolm X Conference. Cuban realities are complex and require a great deal of investigation to begin to understand them. This young journalist (photo) needs to hone her reporting skills and interview a broader cross section of people other than those associated with US paid dissidents.]

In Cuba, There Isn’t a Movement for Black Thought, or Black Pride. It Doesn’t Exist.  2/19/2018 Pulitzer Center: “In Cuba, there isn’t a movement for Black thought. It doesn’t exist,” Alcántara said. He, along with other Cubans of color, acknowledge that the lack of Black pride in Cuba is related to Cuba’s cultural structure of associating Blackness with something that is ugly and undesirable. There is some desire in Cuba, as well as in other parts of Latin America and the Caribbean, to “adelantar la raza” or whiten the race. [Many half truth here, the author needs to perfect her reporting skills and interview more people! "Alcántara" (actually his maternal name and not one you would normally use) works with US paid dissidents and is hardly a major source on Black culture in Cuba.]

African Americans, National Liberation and the Vietnamese Revolution, Reject the Pentagon War Machine  2/2/2018 Global Research: "Robert F. Williams had been the president of the NAACP chapter in Monroe, North Carolina when he advocated and practiced armed self-defense against the Ku Klux Klan. Williams’ refusal to categorically accept the nonviolent approach to civil rights later resulted in his expulsion from the NAACP in 1961. Eventually he was forced to leave North Carolina amid an attempt to frame him on false kidnapping charges of a white couple. After being transported out of North Carolina by supporters, Williams eventually settled in Cuba and later the People’s Republic of China. He spent time as well in North Vietnam addressing radio broadcasts to African American GIs, exposing the racist and imperialist character of the war."

For special month, snapshots of African American Catholic history  2/1/2018 Crux: "In 1829, several women living in Baltimore, all Haitian refugees, took the initiative to educate children at home. The archbishop supported them in their efforts to start the Oblate Sisters of Providence, with the first superior being Elizabeth Lange, born in Cuba of Haitian parents."

One of History's Foremost Anti-Slavery Organizers Is Often Left Out of the Black History Month Story  1/31/2018 Time: "At the end of the Civil War, Henry Garnet expressed his disappointment at what he considered to be premature celebrations of the end of slavery. Rev. Garnet urged abolitionists to retool their anti-slavery organizations to fight slavery’s continuing existence in nations such as Cuba and Brazil. At the height of Reconstruction, Garnet insisted that African Americans tie their struggles for the passage of equal-rights legislation with the Cuban liberation struggle against Spanish rule. In 1872, the popular minister helped to organize the Cuban Anti-Slavery Committee, which formed branches throughout Florida, Louisiana, New York, California and other states. The committee launched a national movement to demand that the United States extend support to the Cuban patriots fighting for independence from the Spanish Empire. At a mass meeting held in Philadelphia in 1877, Rev. Garnet expounded on the theme that the work of slavery abolitionism was incomplete. “If the veteran abolitionists of the United States had not mustered themselves out of service,” he argued, “I believe that there would not now have been a single slave in the Island of Cuba.” Rev. Garnet continued, “We sympathize with the patriot of Cuba not simply because they are Republicans, but because their triumph will be the destruction of slavery in that land.”"

Miami Latinos Have Avoided Electing African American County Mayors, But That Could Finally Change  1/29/2018 Remezcla: "In 1983, Puerto Rican Miami Mayor Maurice Ferrer won his sixth consecutive two-year term against Cuban-born Xavier Suarez after a campaign that began to uncover the growing tensions between Miami’s Cuban majority and the Black minority. Many Black voters campaigned for Ferrer, resentful of the “Cuban takeover” of the city. Suarez’s supporters, in turn, were found holding signs that simply urged, “Cubans, vote Cuban.” As Luke wrote, only one Black county mayoral candidate has gotten a close chance at the seat: Arthur Teele, Jr. in 1995. Teele won a majority of the Black vote, but barely gained any Latino neighborhoods, while his opponent, Cuban born Alex Penelas, garnered 90 percent of the Latino vote come election day."

"The Art of Journey" at the Montclair Art Museum, Feb 22  1/26/2018 Ben Jones: "Join us for the showing documentary of “The Art of the Journey: The Ben Jones Story”. New Jersey-born Artist, Activist, Professor Ben Jones has used his art to bring awareness to the plight of people throughout the world, with a strong concentration on the struggles of the people of Cuba."

Dee Dee Bridgewater en Cuba o “esto es absolutamente fantástico”  1/22/2018 D'Cuba Jazz: "Como una de las tantas oportunidades que regala el Jazz Plaza, la tres veces ganadora del Granmy, *Dee Dee Bridgewater*, cantó en La Habana. La artista quien, dicen los que saben, tiene una de las mejores voces de la historia del jazz, trasladó la sala Avellaneda del Teatro Nacional de Cuba hasta el cuadrante sureste de los Estados Unidos, donde nacieron los ritmos que ella representa."

Black Rights and Anti-Racism, From Hampton Roads To Cuba  11/16/2017 New Journal & Guide: "This past October, I was privileged, as a professor, to represent NSU for a groundbreaking post-graduate seminar in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Latin American Council for Social Sciences (CLACSO). Students from 15 Latin American countries and the United States debated the most salient issues of black activism, equal rights and citizenship in the hemisphere. Every Cuban advocate for a public debate on the resurgence of anti-black racism since the crisis-ridden 1990s has heard of Norfolk State. Over a period of six years, more than fifty NSU students have traveled to Cuba for study abroad programs in which these issues were studied in historical and contemporary perspective."

Preocupación de afrodescendientes en Estados Unidos  9/28/2017 Juventud Rebelde: "Casi dos tercios de los afroestadounidenses se declaran preocupados por la presidencia de Donald Trump, según una encuesta que reseñó AFP. Solo un cinco por ciento de los entrevistados dijo que espera que sus decisiones políticas afecten positivamente a la población negra, mientras que el 64 por ciento dijo que el impacto será negativo. El 84 por ciento manifestó que sienten que el país ha tomado una orientación errónea. El sondeo se dio a conocer tras las críticas reiteradas de Trump a los jugadores de fútbol de EE. UU. que se arrodillan durante la ejecución del himno para protestar por la injusticia racial; la mayoría de ellos, negros."

Harlem to Havana: Langston Hughes Helped a Nation Connect to Its African Roots  9/2/2017 NBC: "Perhaps, most importantly, Hughes was in contact with the Latino Jose Antonio Fernandez de Castro, a journalist who “loved Negro Cuba” and aided Hughes’ interactions with Afro-Cuban artists and writers. In 1930, Hughes met the Afro-Cuban Nicolas Guillen who, inspired by Hughes, would go on to write verse that reflected the rhythms of Afro-Cuba and later become known as the island’s National Poet."

Race and Politics: Independent Party of Color in 1900s Cuba  8/24/2017 Blacks in America: "Despite their essential role in the Cuban independence struggles, the Afro Cuban population remained at the lower end of the economic and social structures when Cuba gained its independence from Spain. As a result, Afro Cubans began asking the government to make political positions available in proportion to the Afro Cuban regional and local populations. As requests for stronger political representation continued to be made, Evaristo Estenoz and Gregorio Surin founded the Partido Independiente de Color (The Independent Party of Color) in Havana in 1908."

Black Lives Matter in Cuba  8/21/2017 teleSUR: "Many of these same doctors then went to Haiti, the Western Hemisphere’s first free black republic, where today there are several hundred Cuban doctors and specialists providing free health care to 4 million people. After the deadly 2010 earthquake, Cuba health professionals arrived within 72 hours as some of the first responders. The United States, on the other hand, sent thousands of marine soldiers to the island."

Miami beauty queen competing in Washington embraces Afro-Cuban-American identity with natural hair  8/19/2017 ABC: "Miss Black Florida USA is among the Afro-Latinas in South Florida who are joining a natural hair movement. The African-American natural hair movement is rooted in a defiance against a painful racist history and is tangled up in a fight for equal rights. Embracing their natural hair is a transition that goes beyond style choices or fashion trends. Diaz, who is an Afro-Cuban-American beauty queen from Miami's Little Havana, said her choice is about redefining beauty pageants and self awareness."

AmeriCuba: U.S. music made in Cuba  8/5/2017 On Cuba: "AmeriCuba is the record that Havana Maestros presented to the general public. Ten themes that, according to Torres, seek to create an understanding between the music made in the United States and the Cuban rhythms, by combining instrumentalists of the stature of Amadito Valdés (percussion) and Emilio Morales (piano) with very well-known pieces like “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King."

IU students learn dance, culture in Cuba  8/3/2017 Indiannapolis Recorder: "More than 2,000 creatives — from artists and musicians to actors and magicians — take over the streets of Cuba each year during a colorful celebration known as the Festival del Caribe. Last month, a group of 11 Indiana University students, along with faculty members and alumni, traveled over a thousand miles to be among the crowd. These scholars didn’t come as spectators or tourists; they came with the goal of learning new moves and showcasing their skills on a global stage."

Una Habana para Nat King Cole  8/3/2017 Desmemoriados: "La expectación por su inminente llegada a La Habana tenía orígenes diferentes: Martin Fox, dueño del cabaret Tropicana, sabía que haber logrado contratar al cantante más popular en Estados Unidos en ese momento, representaba además de un remarcable esfuerzo económico, un escalón superior en el camino ascendente del cabaret más exitoso entonces en toda Cuba."

Africana Institute Trip to Cuba August 3  7/26/2017 Essex Community College: "A contingent from Essex County College, through a trip sponsored by the College’s Africana Institute, is heading to Cuba for a week-long educational experience. Led by Africana Institute Director Dr. Akil Khalfani and Professor Ladylease White, a total of 15 travelers will embark to Cuba on August 3."

Romanticising Cuba, neglecting Zim, Venezuela  7/21/2017 Herald, Zimbabwe: "Thanks to an article entitled “African American and Cuba’s First Experiment in Tourism: The Joe Louis Commission in Post-Revolutionary Cuba” written by University of California-Riverside historian Ralph Crowder, Africans everywhere had the opportunity to learn that the former heavyweight champion led a delegation of 71 journalists, that were a who’s who of the National Newspaper Publishers’ Association (NNPA), which is the umbrella organisation for so-called African American newspapers."

