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Dates for the 15 City Tour

Washington, DC: 3/15/03

Portland, Maine: 3/18/03

The African Roots of Cuban Culture
History and Present Reality
15 City US Tour

Daisy Diaz Mora represents the Nicolas Guillen Foundation in Cuba, an NGO dedicated to preserving the work and legacy of Nicholas Guillen (1902-1989). Guillen was a foremost Afro-Cuban, a friend of Langston Hughes and Ernest Hemingway, first president of the Nation Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC), and the poet laureate of Cuba. His poems have been translated into more than 25 languages, and have been used by several generations of Cuban musicians, artists and poets as inspiration and content for their works. Daisy is a specialist in artistic, cultural and media productions, and a leading expert on Afro-Cuban culture.

Gema Suarez Cabrera is a specialist of the Association of Cuban Musicians, which is part of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC). Gema is also the personal assistant of the current president of UNEAC, Harold Gramatges, who is a composer and friend of the late Nicholas Guillen.

One of the purposes of this 15-City tour of the two Cuban scholars is to introduce North American audiences, especially the African Community, to Afro-Cuban music, poetry, and cultural life in general, and Nicolas Guillen and Harold Gramatges in particular. The videos and discussion will focus on Cuba’s African Roots that have had an important influence on Cuban society and culture, and the Cuban Revolution.

The majority of Cuba’s People are of African descent, and the African community in Cuba is the fifth largest community in the African Diaspora. The role of African culture in Cuban life and society has grown and evolved during more than 500 years of slavery and segregation, especially during the years after the Revolution of 1959. Afro-Cuban culture is now poised to take its rightful place on the world’s cultural stage.

3/18/03 - Event in Mainetop

7 P.M. Tuesday, March 18, 2003
Peace and Justice Center
(4th Floor, West Side Conference Room)
1 Pleasant St., Portland, Maine

Learn about Cuba's African roots that for much of Cuba's history have influenced that nation's literature, religion, music, and art. The role of African culture in Cuban life and society has grown and evolved during the 20th century, especially during the years following the revolution of 1959. North Americans of African descent have long taken a special interest in the Afro-Cuban experience, especially during those times during Cuban history characterized by major social and political changes. The Kwame Ture Work-Study Institute and Library has organized a United States tour for two scholars and interpreters of African contributions to culture and the arts in Cuba. The Maine segment of their tour has been organized by Let Cuba Live, a group of Maine citizens working for relations between Cuba and the United States that are based on mutual respect.

Daisy Diaz Mora represents the Nicolas Guillen Foundation in Cuba, an NGO dedicated to preserving the work and legacy of Nicholas Guillen (1902-1989). Guillen was a foremost Cuban poet and the founder and first president of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC). His poems have been translated into more than 25 languages. Ms. Diaz Mora has worked in radio and television and has undertaken many special projects relating to cultural NGO's.

Gema Suarez Cabrera is an administrator of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba and close associate of its current president, Harold Gramatges, who is a composer and personal friend of the late Nicolas Guillen. She is a specialist in Cuban music and culture.

Ms. Diaz Mora and Ms. Suarez Cabrera will be available to show two documentary videos, one a tribute to Guillen on the centenary of his birth, the other, a review of the music, life, and contribution of Harold Gramatges.One purpose of the U.S tour of the two Cuban visitors is to introduce North Americans to Afro-Cuban music, poetry, and cultural life. Another is to explore the possibility of establishing mutually supportive relationships between both the Nicolas Guillen Foundation and UNEAC in Cuba and cultural organizations, schools and universities in the United States.

For information, call Wells at (207) 772-7249 or Tom at (207) 743-2183

or Barbara West bwest@gwi.net

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The Washington, DC - Havana Sister City Project and the Kwame Ture Work-Study Institute and Library are pleased to invite you to a video showing and discussion on the subject of 

The African Roots of Cuban Poetry and Music

Blackburn Center – Media Auditorium
Howard UniversityWashington, DC
Saturday, March 15, 20037:00 PM

Admission Free! Donation Requested!

The Kwame Ture Work-Study Institute and Library in conjunction with a host of campus-based and community organizations, is pleased to announce a 15-city United States tour for two Cuban women who are scholars and interpreters of African contributions to Cuban poetry, music and culture. The tour is scheduled for March 15, 2003 to April 11, 2003. The Washington, DC segment of their tour has been jointly organized by the Washington, DC-Havana, Cuba Sister City Project and the Kwame Ture Work-Study Institute and Library.

