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Oblate Sisters Research Project

The following is an appeal for research help from Cuban filmmaker Gloria Rolando on her new film concerning the largely Black order of the Oblate Sisters of Providence and their work educating Black girls in Cuba and the US.  Gloria is fighting the new embargo imposed by Trump that prevents her and other Cubans from traveling to the US, as she describes in her Do we stop work on the documentary project "Sisters of Heart" due to the new bloquade? 11/2/2017.

Needed: Background Information for the Documentary “Hermanas de Corazón”, 12/12/2017
by Cuban filmmaker Gloria Rolando.

One of the most fascinating yet little known chapters in the history of Cuba is the French-Haitian presence on the island from the turn of the 18th century and all through the 19th century.
The Haitian Revolution led to the first great French influx to Cuba, with the arrival of thousands of individuals of all social classes (white French owners of coffee plantations, as well as free and enslaved black men and women), to the territory east of the island. The Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first catholic religious order founded by black women in the United State also migrated to Cuba headed by Elizabeth Clarisse Lange later Mother Mary Lange. This order opened schools where they gave free instruction to poor Black girls.

Oblates in Camaguey

Web Research:

1.- Scout for neighborhoods, streets and any existing vestiges of French influence in the urban or rural architecture of Santiago de Cuba. This will allow the director to make an evocative visual narration of the French presence in the city. Consult bibliography in the US first and interview experts like Olga Portuondo or any other historian or researcher in Santiago de Cuba.

2.- One of the most important searches would be to try to find the lists of ships that arrived in the US coming from Cuba in the year 1809. The military conflict between Spain and France forced all French people (white or free blacks or slaves) out of the Spanish colonies. They escaped and touched port at

- New Orleans
- Norfolk
- Charleston
- Baltimore
- Philadelphia

The internet searches would be aimed at looking for newspaper ads or articles from the period (1809) as well as the lists of ships that sailed from Santiago de Cuba (spelled St. Jago de Cuba), Baracoa, Matanzas and La Habana to the US. It was a kind of migration wave that was practically uncontrollable by US authorities. I need lists of ships, names, pieces of news, images (photographs, vignettes, printmaking works) of those ports and aforementioned cities.

The information obtained should be then scanned with the utmost quality to be filmed and used in the documentary. It should be made into high quality pdfs. It is also very important to write down each source to give the necessary credit.

There is some information available on AfroCubaWeb: Sisters of the Heart by Gloria Rolando

I appreciate any kind of help from faculty or students. This is an independent film that is being done with very meager resources. So if anyone is interested please let me know.

Thank you very much,
Gloria Rolando

Gloria Rolando, Director [_AT_ = @]  +5354816326   WhatsApp, IMO
Aracelia Pedroso Campoalegre, Assistant Director and Coordinator for the "Sisters of the Heart" Project  +5352939841   WhatsApp preferred, IMO
Gloria has more restricted Internet access, so please make an appointment by email to talk. 

Links/Enlaces top

Sisters of the Heart by Gloria Rolando, Video Group Images of the Caribbean

Do we stop work on the documentary project "Sisters of Heart" due to the new blockade? 11/2/2017  Gloria Rolando

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