8 Things To Know About Assata Shakur And The Calls For Her Return From Cuba  6/26/2017 Essence: "Many prominent Black thinkers and leaders have also maintained her innocence. Angela Davis, for example, has said that Shakur is a little threat to the U.S. government: "Assata is not a threat. She is innocent," she has said. "People really don't know the details and are not aware of the extent to which [Shakur] was targeted by the FBI and the COINTEL programme.""

Fate of Annual HBCU Cuba Programs Unclear  6/22/2017 Afro: "Wickham told the AFRO that once the federal government rolls out the new regulations he will ensure the trips he leads to Cuba adhere with the new policy. Until then, he said, those trips will continue until the administration tells him his groups cannot go as journalists and/or educators."

‘We Cannot Remain Silent’: Cuban Women Slam ‘Ignorant’ Trump  6/22/2017 teleSUR: "Recognizing human rights abuses in the United States, Cuban women cited Charleena Lyles, a pregnant Black woman who was killed by two police officers."

Cuban Government: We Will Never Return Assata Shakur to U.S.  6/21/2017 All Black Media: "Gustavo Machin, the deputy director of American affairs at the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told Yahoo News that he has no intention of returning Joanne Chesimard, more notably as Assata Shakur, to the United States. “I can say it is off the table,” Machin said."

Trump Demands Cuba Return Assata Shakur  6/17/2017 All Black Media 

Meet Daymé Arocena: Cuba’s Jazz Phenomenon Fusing Salsa, Hip-Hop And Neo-Soul  6/16/2017 Vibe: "Daymé Arocena is a singing drum. Her mouth blooms a litany of ethereal chants, a sacred devotion as impeccable as her white assembles against her molasses skin—traditional garb in the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria. She moves in the world the way she moves on any stage: swaying hips and wagging fingers, building a quiet momentum that emerges a thunderclap woman, who carries both Celia Cruz and Aretha Franklin in her heart."

Trump Talks Cuba, but All I Heard Was ‘Assata Shakur’ and All I Saw Was a ‘Blacks for Trump’ Sign  6/16/2017 The Root 

Fears of Black Political Activism in Cuba and Beyond, 1912–2017  6/15/2017 The Weekly Challenger: By Devyn Spence Benson - "When I arrived in Havana on April 6, 2013, a number of people I talked to (all well-educated revolutionaries) immediately compared Zurbano’s public critique to the formation of the PIC in 1908. Incredibly, these Cubans suggested that Zurbano’s article meant that he wanted to start his own black political party! That was not and is still not the case, but repeatedly linking Zurbano to the PIC illustrates how many Cubans still fear that any critique of the revolution by a black Cuban is a radical position that threatens national unity and is thus a cause for alarm."

Norteamericano Ben Jones expondrá en Museo de Bellas Artes de Cuba  6/2/2017 Prensa Latina: "El artista norteamericano de la plástica Ben Jones expondrá obras inéditas en el Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Cuba a partir del próximo 21 de julio, anunció hoy esta entidad. De acuerdo con la oficina de Relaciones Públicas de la institución, el creador recién vino a esta capital para preparar su primera exposición personal aquí, prevista para ocupar hasta el 23 de octubre la Sala Transitoria del cuarto nivel del Edificio de Arte Universal."

US Ben Jones to Exhibit at Fine Arts Museum  6/2/2017 Prensa Latina: "U.S plastic artist Ben Jones will exhibit his inedit work at the Fine Arts Museum of Cuba from next Juliy 21, the institution announced. According to its office of Public Relations, the artist has just arrived at this capital to prepare his first personal exhibition here, scheduled to be in site until October 23 in the Transitional Room of the fourth floor of the Universal Art building."

‘AfroRazones’ Compilation Traces the Legacy of Black Resistance From Havana to the Bronx  5/21/2017 Remezcla: "Beyond the high-level quality of AfroRazones, however, is the importance of archiving the methods of collaboration, cultural production, and the discussions that emerged throughout the process of sharing knowledges in recording sessions and workshops. In this sense, AfroRazones offers a model example of representation and cultural exchange, but also of archiving the process of building bridges between Black resistance movements. In that way, we are armed not only, as the project has described, “with the wisdom of our ancestors,” but also with the music industry tools to support Afro-Cuban artists’ continued prosperity in the digital age."

Jimmy's world shines light on Afro-Cuban culture of Matanzas  5/21/2017 Pittsburgh Post Gazette: "Next we walked down Matanzas’ narrow, tatty streets to Jimmy’s neighborhood. He lived in Barrio La Marina, a neighborhood near the Bay of Matanzas. It is a place where butchers walk their pigs through the streets, domino players huddle, neighbors break out in spontaneous dance celebrations and friends gather for community soup, everyone contributes something to the shared pot."

Los mejores momentos del Día Internacional del Jazz en La Habana  5/1/2017 Vistar: "El inicio no pudo ser mejor: descubrir a Will Smith como anfitrión de la noche fue, tal vez, una de las sorpresas más agradables para los cubanos. “El jazz ha sido la voz de la libertad para millones de personas de todas las edades, etnias y credos, porque llega hasta el alma y se conecta con el espíritu de toda la humanidad”, dijo Will Smith en una de sus intervenciones."

Quincy Jones en Cuba por celebración del Día Mundial del Jazz  4/29/2017 Cuba Si: "El legendario músico estadounidense Quincy Jones relató hoy cómo venció los prejuicios en su país sobre las capacidades de las personas negras y cumplió su sueño de componer para el cine."

NAACP Releases Report Card: Florida Failing in Key Categories  4/23/2017 Blogging Black Miami: "The Diversity Matters Initiative examined the records of targeted cities, counties, school districts and private corporations statewide. The NAACP Florida State Conference examined their records on employment, advertising and spending with minority, women and veteran-owned businesses. The NAACP Florida State Conference conducts this review annually, proposes recommendations and releases its findings to the public."

Artists from Los Angeles collaborate with Cubans for exhibit that will come to Miami  3/29/2017 ABC: "Women's rituals of Vodou and Santeria intrigue Shaina Lynn Simmons. She said black women in New Orleans and Havana have plenty in common. The CalArts Center for New Performance graduate student from New Orleans said she finds the strong cultural resistance during the African diaspora fascinating. The actress is working on "Afro Futuro," a collaboration with Cubans that she described as "a photo, video and live performance installation that explores the mythologies and realities of black women and Afro-Cuban women.""

Cuba Caribe Festival  3/28/2017 SF Chronicle: "The 13th Cuba Caribe Festival of Caribbean dance and music, which runs nine days from Thursday, March 30, to April 7, will include seven world premieres, master classes, film screenings, lectures and celebrations at Brava Theater and Museum of the African Diaspora. The theme of this year’s festival is “Manos De Mujeres,” and it will look at the role of women in our society — a fitting topic. Thursday’s opening-night panel discussion is called “Movers and Shakers: Bay Area Women Making a Difference in the Arts.” "

In memoriam: Professor Mark Sawyer, a champion for access and diversity  3/28/2017 UCLA: "His first book, “Racial Politics in Post-Revolutionary Cuba,” published by Cambridge University Press in 2006, earned critical acclaim and garnered major prizes in his field, including the Ralph J. Bunche Award from the American Political Science Association and the W. E. B. DuBois Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists."

Students examine Cuba in Black Studies  3/16/2017 The Pheonix, Swathmore: "On Monday, March 13th, Social Sciences Associate Professor and Department Chair at the State University of New York Empire State College Nadine Fernandez spoke in McCabe Library to community members about race in Cuba. Her speech focused on the history of race among Cuban populations in relation to the family unit and relationships. In the audience were students taking Professor Nina Johnson’s Blacks in Diaspora, the directed reading course of the Black studies department this spring semester. This course also participates in the college’s Experiential Learning Program this semester as it culminates with a trip to the island. The course explores Black identity in Cuba in relation to the migration of Black people and their social movements."

Everybody Wants To Be A Bruja But They Ain’t Really Bout That Life  3/6/2017 Negra with Tumbao: "… there’s a certain amount of accountability and responsibility that comes with being a “witch” and I can assure you that it isn’t always pretty. Typically, witches were the first to be killed when Europeans invaded Africa."

To the Memory of Malcolm X: Fifty Years After His Assassination  2/21/2017 Black Agenda Report: "Malcolm X was prominent among a large layer of Black intellectuals and activists including W.E.B. DuBois, LeRoi Jones (later known as Amiri Baraka), Robert F. Williams, William Worthy and many others who welcomed and defended the Cuban Revolution, which was coming under increasing US attack."

NY event celebrates life of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro  2/20/2017 The Militant: "Hundreds of people packed the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Cultural Center here in Harlem Feb. 4 to celebrate the life and political contributions of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, who died Nov. 25."

African Roots of Cuban Culture  2/17/2017 Center for Cuban Studies: "This exciting trip takes you across country where you’ll see much of the lovely island. Starting in the northeast, then traveling south and west across the country to explore how African customs, religion and people have contributed to la cubanía. You’ll meet artists, dancers, musicians, as well as learn about Santería and other religious practices. You’ll learn about the influence of religious iconography, and the significance it plays in the country and how these elements have survived throughout the years. You’ll meet and interact with scholars, artists, researchers, and writers who have dedicated their work to researching Cuba’s African roots and visit landmarks in Afro-Cuban history."

Black soldiers focus of Virginia War Museum display  2/15/2017 Daily Press: "Take the Spanish-American War. The 1898 conflict in Cuba and the Philippines lacked the grand scale of the two world wars that would follow. Still, African-American troops distinguished themselves and deserved a greater share of the praise for one famous battle. A new corner display at the War Museum pays homage to those "Buffalo Soldiers" of the Spanish-American War. Its centerpiece is a rare uniform tunic."

Talking about race: Davidson College professor discusses complexities of ethnic issues in Cuba  2/8/2017 Grand Valley Lanthorn: "Spence Benson said this colorblind, ‘raceless’ attitude was appropriated from the 19th century and had been used to negate individuals’ experiences with racism in the past. “That same ideology has been used to silence black activists when they tried to speak up,” Spence Benson said. “How radical can ‘racelessness’ be if it’s been used to silence Afro-Cubans who spoke up for themselves?”"

