The Independent Party of Color - Leadership
Founder Evaristo Estenoz in the center in white jacket and mustache
A color version of this photo is in the Museo de la Revolucion, la Habana
© Gloria Rolando, 2001
The first independent black political party in the hemisphere,
the Partido Independiente de Color, is founded in Havana on August 7, 1908 by Evaristo
Estenoz (center above, below, left and right), Pedro Ivonet, journalist Gregorio Surín, and a group of
followers who were all assassinated in the 1912
Los Independientes were made up of many veterans of the Mambi Army, which was itself 80% to 90% of African descent. The Mambises kicked the Spaniards out from Cuba and forced the plantocracy to ally themselves with the Americans to take back Cuba from the Cubans of African descent. When the Independents challenged them again, the plantocracy massacred over 6,000 as US troops stood by and US Navy ships were on hand to provide back up. This whole history has long been passed under silence and repressed.
For the first time in the history of Cuba, Gloria Rolando offers the media images of this episode in her film, Raíces de mi corazon. For this, she and her Images of the Caribbean crew were thanked by the assembled public at the premiere in the National Library in February, 2001.
The history of the Party is well documented by Aline Helg, whose book, Our Rightful Share, has also been translated into Spanish in Havana.
<==(left) Pedro Ivonet (right, below)==>
Ivonet was of Haitian descent, one of the principal founders of the party.
The year 2008 marks the 100th anniversary of the PIC. A National Commission has been set up in Cuba to oversee the commemoration.
The 1912 Massacre, AfroCubaWeb
The Independents of Color and the 1912 Massacre in the media
Noticias de los
Independientes de Color y la Masacre de 1912
Claudio Menendez, PIC President in Matanzas
Documentos del Partido Independiente de Color 5/17/2008 La Jiribilla
Rafael Conte, José M. Capmany, Guerra de Razas (Negros contra blancos en Cuba), Imp. Militar de Antonio Perez, Muralla 40, Havana, 1912 [4 PDFs, 4MB total]
Mellen, Jim: Cuban Soldiers in the Spanish-American War, Small Planet
Serafin Portuondo Linares, Los Independientes de Color: Historia del Partido Independientes de Color, La Habana 1950 - 287 p PDF 4.2MB
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