Daisy Diaz Mora represents the Nicolas Guillen Foundation in Cuba, an NGO dedicated to preserving the work and legacy of Nicholas Guillen (1902-1989). Guillen was a foremost Afro-Cuban, a friend of Langston Hughes and Ernest Hemingway, first president of the Nation Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC), and the poet laureate of Cuba. His poems have been translated into more than 25 languages, and have been used by several generations of Cuban musicians, artists and poets as inspiration and content for their works. Daisy is a specialist in artistic, cultural and media productions, and a leading expert on Afro-Cuban culture.

Gema Suarez Cabrera is a specialist of the Association of Cuban Musicians, which is part of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC). Gema is also the personal assistant of the current president of UNEAC, Harold Gramatges, who is a composer and friend of the late Nicholas Guillen .

One of the purposes of this 15-City tour of the two Cuban scholars is to introduce North American audiences, especially the African Community, to Afro-Cuban music, poetry, and cultural life in general, and Nicolas Guillen and Harold Gramatges in particular. The videos and discussion will focus on Cuba’s African Roots that have had an important influence on Cuban society and culture, and the Cuban Revolution.

The majority of Cuba’s People are of African descent, and the African community in Cuba is the fifth largest community in the African Diaspora. The role of African culture in Cuban life and society has grown and evolved during more than 500 years of slavery and segregation, especially during the years after the Revolution of 1959. Afro-Cuban culture is now poised to take its rightful place on the world’s cultural stage.

Africa and her 1.5 billion children, who are scattered, suffering and struggling in every corner of the world, owe a debt of gratitude to Cuba, especially the African community in Cuba, that we are obliged to pay. From Algeria to the Congo to Guinea-Bissau to Angola to Azania-South Africa to Moza mbique to Grenada, whenever Africa called, Cuba answered. As Kwame Ture has said, "From Robert Williams to Eldridge Cleaver to Huey Newton to Assata Shakur, every African in the United States who needs protection and refuge know that if they make it to Cuba, they are home safe." In this current climate of repression and war, we say "Hands Off Cuba!"

Ms. Diaz Mora and Ms. Suarez Cabrera have brought with them three VHS videos documenting in music and spoken word the life and contributions of Nicolas Guillen and Harold Gramatges, and the origin and development of Afro-Cuban poetry and music. Depending on time, one or two of the videos will be shown at each event. Daisy and Gema speak Spanish and the videos are in Spanish. Translation will be provided. They are particularly interested in promoting supportive relationships and cultural exchange programs between U.S. schools, universities, and cultural organizations and artists and the Nicolas Guillen Foundation and the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC). The Washington DC - Havana-Cuba Sister City Project is particularly interested in solidifying and expanding its sister relationships between and with institutions, organizations, schools and universities, especially cultural and educational institutions and organizations in Washington, DC and Havana, Cuba. The Kwame Ture Work-Study Institute and Library is particularly interested in solidifying its relationship with and introducing the Guillen Foundation and UNEAC to its large and extended network of supporters and friends throughout every corner of Africa and the African Diaspora.top

The 15-City Afro-Cuban Poetry and Music Tour includes the following events:

Sunday, March 16, 2003 - 4:00 PM
African Echoes Cultural Center
271 South 9th Street Newark, NY 

Tuesday, March 18, 2003 – 7:00 PM
Peace and Justice Center - 4th Floor1 Pleasant Street
Portland, ME 

Friday, March 21, 2003 7:30 PM 
Springfield College Springfield, MA 

Wednesday, March 24, 2003 – 5:00 PM
Anderson Hall – 4th FloorTemple University
12th & Berk Street Philadelphia, PA 

Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 12:00 – 2:00 PM
Caribbean Research Center
Medgar Evers College (CUNY)1650 Bedford Avenue - [Subway: 2, 3, 4, 5 trains to Frank lin Avenue] Brooklyn, New York 11225 

Thursday, March 27, 2003 – 7:00 PM
Center for Inner City Studies at Northeastern University
3900 Oakwood BlvdChicago, IL

For more information about the Afro-Cuban Poetry and Music Tour in your city, please contact: 

Banbose Shango, co-chair
Washington, DC-Havana, Cuba Sister City Project
Bshango@juno.com

Bob Brown, co-director
Kwame Ture Work-Study Institute and Libraryparoots02@yahoo.comtop

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