Residents of Harlem NY Pay Tribute to Fidel Castro  2/6/2017 PL: "Cuban Permanent Representative at the United Nations Anayansi Rodriguez expressed gratitude here for the tribute paid by New Yorkers to revolutionary leader Fidel Castro in Harlem. ‘The whole work of his life, dedicated to forge that better world we believe is possible, multiplies on you, in your firm solidarity with Cuba, and reaffirms our commitment to being faithful to the legacy of Fidel,’ Rodriguez said at the event, held at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center."

My Seven Day Itinerary for Cuba  1/28/2017 AfroBuenaventura: "I don't usually plan an entire itinerary for trips. But I did for this trip to Cuba, because frankly, I was afraid of things going wrong."

A Film Series Honors Black Women Directors  1/27/2017 NYT: "Like any good revolutionary, [Sara] Gómez doesn’t mince words: When she discusses patriarchy, she brings out the literal wrecking ball. She isn’t always subtle, but her approach in “One Way or Another” is complex and pleasurably dialectical."

Cuba Failed Me in 5 Ways  1/25/2017 AfroBuenaventura: Fail 4: Afro-Cubans Were Not Hard to Find

SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER GALLON SALUTES THE ARTS VIA RECOGNITION OF CURRENT MIAMI-DADE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS AND ALUMNI INVOLVED THE CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED FILM ‘MOONLIGHT’  1/25/2017 Blogging Black Miami: "Miami-Dade County School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III will present an agenda item and resolution at the Board’s upcoming monthly meeting recognizing several current and former students who were involved in the critically-acclaimed film, ‘Moonlight’ that chronicles the life of a young Black male from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in Miami’s renowned Liberty City neighborhood."

Cuba, America, Black Fine Lines, Magic Mind and the Real: The Spiritual Renaissance of Jules Arthur in Cuba  1/7/2017 Huff Post: "As Cuba was my number one destination, I just went on the journey of my dreams. Cuba represents my thirst for historical crossroads that had huge impacts on world history when people set out for new lands. To answer the question “what was I looking for?” Cuba excites every nerve I possess about diving deep into rich roots and culture. There is a notion that states artists have a duty to speak about his or her times."

How Oscar Favorite ‘Moonlight’ Subtly Illuminates the Erasure of Miami’s Black Cubans  1/6/2017 Remezcla:  “Lotta black folks in Cuba but you wouldn’t know it from being here [in Miami].” Juan is referring to the fact that black Cubans tend to be invisible in Miami, and in the United States in general, their voices and experiences drowned out by the very vocal and largely white, anti-communist exile community."

BMe Community Giving Away Over A Quarter Million Dollars to Black Men Doing Positive Works in the Community  1/3/2017 Blogging Black Miami: "BMe Community wants to reward unsung "Black Men's Genius" in Miami. From now until February 21, black men who share their remarkable stories of creating opportunities for others will have a chance to become BMe Leaders."

PRESUMED CUBAN: African American Tourists Mistaken for Afro Cuban  1/2/2017 African American - Latino World: "Interestingly enough, once Cubans realized that I was not Cuban, whatever racism they initially wanted to exhibit was immediately withheld. And the black Cubans immediately saw me as a well-to-do American first, and a black man second."

Africa in the Americas: Tour Group Explores Cuba's African Roots  12/30/2016 NBC: "Since its founding about a year and a half ago, DiasporaES has focused mainly on Cuba— successfully taking several groups to the island under several of 12 permitted categories that have made it easier for more Americans to travel there."

Reflections from Cubans on Castro (2/2)  12/29/2016 Real News: "James Early and Paul Jay discuss the potential role of independent trade unions in Cuban politics and the future of relations with the US under President Trump"

Reflections from Cubans on Castro (1/2)  12/28/2016 Real News: "Street interviews with Cubans and a conversation with the Smithsonian's James Early about the future of the Caribbean island after the passing of Fidel Castro and a growing US presence "

Danny Glover dialoga con jóvenes cubanos  12/28/2016 Cuba Si 

Danny Glover, James Early, la racialidad y la Casa  12/27/2016 La Ventana: "Danny Glover y James Early desembarcaron en la Casa de las Américas este martes para dialogar sobre las luchas de los afrodescendientes en los nuevos escenarios en Estados Unidos. No obstante, el intercambio, que duró poco más de hora y media, versó también sobre otras temáticas relacionadas con la racialidad, los movimientos sociales en el continente, la solidaridad Cuba- Estados Unidos, el progreso, los derechos civiles y la lucha contra la discriminación y la pobreza en la región. “Conocí sobre la Revolución Cubana a través de los sindicatos donde militaban mis padres, un grupo de afrodescendientes que desde 1959 creían en la posibilidad de conectar sus luchas con las luchas de Cuba y constituir la solidaridad entre mi país y el de ustedes”, refirió el actor norteamericano, quien es uno de los más reconocidos activistas por los derechos de los afrodescendientes en los Estados Unidos y de las minorías en esta nación anglosajona."

Ballet dancer Misty Copeland visits Cuba and talks diversity  12/27/2016 Voice, UK: “There’s this stigma in classical ballet that brown people don’t belong” said Copeland. “And that the rich culture comes from Europe. Americans have created a long history now in classical ballet, and I think … we are not really appreciated or acknowledged, for as long as we’ve been a part of it — including African-Americans.”

Misty Copeland Goes To Cuba And Speaks Ballet With Other Black And Brown Dancers  12/26/2016 Vibe: "In the end, the thing that resonates most with Copeland is partaking in a space filled with black and brown bodies that contort just like hers, if only for the pure love of it. “They’re doing classical ballet here, and they’re doing it really well,” she said."

Cuba-Whats Propaganda, What's True? Racial Histories and Complex Pasts  12/21/2016 Kimberly Miller - Academia: "Much to my dismay, as a black Marxist and strong supporter of the Cuban revolution, I was met by liberals with a fusillade of anti-communist criticism, dismissive anecdotes, accusatory rhetoric toward Castro, as an apparent autocratic despot, a violent, anti black charlatan, a homophobic dictator, and a clear oppressor. Being from south Florida, I am quite aware of the vociferously reactionary mouthpiece of the Cuban exile "gusanos" (pejorative for bourgeois Cubans who opposed the revolution), community that has made a great effort to fund and back initiatives of right-wing political agendas for several decades."

Misty Copeland Visits Cuba, Where Brown Ballerinas Are The Norm  12/20/2016 Huff Post: "“There’s this stigma in classical ballet that brown people don’t belong,” Copeland said in a video interview with The Undefeated. “But coming here to Cuba, it’s such a beautiful thing to know the long history of classical dance here, and to see the diversity. And it’s kind of like proving all of those people wrong."

Twin sisters make cigars to celebrate different shades of the AfroCuban diaspora  12/20/2016 Miami Herald: "According to the sisters, most of their business comes from black Americans. Tres Lindas Cubanas, which was named after a Cuban song and translates to three pretty Cuban girls, also serves as homage to the variety of shades of black women across the world and the complexion of the three blends of cigars available through their brand."

Cubans arrest U.S. human rights lawyer in Havana, activists say  12/17/2016 ABC 10 News: "When Motley was arrested, police officers also arrested punk rock artist Gorki Aguila and Luis Alberto Mariño, a political activist from the group Cuba Decides, according to the Human Rights Foundation."

Misty Copeland  12/16/2016 The Undefeated: " The art and dance and culture is so rich and deeply rooted in the Cuban people that’s it’s hard to just pick one. I wasn’t really expecting to have such an emotional connection and experience, but being at Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba and seeing part of the company and a lot of the children, it kind of just brought the trip full circle … to connect with the youth, to give them an example, show them the experiences I’ve had through my life’s journey as an African-American, and being a part of classical ballet."

Misty Copeland En Pointe  12/16/2016 The Undefeated: "The thing Copeland is most vocal about is the lack of diversity in ballet. But being in Cuba was a moment to not stand out. Copeland was surrounded in brown diversity, a far cry from the stridently white world of classical ballet."

Guavas, plantains, rum  12/16/2016 The Undefeated: "In truth, we’ve romanticized — and Americanized — what Cuban food is and what it ought to be. If your expectation is to come here and eat roast pork, ham, and cheese-filled sandwiches daily, you’re doing Cuba all wrong. Because in Havana, Cuba’s capital city, there’s amazing ice cream, private home restaurants—aka paladares—with salad bars and robust charcuterie, and there’s great stuff to munch on in Barrio Chino de la Habana."

The streets and scenes of Misty Copeland’s trip to Havana  12/16/2016 The Undefeated: "I didn’t know what to expect when I stepped on that plane in Miami and walked off when it landed in Cuba, but I do know that it was a lot more than rum and cigars. It was the understanding that sometimes you just have to slow down and cherish the moments. I hope you begin to do just that with these behind-the-scenes images of Misty Copeland’s trip to Cuba."

Castro paradoxes can’t be reduced to black, white  12/8/2016 Florida Courier: By Rev Jesse Jackson Jr - "Castro was no saint; the Cuban regime was repressive and wrong-headed about many things. But we shouldn’t view Castro solely from the perspective of those who fled the revolution or of the Cold Warriors and covert operators who spent decades who spent decades trying to bring him down. We won’t understand the perversity of our own policies if we don’t understand why Castro’s leadership is celebrated across much of the world."

Fidel and African Americans  12/7/2016 Amandala, Belize: "This notion that Third World revolutionaries and American civil rights activists were allies in the same essential conflict—that racism and global capitalism were part and parcel of a single oppressive system, presided over by the United States—was a source of tremendous fear in Washington. And the last thing anyone needed was for radical blacks to start getting ideas directly from the Cuban guerrillas”."

Africa in the Americas: Tour Group Explores Cuba’s African Roots  12/4/2016 NBC: "When the United States and Cuba first announced plans to restore diplomatic relations two years ago, Kasara E. Davidson says she and her business partner "hit the ground running" and used their combined 20 years of experience with the island to start Diaspora Enterprise Solutions (DiasporaES)."

Many Blacks applaud Castro legacy of racial equality  12/4/2016 Pittsburgh Courier: "Some of those who fled to Miami “had looted Cuba … and exploited the poor and the working class,” said Riddle, 70, who also teaches media at a Detroit community college. “Now those are the same individuals who have twisted the story to demonize Fidel Castro in death.”

Fidel Castro's Legacy On Race Relations In Cuba And Abroad  12/3/2016 NPR: Interview with Mark Sawyer, UCLA - "I think we need to look at Castro's mistakes of not allowing black pressure groups, not pursuing more rigid anti-discrimination policies as failures, but that he came as close as anybody has ever come to eliminating racial inequality in a place that had had plantation slavery."

Revolutionary Road: Navigating Fidel Castro’s Polarizing Legacy  12/2/2016 The Root: An extensive article featuring an interview with AfroCubaWeb columnist, Alberto Jones. Touches on Cuban and Black Cuban relations with Black Americans, as well as the justified execution of Batista torturers and murderers.

Reviewing "African-Americans should stop lionizing Castro as champion of black liberation" by Kimberly R Lyle  12/2/2016 AfroCubaWeb: by Alberto Jones - "Jose Marti, the father of the Cuban nation warned his people with these prophetic words: Ignorance Kills the People. One hundred and fifty years later, I read a hearsay laden article from another born-again Cubanologist, Kimberly Lyle, who has received her information from ultra-right wing Cuban Americans in Miami* and may have read an article or two on Afro Cuba here and there. In addition, she pretends ironically enough to write without basis about my home town Guantanamo!"

African-Americans should stop lionizing Castro as champion of black liberation  12/2/2016 Fusion: by Kimberly R. Lyle. - "My uncles passed down their stories too. One uncle, once a successful chemist, was left homeless and starving after the government punished him for seeking permission to leave the country. Another uncle refused to work sugarcane fields for free. Instead, he hid in the mountains until he could flee the island. A cousin who left Cuba almost a decade ago expressed how angry he was that he had to leave his own country to be a free man."

To so many Africans, Fidel Castro is a hero. Here’s why  11/30/2016 The Guardian: "A great irony about the reaction to Castro is that many of the same people demanding acknowledgement of his wrongs have never acknowledged that their governments were on the wrong side of history, or sponsored dictatorships in many developing countries."

Colin Kaepernick clarifies remarks on Fidel Castro  11/27/2016 USA Today: "In the postgame press conference following the 49ers’ 31-24 loss to the Miami Dolphins, Kaepernick was asked about his remarks, which were interpreted by some as a sign of support for the longtime leader of Cuba. "What I said was I agree with the investment in education," Kaepernick said. "I also agree with the investment in free universal health care, as well as the involvement in helping end apartheid in South Africa."

Lessons from Fidel: Black Lives Matter and the Transition of El Comandante  11/27/2016 Black Lives Matter: "As a Black network committed to transformation, we are particularly grateful to Fidel for holding Mama Assata Shakur, who continues to inspire us. We are thankful that he provided a home for Brother Michael Finney Ralph Goodwin, and Charles Hill, asylum to Brother Huey P. Newton, and sanctuary for so many other Black revolutionaries who were being persecuted by the American government during the Black Power era. We are indebted to Fidel for sending resources to Haiti following the 2010 earthquake and attempting to support Black people in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina when our government left us to die on rooftops and in floodwaters. We are thankful that he provided a space where the traditional spiritual work of African people could flourish, regardless of his belief system."

Fidel Castro was an unwavering champion of racial equality  11/26/2016 NY Daily News: "Okay, the media failed supremely in not realizing Americans could elect an empty-headed, knee-jerk liar as President. But, still, I say the greatest media shortcoming of the past half century was not recognizing that Fidel Castro was the most dedicated and powerful proponent of racial justice the world has ever known."

Black America and the Passing of Fidel Castro  11/26/2016 Alternet: by Bill Fletcher, Jr. - "For any Black American who knows anything about the history of the Western Hemisphere, both Cuba and Haiti have a special significance. Haiti, of course, for successfully ousting the French in 1803 and forming the second republic in the Americas; a Black republic. Cuba, in 1959, kicked out the USA, the Mafia, and a corrupt ruling class that had enforced racist oppression against most of the Cuban population."

Black Radicals Owe a Great Deal to Fidel Castro  11/26/2016 The Root: "Don Rojas, a longtime activist who was a former press secretary for Grenadian Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, a Marxist revolutionary politically inspired by Castro, remembers this era well in an email comment this afternoon: “His concrete support to the liberation struggles in Southern Africa will go down in the annals of history as one of the most amazing demonstrations of solidarity in modern history.”

Ohio State students will travel to Cuba  10/28/2016 Johnstown Independent: "As part of a four-week course next May called "Cuba: Race, Revolution and Culture," 15 to 25 students will reside with Cuban families in the capital city of Havana and study Cuban culture firsthand. A group of Ohio State theater students is making a trip to Cuba this December. "This trip will be transformative for our students," said Tiyi Morris, associate professor of African American studies and one of the trip's advisers."

Power of the Black Pen: Afro-Latin Activism in a Digital Age  10/14/2016 Afromodernidades: by Emmanuel Harris II, Ph.D., University of North Carolina Wilmington - "While a few of the Afromodernidades entries are re-posts, such as articles by others that speak to issues relevant to Cuba, many of the entries or profound investigations up to 2000 words in length with references, quotations and a solid theoretical foundation. Without question Alberto Abreu Arcia’s writings merits reading, analysis and inclusion in Afro-Hispanic debate. As we await the publication of his forthcoming book, ¿Puede ser negra la nación? Literatura, raza y modernidad en la Cuba del XIX, we are privy to insight and uplift from Cuba by a Cuban in this digital age."

Film explores Afro-Cuban history  10/5/2016 Golden Gate Express: "At the end of her exchange with the audience, Rolando recommended people engage in real conversations like she had with her grandmother. “In the present, there is too much technology separating people. I don’t know how people fall in love,” Rolando said, eliciting laughter from the audience. “Get close to your elders. It is the biggest treasure you have in life.”"

Miami-Set ‘Moonlight’ is a Heartwrenching Exploration of Gay Black Masculinity With Echoes of Cuba  9/30/2016 Remezcla: "As he teaches Little about life, we learn that Juan is of Cuban descent – an Afro-Cuban character at the heart of a film concerned with what it means to a black man.'

Tulane hosts ‘Dialogo con mi Abuela’ filmmaker  9/26/2016 Student Printz, Tulane: "One particular comment about the grandmother of an audience member and her family’s history led to Rolando answering that this “tribute to her memory in Santa Clara” can be felt universally. She described the memories of her grandmother, the smells of the kitchen and how everyone can be reminded of his or her own grandmother. It is for this specific reason that this is an incredible documentary. Not only does it bring some of Cuba into the lives of its audience, but it also brings the sentiments of the audience’s attention with the relative universality of the positive memories of a grandmother."

Cuba Through a Lens That's Black by Trevon Facey Cuba Through a Lens That's Black by Trevon Facey Cuba Through a Lens That's Black by Trevon Facey  9/19/2016 YouTube 

4 Days in Cuba With Usher  9/17/2016 YouTube / Complex News: "Complex News' Nadeska Alexis spends 4 days with Usher in Havana, Cuba ahead of the release of his 8th album 'Hard II Love.'"

Usher Wants to Do Something He's Only Played at Before: Confess  9/17/2016 Complex News: "Trailed by flashing camera bulbs and the crowd’s screams, he maneuvers through the ragged streets of Regla, a poor community a short ferry ride from Havana, with his entourage. His own songs play faintly from a blue portable JBL speaker carried by a member of the team. Grace Miguel, Usher’s wife and former manager, says it’s just a thing they like to do: blast music from a portable speaker, even when going out to a restaurant. It’s famous person behavior—a little like marrying your manager. The time is 7:00 p.m. on this warm April day, and Usher’s making a surprise appearance at a block party in the neighborhood."

Discovering the African Heartbeat in Cuba  9/2/2016 Essence: "Cuba is a land of contradictions. It's a nation that is largely defined by the descendants of enslaved Africans, yet also a place where those influences are often denied and racism is rarely confronted. Writer Johnica Reed Hawkins traveled to the island to explore the African history, traditions and customs that are integral to Cuba's identity, bringing to light the undeniable impact of black culture on one of the world's most beautiful and fascinating countries."

Seminario de Emancipación Emocional  9/1/2016 Afromodernidades: "Con el apoyo de representación de estas organizaciones fue posible que la Sección de Identidades y Diversidad (SERES) de la Sociedad Cubana de Psicología realizara durante dos días 18 y 19 de agosto de 2016 un seminario con la dirección de la Dra. En Psicología Cheryl Grills ex presidenta de la Asociación Internacional de Psicólogos Negros de Estados Unidos que muestra toda su experiencia en la metodología de trabajo sobre sanación mental y su puesta en práctica para ser aplicada en Cuba en la población afrocubana."

Cuban-Americans blast 49ers' Kaepernick for wearing Fidel Castro T-shirt  8/31/2016 Fox News Latino: "In Miami, Jose “Pepe” Hernandez, co-founder of the anti-Castro lobby group Cuban American National Foundation, said to Fox News Latino: “His actions were, at best, tremendously ignorant and irresponsible.”

The History Behind Colin Kaepernick's Shirt of Malcolm X and Fidel Castro  8/31/2016 Latina: "While the two never met again, there's no doubt that this was an extremely powerful meeting of the minds. The fact that Kapernick decided to wear a shirt of these two seemingly different leaders coming together and admiring each other's work toward racial equality is super symbolic and inspiring."

When Malcolm X Met Fidel Castro  8/30/2016 Slate: "San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has recently decided not to stand during the national anthem, wore a Malcolm X hat and a T-shirt featuring images of the leader meeting with Fidel Castro at a press conference where he explained his protest."

Emotional Emanipation Circles in Cuba  8/28/2016 Community Healing Network, Inc.: August 2016 Training of Emotional Emancipation Circle Facilitators in Cuba led by Dr. Cheryl Grills.

Celebrado en Cuba seminario de emancipación emocional de afrodescendientes  8/28/2016 Negra Cubana: "La Sección de Identidades y Diversidad (SERES) de la Sociedad Cubana de Psicología realizó el 18 y 19 de agosto de 2016, Fe del Valle” de la Federación de Mujeres Cuba, un seminario para 42 personas afrodescendientes cubanas. El mismo conducido por la Dra. en Psicología Cheryl Grills, ex presidenta de la Asociación Internacional de de Psicólogos Negros de Estados Unidos, tuvo como objetivo la sanación mental de las personas asistentes al mismo. En el nutrido grupo de activistas estuvieron representadas diferentes organizaciones como la Cofradía de la Negritud, el Grupo Afrocubanas, la Alianza Unidad Racial, el Capítulo Cubano de la Articulación Regional Afrodescendiente, la Red Barrial Afrodescendiente, entre otras, debatieron materiales e hicieron prácticas con herramientas de sanación buscando soluciones al impacto psicológico sufrido por la discriminación racial de tantos años."

Colin Kaepernick Is Righter Than You Know: The National Anthem Is a Celebration of Slavery  8/28/2016 The Intercept: "Almost no one seems to be aware that even if the U.S. were a perfect country today, it would be bizarre to expect African-American players to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Why? Because it literally celebrates the murder of African-Americans."

Activistas antirracistas de Cuba y EE.UU unen esfuerzos  8/22/2016 Genesis Cuba: "La huella del racismo no puede ser borrada, pero se aprende a vivir de manera más plena si se adquieren herramientas para lidiar con la discriminación, afirmaron especialistas en el seminario Emancipación Mental, desarrollado en esta capital. Casi un centenar de activistas antirracistas de Cuba y profesoras y profesores estadounidenses, participaron en las dos jornadas de taller, organizadas por la sección Seres, de la Sociedad Cubana de Psicología y el capítulo cubano de la Articulación Regional Afrodescendiente de América Latina y el Caribe (Araac)."

Activistas antirracistas de Cuba y EE.UU unen esfuerzos  8/20/2016 IPS: "“Entregamos la información necesaria para que las personas que lideren los círculos de emancipación mental puedan comenzar su trabajo, pero necesitamos contextualizar las actividades para lograr que sean familiares y parecidas a la vida en Cuba”, precisó la ex-presidenta de Asociación Americana de Psicólogos Negros. “En lugar de utilizar frases, video clips, películas, música y ejemplos de la prensa de otras naciones, todo versará sobre la realidad de este país”, dijo en referencia al texto entregado, que aún no está totalmente traducido al español. Detalló a la Redacción IPS Cuba que han realizado “experiencias similares en Inglaterra, Sudáfrica, Estados Unidos y otros lugares, donde se recupera la historia del racismo y, a su vez, se rescatan las contribuciones de la población negra a la sociedad”."

Reportaje Cultural, Manuel Rivero Glean  8/20/2016 AfroCubaWeb: "Seminario Emancipación Mental, por la Dra. Cheryl Grills, presidenta de Black Psychology Association (BPA), La Habana."

Valoran en La Habana el decenio afrodescendiente  8/12/2016 Radio Habana: "Asistieron representantes de organizaciones sociales, quiénes valoraron el curso de este decenio afradescendiente, donde participó Cheryl Grills, profesora de sicología en la universidad de Los Angeles en Estados Unidos e integrante de asociaciones negras estadounidenses. Cheryl expresó satisfacciones por su presencia en el encuentro que calificó de fundamental sobre la valoración racial en Cuba, aspecto que tiene sus específicas situaciones en el mundo actual."

Discovering the African Heartbeat in Cuba  8/2/2016 Essence: "As Cuba's doors open up, I know many Americans will want to come for the cars. But I hope they come for the culture—the Afro-Cuban culture."

Talkin’ with author Devyn Benson about ‘Antiracism in Cuba: The Unfinished Revolution’  8/2/2016 SF Bay View: “Antiracism in Cuba: The Unfinished Revolution” by author and professor Devyn Benson is an impressive study on the history of racism and Black organizing in Cuba prior to the 1959 revolution and right after it. This book is very important because there are very few that I have come across in the U.S. that document Black history on the island as well as exchanges between the Afro-Cuban and U.S. Black communities."

Cuban poet Nancy Marejon speaks on Black culture on the island  8/2/2016 SF Bay View: "She talks about Cubanismo and African pride, she talks about contemporary Cuban painters, musicians of the past, Jazz, and more."

Secrets From One Woman's Round-The-World Search For Good Hair  7/26/2016 Forbes: "Begley Bloom: Tell me about Maritza Lopez, whom you met in Cuba. She sounded so inspiring. Do you seek out women like her whenever you travel? Walton: When I’m planning these international excursions, the first thing I do is search for and reach out to non-profit organizations (with a focus on women and children) in the area, as well as natural-haired women in the area. Other than a strong desire to turn up and party with other curly girls, it’s just damn smart to roll with folks that know how to navigate whatever new and strange city you might find yourself in. I found Maritza after connecting with a group of Afro-Cubans on Facebook."

Sometimes, the Diaspora Needs to Have a Seat and Listen  7/11/2016 Ebony: "If we are not careful, our voice can be used to legitimatize what is essentially imperialism in countries we claim to care about. Rather than demand to lead, we have to take our marching orders from the people on the ground themselves and use our access and privilege to help them shape their country and their future."

Compañía neoyorquina de danza actuará en Cuba  7/6/2016 PL: "La compañía Oyu Oro Afro Cuban Experimental Dance Ensemble, radicada en Nueva York pero de origen cubano, se presentará en esta capital y en el oriente del país, anunciaron hoy aquí. Como parte de su temporada de verano, realizará un programa completo con artistas de la danza folclórica en Santiago de Cuba, localidad de donde proviene su directora Danys "la Mora" Pérez."

What does the Fourth of July means to Black America?  7/3/2016 AfroCubaWeb: by Alberto Jones

Arte, de Cuba a Nueva York  7/1/2016 Vistar: "Harlem-Havana Music and Cultural Festival es la nueva puerta que— a través de la música, las artes visuales, la danza, el cine y la comida criolla— muestra a Cuba y su cultura en Estados Unidos. Previsto del 15 al 21 de agosto, el evento, en su primera edición, llevará a artistas cubanos hasta Nueva York, y los hará protagonistas de varios espectáculos."

La nación cubana y el racismo  6/30/2016 AfroCubaWeb: "Consternada, luego de leer un artículo acerca del racismo en Cuba, en cual un grupo de estudiantes y profesores de la Universidad de Morgan State, en Baltimore que recién visitaron la Isla, constaron la dolorosa realidad que investigadores, académicos, activistas y otros; hemos estado planteando fundamentalmente desde el inicio de los años 1990 y es la existencia precisamente de ese racismo, informado ahora por voces foráneas."

Harlem and Havana Connect in Culture Festival  6/26/2016 Cuba Journal: "The Harlem/Havana Music & Cultural Festival will bring Cuban artists to New York in August for a week of performances and other events – followed by a similar cultural exchange in Havana in February. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Representative Charles Rangel, a longtime Cuban Embargo opponent, have been working for years on developing cultural exchange ideas between the US and Cuba. A contingent of American artists with Harlem connections, including Smokey Robinson, are slated to travel to Havana for a similar showcase of cultural exchange in February 2017."

Shaq Shoots for Diplomacy in New Role as Sports Envoy to Cuba  6/25/2016 Cuba Journal 

First Annual Harlem-Havana Cultural Exchange Is Coming To NYC This August  6/25/2016 Gothamist: "The movement to normalize relations between the U.S. and Cuba is coming to Harlem this summer: from August 15-21, the first annual Harlem/Havana Music & Cultural Festival will bring Cuban musicians, artists, dancers, chefs, educators, and more to New York as part of Harlem Week 2016."

Harlem Havana Music Festival - Press Conference June 24 2016  6/24/2016 YouTube 

New York Gov. Cuomo Announces Harlem/Havana Music & Cultural Festival  6/24/2016 Billboard: "Cuban musicians, visual artists, dancers, filmmakers, chefs and educators will be highlighted during this years Harlem Week from Aug. 15-21. They include saxophonist César López and his Habana Ensemble, and pianist Jorge Luis Pacheco, a young lion who was selected by Wynton Marsalis to perform with the Jazz at Lincoln Center orchestra during the New York big band’s trip to Havana in 2010."

Is anyone surprised?: Baltimore Tourist Says Racism Exists in Cuba  6/19/2016 The Real Cuba: reprint of the Afro article in this right wing publication - "Myra Queen, who knows what discrimination looks like having grown up in a segregated section of Baltimore during the 1950s and ‘60s, said she saw subtle patterns of racism play out during a recent trip to Cuba. Queen, 66, said she noticed during her weeklong trip that most of the staff waiting on her in restaurants were White. So were the people behind the counter at her hotel, despite the island’s large Black population."

Afro-Americans encounter racism in Castro Kingdom  6/17/2016 Babalu: Babalu Blog belongs to extreme right terrorists.

‘Codigo Color’ at SF Black Film Fest: Cuban doc explores colorism and cultural ignorance on the island  6/16/2016 SF Bay View: "After a discussion, Alberto was disturbed to find out his son and friends knew nothing about the history of racial relationships in Cuba before 1959. They’d heard all the slogans – racial discrimination being abolished – and all the rhetoric about Cuba becoming an equalitarian society and so forth but apparently had never heard real anecdotes told by real people who lived in pre-revolution Cuba."

Baltimore Tourist Says Racism Exists in Cuba  6/16/2016 Afro: “It’s important to take Black journalists to Cuba because the stories we find are the stories that too often seem to be ignored [and] overlooked by White journalists when they get there,” Wickham said. “It’s not mean spirited, it’s that their life experiences don’t drive them toward those stories.”

Tom Joyner Foundation Leads Delegation of HBCU Presidents on Mission to Havana, Cuba to Explore Global Exchange and Research  6/13/2016 Black News: "Tom Joyner, chairman of the Dallas-based nonprofit that helps support historically black colleges and universities, led a historic trip to Havana, Cuba where he led a group of HBCU presidents who explored global exchange and research opportunities for students and faculty in Cuba."

US fugitives say Cuba has reassured them they are safe  6/10/2016 Washington Times: "Charles Hill, a black militant wanted in the 1971 slaying of a New Mexico state policeman, told The Associated Press that Cuban government contacts had recently reassured him he was at no risk of extradition. Nehanda Abiodun, another black militant wanted in a 1981 armored car robbery that left two police offers and a security guard dead, told the AP she had recently received a similar promise."

A deserving homage for Ali  6/7/2016 AfroCubaWeb: "Ali knew that Cuba is the only place on earth, where the intractable, corrosive inner city malady derived from poverty, illiteracy, drugs, violence and deaths can be reversed through education, culture and the perfect environment, which precludes a genetic recessive factor."

Morgan State University Sends Delegation to Cuba  6/1/2016 Afro: "Kendra Hawkins, a journalism student at Morgan State University, is eager to see what awaits her in Cuba. She is set to travel to the country, once forbidden to most Americans, on June 4."

Cuba 2016  5/29/2016 Charisse L'Pree, Ph.D.: "In May, I was honored to accompany a delegation from the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) to Hominis 2016, organized by the Cuban Psychological Society in Havana. The trip was an amazing!"

How to CUBA  5/25/2016 CurlyNikki: "I don't usually share how I put these trips together because (1) there's no formula, and (2) I have a flare for the dramatic. But as this epicness comes to a close, I thought I'd do y'all a solid and provide you with a how-to manual of sorts."

Fidel Castro & Cuba: Thorns In Side of US Imperialism  5/24/2016 Black Agenda Report: "The United States has a long and duplicitous history when it comes to not only attempting to assassinate the character of Fidel Castro, but also his life. The US government’s unsuccessful attempts at both forms of assassination can easily be deemed as an evil obsessive. The United States (via the CIA) has tried to assassinate/murder Fidel Castro over 600 times. This number is startling due to the fact that the CIA has been so utterly unsuccessful in their nefarious attempts to eliminate Castro. However, it should not be surprising that they tried to assassinate this leader, since they have successfully (and extra-judiciously) assassinated countless humans, including government leaders throughout the globe. This diabolical track record goes back many decades."

On Memorial Day Weekend in Miami Beach, Black Tourists Are Second-Class Citizens  5/24/2016 Miami New Times: "The goal seems to be to rob African-Americans blind, lock up as many of them as possible, and occasionally use some for police target practice. (Remember the 2011 killing of Raymond Herisse, in which 12 officers fired more than a hundred rounds, four others were wounded, and no one was charged?) If Memorial Day weekend were treated like a convention coming to town, Miami Beach would get hotels to block off rooms and give visitors discounted rates. The city, the county, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, and commercial airlines would kick in money to help support the event. Government officials would work with the event promoters to provide comped rooms to celebrity entertainers and comped ballrooms for panels and events. Meanwhile, in cities like New Orleans and Toronto, government officials are rolling out the red carpet for events that cater to a predominantly black clientele."

CurlyNikki in Cuba  5/22/2016 CurlyNikki: "So there you have it folks, next time you want in to a closed society...just knock on the door."

Afro Cubans: We Are Many  5/22/2016 CurlyNikki: this site with 5 million monthly views and 660,000 FaceBook followers, interviews Gloria Rolando, filmmaker, and Martitza Lopez, of the Red Barrial Afrodescendiente.

Unspoiled: Life Without Limits  5/22/2016 CurlyNikki: "As an African American from Ferguson, MO, I feel like I have a responsibility to empathize with those that are oppressed, excluded or disadvantaged, no matter where they are all over the world. This is why I can recognize the humanity in the Muslim family in India, the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Cubans surviving the harsh reality of embargo."

The Morgan State University Choir to Sing in Cuba  5/21/2016 Cuba Now: "Specializing in U.S. gospels and spirituals, the choir will perform from May 25 to May 30 at the Tomas Terry (Cienfuegos) and La Caridad (Villa Clara) theaters and at the White (Matanzas) and the Lecuona halls of the Alicia Alonso Grand Theater of Havana, Cubasi reported on May 20. During the concerts, the U.S. group will share the stage with Cantores de Cienfuegos and the Villa Clara Provincial Choir and with the Chamber of Matanzas and Entrevoces choirs."

Lawyer: Fugitive loyal to Cuban revolution  5/19/2016 Along the Malecon: "In late March of 2016, Huck Magazine published a lengthy article that contained numerous inaccuracies regarding Mr. Hill, an African-American human rights activist who was forced to flee the United States in 1971 due to political repression. Mr. Hill has since resided in Havana as a guest of the Cuban government. The Huck Magazine article so egregiously mischaracterizes and misstates Mr. Hill’s positions that we are necessarily compelled to immediately enter into litigation against Huck Magazine for fraud, libel and false light. Neither Mr. Hill nor his undersigned attorney were duly notified by Huck Magazine of their intent to publish this article."

What Obama’s Trip to Havana Revealed about Race in Cuba and the U.S.  5/5/2016 AAIHS: "The symbolism of a black U.S. president eating at one of Havana’s few black-owned restaurants and talking about Afro-Cuban access to the new economy should be celebrated. Missed, though, was the opportunity to reestablish coalitions and activism between people of African descent in both countries. Instead, debates about which country had been most successful in battling racism abounded. Similar to previous interactions between Cuba and the United States, this event showed how both countries invoke celebratory histories that reinforce national racial mythologies, rather than the controversial present. During his speech in Havana’s Gran Teatro, President Obama momentarily departed from the rhetoric of U.S. exceptionalism to acknowledge our shared history of racial oppression. “Cuba, like the United States, was built in part by slaves brought here from Africa” and that “we both have more work to do to promote equality in our own countries [and] to reduce discrimination based on race,” Obama said. Because U.S. diplomats rarely publicize aspects of the country’s continued racial inequity, this part of Obama’s speech was refreshing and a humbling gesture to his Cuban hosts."

En La Habana, Emory Douglas, el pintor de los Panteras Negras  4/30/2016 Jiribilla: "Entre las personalidades que prestigian la segunda edición del Festival del Cartel, que se desarrolla durante esta semana en la Capital, se encuentra el diseñador afroamericano Emory Douglas (Michigan, 1943), figura destacada dentro de la lucha por los derechos civiles de los negros en los EE.UU."

Chucho Valdes to play at the White House on International Jazz Day  4/28/2016 Cubarte: "The icon of Cuban Latin jazz, Chucho Valdes, will perform at the White House with prestigious world-class artists as Sting, Aretha Franklin and Herbie Hancock, as part of the celebrations for the International Day of Jazz in the United States. The event, to be hosted by US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle, will take place on April 29 and will be broadcasted the following day on ABC under the name "Jazz at the White House," as well as in the websites of the United Nations, UNESCO, the Department of State and the Casa Blanca in "streaming"."

Colorism and Privilege: An Afro-Cuban American in Havana  4/28/2016 Fem: "In Cuba, the Communist Revolution is often portrayed as the “great equalizer,” not just economically but also in respect to race relations. In many ways, this has been true: people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds have access to education, jobs, transportation, healthcare, and other social services. Regardless, there are traces of racial hierarchy and a colonialist mentality which are deeply entrenched in Cuban society."

Why Beyoncé's Yellow Dress Is So Much More Than A Piece Of Clothing  4/27/2016 Refinery 29: ""[Oshun] has been a victim of abuse, neglect, and loss, which is the reason so many women whom have experienced those actions worship [her]. When she seeks out revenge for those who have hurt her– and her children– she is unpredictable in her methods and temper. She can show herself laughing, dancing and joyous, all while unleashing a wrath on those who cross her. It only makes sense that Beyoncé would allude to Oshun's imagery and personification in an album that is intended to conceptualize a woman's journey of self knowledge and healing, specifically that of a black woman's journey. Oshun symbolizes just that.""

En La Habana, Emory Douglas, el pintor de los Panteras Negras  4/27/2016 Cubarte: "Entre las personalidades que prestigian la segunda edición del Festival del Cartel, que se desarrolla durante esta semana en la Capital, se encuentra el diseñador afroamericano Emory Douglas (Michigan, 1943), figura destacada dentro de la lucha por los derechos civiles de los negros en los Estados Unidos. Desde su llegada a La Habana el pasado lunes, ha sostenido encuentros con representantes de la plástica nacional y visitado algunas de las muestras inauguradas como parte del programa del mencionado evento. Asimismo, fue recibido por la presidencia de Casa de las Américas, institución en la que este jueves a las 4:00 pm quedará inaugurada la exposición Emory Douglas, el pintor de los panteras negras, con veinte carteles de tema político realizados por él a partir de los años sesenta del pasado siglo."

Some Thoughts on Cuban Resistance to US Ideological/Political War  4/26/2016 Black Agenda Report: “The question is, will Obama’s visit to Cuba provide Cubans the opportunity to make headway against the cultural war, or will it allow the US to make inroads? Or are both these scenarios on the horizon?”

This Beyoncé 'Lemonade' Meaning Theory Involving the African Goddess Oshun Is Mind-Blowing  4/25/2016 MIC: ""Y'all think Beyoncé was just breaking windows, twerking and playing in water. No, she was portraying Oshun, a Yoruba Orisha," Facebook user Tasha Robinson wrote in a post Sunday. "Sensual, sexual, beautiful Goddess [and] deity who is a healer, gives life, growth, luxury, change and prosperity. That was the message of Lemonade. Love, change and prosperity." "

Beyoncé's 'Lemonade' featured a slew of amazing cameos — here's a guide  4/24/2016 Mashable: "Twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz of the music duo Ibeyi."

#Usher en La Casa de la Musica de Galiano #Habana #Cuba #Humildad  4/22/2016 Lolo MC: video

Usher en #Cuba habla de la riqueza cultural y energía de los #cubanos  4/22/2016 Cubanos por el mundo: video

Usher Heads Back to US after Singing and Dancing in Cuba  4/21/2016 Prensa Latina: "According to his Twitter account, he posted that in the Plaza de Regla 'we were all rapping, dancing, and singing. Great to see such Life'."

Usher dice adiós a La Habana luego de cantar y bailar con los cubanos  4/21/2016 "Cuba muestra su amor grandemente! íLa energía fue tremenda ayer! Gente trepando en los árboles, en los techos, e inundando las calles mientras corrían. Las artes y la cultura aquí son tan auténticas y refrescantes! Los amo mucho", subrayó el intérprete de Yeah."

Smokey Robinson Jr: “Crecí escuchando jazz cubano”  4/21/2016 Vistar: "William "Smokey" Robinson Jr., leyenda norteamericana del Rock and Roll y el R&B, aseguró que le encantaría grabar con músicos cubanos al declararse amante y conocedor de la música hecha en la Isla. “Yo crecí escuchando jazz cubano”, confesó el cofundador de la disquera Motown Records y miembro del Salón de la Fama del Rock and Roll en 1987. Smokey se encuentra por primera vez en Cuba, donde advierte muchas posibilidades para las colaboraciones musicales. “Estoy aprendiendo sobre Cuba, es mi primera vez y si depende de mí no será la última”, afirmó."

Harlem in Havana Helped Popularize Afro Cuban Music and Dance in North America  4/21/2016 Harlem in Havana: "Although the best talent from Cuba has long been forgotten in the states, Afro Cuban culture still has a strong hold on American entertainers. Many U.S. troupes today incorporate this rich blend of Latin, African and European cultures into their repertoires. But, there is still much to be discovered about how the Afro Cuban craze landed and took root in American soil. Six years ago, Leslie Cunningham, a Durham-based documentary filmmaker and the granddaughter of Tampa millionaire showmen Leon Claxton, created The Harlem in Havana Project, a transmedia project in honor of her grandfather's epic Black and Cuban traveling revue that braved racism, segregation and immigration laws to become popular in the 1940s through the 1960s."

USHER en la Lanchita de Regla (+ TODAS LAS FOTOS DE USHER EN CUBA)  4/20/2016 Cubanos por el Mundo: "El popular intérprete Usher, de visita en Cuba, ha subido imágenes y videos en la red social Instagram. En una de estas fotos USHER viaja a Regla, histórico pueblo al otro lado de la Bahia de La Habana, conocido por el santuario de la Virgen de Regla, sincretizada en la religión afrocubana como Yemayá."

Galería de fotos: Obsesión y Usher en Regla  4/20/2016 Negra Cubana: "La agrupación cubana de rap Supercrónica Obsesión recibió en su peña en el poblado de Regla al cantante y actor estadounidense Usher, quien por estos días visita La Habana. Integrada por Magia y ..eltipoeste… este grupo, símbolo del movimiento cubano de hip hop, celebra mensualmente este encuentro a nivel comunitario al cual se unen artistas de la zona. Regla es además el cuartel general de Obsesión y donde reside ..eltipoeste.."

Usher Travels To Cuba And Doesn't Invite Us  4/20/2016 Essence: "The singer took off earlier this week after a quick stop in Miami and was greeted by tons of fans when he arrived."

Usher y Dave Matthews recorren La Habana  4/19/2016 On Cuba: "La Habana recibe nuevas celebrities: los habaneros quieren tomarse fotos con Usher y Dave Matthews, pero esta vez, estos músicos norteamericanos dejarán esperando a la multitud pues no los verá actuar en un escenario. Ambos están en Cuba para reconocer el país y retornar a Estados Unidos con información sobre cómo podrían Cuba y su país desarrollar más lazos culturales."

Usher visita peña de hip hop en municipio Regla  4/19/2016 CubaDebate: "El músico Usher Terrence Raymond IV, conocido simplemente como “Usher” se encuentra en Cuba como parte de la delegación del Comité Presidencial para las Artes y las Humanidades de los Estados Unidos. El artista oriundo de Tennesse, visitó junto a otras personalidades de la cultura de su país el Instituto Superior de Arte y en la tarde fue hasta el municipio regla, al este de la Bahía de La Habana, para asistir a una peña de hip hop del grupo cubano Obsesión."

Comenzó en Cuba Conferencia Internacional de Cultura Africana y Afroamericana  4/13/2016 Sierra Maestra: "A la actividad inicial de la reunión asistieron parte del Cuerpo Diplomático africano en Cuba; Gabriel López, jefe del Departamento Ideológico del Comité Provincial del Partido Comunista de Cuba; Manuel Falcón, vicepresidente del Consejo de la Administración Provincial; Tania Fernández Chaveco, directora provincial de Cultura; Rodulfo Vaillant, presidente del Comité Provincial de la Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba (UNEAC), y otros directivos de instituciones, y artistas de varias manifestaciones."

Cuban documentary screened on campus  4/8/2016 Loyola Maroon: "“We wanted to talk about race, but also about life and color. We wanted to laugh at the irony of racism,” O’Reilly said. O’Reilly said that everyone in Cuba is mixed. No one is completely white, and O’Reilly uses his film to point out how ridiculous it is to discriminate in Cuba."

The Long Read: The story of Charlie Hill, an FBI fugitive in Havana  3/25/2016 Huck Magazine: [Hill contests the accuracy of this story - "It's been over 43 years since Charlie Hill went on the run from U.S. authorities, making his way to Cuba where he's been hiding ever since, and the thawing of relations between the two countries plays on his mind. His little known story is one of revolutionary spirit, of murder, of adventure and of pain. After a series of meetings in Havana, award winning writer Carlos Álvarez Rodríguez tells us Charlie's story."

The Black Lives Matters Founders are among the World's Greatest Leaders  3/24/2016 Fortune: "Modern social movements often fizzle after their moment in the national news (Occupy Wall Street and to a lesser extent the Tea Party come to mind). But Black Lives Matter has steadily gained momentum since its founding in 2013, when activist Alicia Garza coined the phrase and fellow activist Patrisse Cullors made it a hashtag. Alongside Opal Tometi, they created the Black Lives Matter network, which has grown to 28 local chapters, each fighting a range of racial injustices like police brutality and racial profiling."

The Cuban Embassy’s First Secretary Miguel Fraga in a candid Block Report Radio Q&A  3/22/2016 SF Bay View: "At Merritt College, the birthplace of the Black Panther Party, on the 74th birthday of its co-founder, Huey P. Newton, the African American Studies Program fittingly hosted a talk by the recently opened Cuban Embassy’s First Secretary Miguel Fraga, where he spoke on Cuban-U.S. relations. In an interview following the Fraga led discussion, he and I continued to talk about Cuban-U.S. relations, but we were able to extend the conversation to talk more directly about the embargo, the U.S. government’s relationship with Haiti, Venezuela and Bolivia, the U.S. government’s funding of Radio Marti, and the dissipation of the radical Latin American bloc of nations that are opposed to U.S. aggression and hegemony in the region and in the world."

What Cuba Can Teach America About Race  3/21/2016 Daily Beast: "Where the American blues was mournful and plaintive, són was defiant and menacing. Folks of color in America embraced it and grew. Ask Dizzy Gillespie."

Obama's Visit to Cuba: Dangers and Benefits to The Cuban Revolution  3/21/2016 Real News: "One of the very first things that Raul Castro said is that if the embargo were moved today, Cuba would still have tremendous internal difficulty through its own fault. So Cuba has been involved in deep reflection and debate of looking at the differentiation between the party, the state, the government, and the people. It has been involved in a lot of self-critical reflection of the irony of having educated one of the world's most educated populations by all of the [inaud.] of the UN and the independent bodies on their children scoring high in math and science, and great cultural production. A major country in the world on biotechnology and cancer vaccines, and all of this."

Will Afro-Cubans & African-Americans Be Able To Benefit From Improved U.S./Cuban Relations?  3/21/2016 News One: "During a special simulcast with the Tom Joyner Morning Show and TV One’s NewsOne Now, Roland Martin spoke with Devyn Spence Benson, author of Antiracism in Cuba, and businessman Troy Nash about the importance of President Barack Obama‘s visit to Cuba and what improved U.S./Cuban relations could mean for people of color."

#Obama fue a una Paladar en Centro Habana #Cuba?  3/21/2016 Lolo MC: video

What Cuba Can Teach America About Race  3/21/2016 Daily Beast: "But I maintain that on race, Fidel Castro has been one of our hemisphere’s great, even historic leaders. He ended many of the blatant discriminatory practices that existed in pre-Revolutionary Cuba and he made a brand out of his rapport with militant black leaders in the United States. Perhaps the most famous manifestation of that is the photo of Fidel having a face-to-face exchange in Harlem with the militant black American leader Malcolm X, who would be assassinated four years later. Castro would go on to send troops to Angola in Africa, where they fought for years against a faction supported by the white racist government of South Africa. Many today say the world, with U.S. complicity, have failed to recognize the positive role played by Communist Cuba in the end of racial apartheid in South Africa."

For black Cubans, Obama visit a source of pride  3/20/2016 AP: "“It was only an African-American man who’s been able to loosen things up,” said Orlando Vila, the 50-year-old chief of a self-employed crew of workman repairing a state-run warehouse in Old Havana. “He’s faced the realities of life and now people here are expecting a change, too.”

What President Obama's Visit to Cuba Means for Cubans of African Descent  3/19/2016 Huff Post: by Devyn Spence Benson "U.S. black travelers to Cuba, like many foreigners, typically visit the island for 10 days or less, both in the 1960s and today. A week is not long enough to decode the dynamics of race and racism. Unlike the widely publicized Black Lives Matter movement, Cuban activists and scholars lack regular access to television, print news, and social media that might amplify their voices and political opinions. Therefore, visitors don't always see the ways Afro-Cubans continue to be left behind. During their short vacations, many won't notice how Afro-Cubans are discretely barred entrance into tourist hotels, or have limited access to good-paying, front-of-the-house jobs in major hotel chains."

Harlem in Havana Project - E-News - March 2016  3/15/2016 Harlem in Havana: "I am so excited to share updates for the film project about Harlem in Havana. Six years in the making, the film will be completed by the end of 2016. Our goal is to launch the film in early 2017, exactly 50 years after Harlem in Havana’s last bally! "

5 places black people can move if Donald Trump wins the presidency  3/2/2016 The Grio: "President Obama gave us life when he opened up the doors to Cuba last summer after a 50-year embargo. We’d been dying to get in and get our tour on like Bey & Jay. Although the country is still recovering economically, the culture is rich, and proud black people are plentiful. But word on the island is that blacks aren’t reaping the benefits of all the new money flowing in. Let some black Americans come through and set up shop. We can start a new revolution…"

Ballet Schools of Cuba and the United States Consolidate Exchanges  3/1/2016 Cuba Now: [Where are the exchanges around black culture?] - "The Cuban School of Ballet Fernando Alonso and the Ruth Page School of Dance in Chicago will strengthen this year their educational and cultural exchanges, asserted recently the director of the U.S. center Victor Alexander Ramirez."

ÌFÉ Synthesizes Ancestral Powers with Contemporary Dancehall  2/29/2016 Noisey: "Last year, Otura traveled to Cuba to complete his initiation into Ifá, part of the Yoruban tradition brought to the Caribbean from Africa. Religious practices like Yoruba were nearly wiped out by slavery, colonialism, and good old proselytizing from the West, but in the Caribbean, there’s a growing movement to revive the faith. Otura is a black American who came to the island, learned Spanish, and adopted a tradition on the decline. It’s an effort to reclaim roots that most people of African descent in America have been almost entirely severed from. These elements are all on display in the video we’re premiering today, which is directed by Luis R. Vidal and Otura himself and draws visual inspiration from his faith."

Cinnamon Traveler Heritage Trust, por tercera vez en la feria internacional del libro de La Habana  2/19/2016 Claustrofobias: "Unas de las razones que me motivaron a participar en las ferias, fue cuando vine a Cuba por primera vez como turista y visité la feria en la Cabaña. Quedé impresionada con la cantidad de personas que hacían largas colas para comprar libros. En Atlanta, donde vivo, eso no se ve y menos para comprar libros. Las colas son para conciertos de música o algún evento deportivo, no para libros." Declaró Grace Lynis creadora del proyecto Cinnamon Traveler Heritage Trust para Claustrofobias, de Atlanta, EE.UU, mientras las personas se interesaban por las nuevas e interesantes propuestas."

Capital District's 'People To People' Delegation Reports On Cuban Visit  2/19/2016 WAMC: "Amani Olugbala is a Black Lives Matter organizer who came to Albany from Brooklyn 10 years ago. She was impressed with the Cuban people, admires their activism, and feels the U.S. shouldn't punish the nation for deciding to govern itself. "Cuba is an example of international solidarity for young people, who are like learning about Malcolm X, Fidel, kickin' it together, sharing ideas and learning from one another. I feel like all those examples are just - and - people about Cuba knowing about Black Lives Matter, without access to the same kind of internet materials that we have here, I think it's just a strong statement in solidarity, and just keep up the work that is necessary and is continuing.""

African American Museum traces the influence of Cuban art  2/16/2016 Newsworks, Philadelphia: "A little-known artistic revolution in Cuba almost 40 years ago is now featured at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. A group of Cuban artists banded together in 1978 together as Grupo Antillano, to make work highlighting African ties to Cuba."

'Black and Cuba': Nine Students Who Fought Racism with Books  2/3/2016 NBC: "The new documentary "Black and Cuba" follows a group of nine Yale graduate students who felt more like outcasts than a part of their elite Ivy League community. Bonding over feelings of alienation, they formed a black resistance reading group to discuss books on the movement against racism throughout the African diaspora and were further inspired to take a field trip to Cuba in 2002 to see firsthand "how revolution lives" on the island."

Bucket-list item for African Americans: Experience Cuba  2/1/2016 USA Today: "Black Cubans are a racial minority, according to the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Fact Book, whose 2012 estimate puts Cuba’s population as 64.1 percent white, 9.3 percent black and 26.6 percent mestizo. The latter is part-European, especially Spanish, and part-Native American. Still, by some accounts, black- and mixed-race people comprise two-thirds of the population. And, elements of the country’s African heritage are many and varied. “Cuba is not African-influenced. Its core root is Africa,” said Dash Harris. The USA-educated Panamanian-American is a co-founder of AfroLatino Travel offering curated tours and local guides at select Latin American and Caribbean destinations."

Bucket-list item for African Americans: Experience Cuba  1/31/2016 USA Today: "Older African-Americans likely remember reading about Cuba in their youth: Fidel Castro’s revolution got a lot of ink in black newspapers in the USA, said Jackie Jones, an associate professor who chairs the multimedia program in the School of Global Journalism at Morgan State University in Baltimore. These journalists “were looking at a country that had a lot of promise of addressing issues of race, which had some resonance with the civil rights movement in the [United] States,” Jones said. And, although a “racial nirvana isn’t there,” Jones calls the island nation “simultaneously troubled and vibrant.”"

CÓDIGO COLOR. MEMORIAS (2015), de William Sabourin O’Reilly  1/28/2016 Cine cubano - la pupila insomne: "Camagüey- El documental Código Color. Memorias, del realizador cubano-norteamericano William Sabourin O’Reilly, tendrá una presentación especial el próximo 30 de enero, en el Salón Platino del Multicine Casablanca de la ciudad de Camagüey. Proyectado en diciembre de 2015 en el 37 Festival del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano y en la ciudad de Santiago de Cuba, el audiovisual propone explorar el complejo tema de los prejuicios raciales, a partir de hechos ocurridos en la década del 50 del pasado siglo."

Tío Tomás’s Cabin: Marco Rubio and White Cubanidad  1/14/2016 Latino Rebels: by Jason Nichols, Lecturer in African American Studies - "Last semester I had a young man turn in an assignment in which students were instructed to write to a current presidential candidate. This particular student had been outspoken and one of the more socially aware and progressive students in the class. He has a leadership position in a Latino fraternity, and often attempted to find commonality between the plight of African Americans and people of Latino (Latinx) origin."

Tipping a Hat to H.T. Smith, a Rebel with a Cause, at the Gay8 Festival  1/13/2016 Miami Herald: "H.T. Smith is no stranger to discrimination. His long career of service has had him chair the Coalition for a Free South Africa — leading the charge to convince local governments and universities not to do business with companies that did business with apartheid South Africa — head a tourism boycott against Miami after local officials snubbed Nelson Mandela during his historic visit; champion the amendment that explicitly gives women and people born outside the U.S. equal legal protection; and co-chair the Miami-Dade Say No to Discrimination referendum, fighting for equal rights for all people regardless of their sexual orientation."

Cuba After the Thaw Worsening Inequality for Afro-Cubans and Women  1/12/2016 Boston Review: by Devyn Spence Benson - "But he [Roberto Zurbano] mentioned one unexpectedly positive effect of U.S. tourism, explaining that the uptick in African American travelers had already changed the dynamics of street-level policing. Havana cops were easing off their notorious harassment of black youths out of fear they might be North American tourists. “It’s a small detail, but for us it’s important. Because the authorities’ perceptions of blackness will keep changing as African American tourism grows.” It is an example of the kind of unanticipated effects that the coming years may bring."

Links on/Enlaces en la AfroCubaWebtop

Diasporic Commonalities: Common History and Future of the Afro-Cuban & Afro-American Communities. Riviera Beach, FL, 4/26/14. Organized by Alberto Jones.

Jay-Z and Beyoncé go to Cuba: the exiled plantocracy reacts & Jay-Z raps, 4/13

Assata Shakur, 11/12

Black and Cuba

Special Report: Cuba in Black and White, Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies, 2011: a non-profit dedicated to developing Black American journalists reports on Cuba with DeWayne Wickham, Tonyaa J. Weathersbee, and many others.

Goodbye Manning Marable, 4/6/2011 (en español), Gisela Arandia

Acting on Our Conscience Briefing Sheet: roadmap for Diaspora support of Miami-backed dissidents, 1/6/2010

Acting on Our Conscience: a Declaration of African American Support for the Civil Rights Struggle in Cuba, 11/30/09

African Americans and Cuba's First Experiment in Tourism: The Joe Louis Commission in Post Revolutionary Havana, 1959-1960  6/1/2009 Black Past

Nine African American columnists visit Cuba: February, 2000

National Black Chamber of Commerce, Travel to Cuba, position  paper, 2000

"Why Black Cuba Is Suffering," a report from TransAfrica, 7/99

Lisa Brock and Digna Castañeda Fuertes: Between Race and Empire : African-Americans and Cubans Before the Cuban Revolution, 1998

The Cuban Revolution in Transition: Black Reflections on Race, Politics, and Culture in Cuba Today, 11/1/97

The Congressional Black Caucus and Cuba

TransAfrica  increases the dialog between AfroCubans and African Americans




Lisa Brock, Kalamazoo College

Leslie Cunningham, Harlem in Havana

Marvin Dunn

James Early, Smithsonian

Soffiyah Elijah, director of the Correctional Association of New York

Ben Jones, artist

Manning Marable

Cornelius Moore

Nurudafina Pili Abena, musician

Margaret Ross Martin, journalist

Assata Shakur, activist

Askia Toure, poet

Kwame Toure, activist

Tonyaa Weathersbee, journalist

Robert F. Williams


Gisela Arandia, scholar

Digna Castañeda Fuertes

Tomas Fernandez Robaina, scholar

Gloria Rolando, film maker


The Trayvon Martin in US: An American Tragedy, by Emmanuel Harris II (Editor), Antonio D. Tillis (Editor). Includes Afro-Latin perspectives.

Between Race and Empire: African-Americans and Cubans Before the Cuban Revolution
Edited by Lisa Brock and Digna Castañeda Fuertes

Organizations top

Black Lives Matter
Caribbean Cultural Center, NY
Ingathering:The Literary Journal of Arts & Letters from the Black Diaspora in the Americas, Chicago
Centro Martin Luther King, la Habana Kwame Touré Work Study Institute and Library
Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies, DeWayne Wickham Percussion Artists Workshop (PAWS), LA
Sociedad Marti-Maceo, Tampa: AfroCubans in Tampa le Ijuba Yoruba, Miami, Inc.
Stage of the Arts, Inc.: Matanzas in LA Organization of Africans in the Americas, Washington, DC
TransAfrica Forum Black Cuba Forum: AfroCubans in Miami, recipient of NED funds
Harlem in Havana Jig Show


Black Florida

The Samaná Americans: African Americans in the Dominican Republic since 1824, 1/13 

Black in Latin America

Forging Diaspora: Afro-Cubans and African Americans in a World of Empire and Jim Crow, Frank Guridy , 2010
To order ==>

Tips for Black Travelers


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