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African Americans & Cuba
Archive: to 12/2014

“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

Obama’s Cuban Revolution: What it Means for Afro-Cubans  12/31/2014 New York Amsterdam News: "Afro-Cuban author Pedro Perez- Sarduy is hopeful about the coming changes. He believes they will help his community. “Cuba was a socially stratified society before 1959, which is what I tried to show in my novel, ‘The Maids of Havana’,” he said. “The revolutionary process neutralized that, but the inherited racist prejudices of our recent pseudo-republican past (from 1902 to 1958) were not eradicated completely.” Perez-Sarduy is co-editor of “AfroCuba: An Anthology of Cuban Writing on Race, Politics and Culture” (2002). He notes, “We are very far from having a perfect society and aspire to get to that point. But racism is a disease that is very difficult to eradicate, because it is in the mind and in people’s attitudes… Each country has its own mechanisms for dealing with the scourge of racism, which was a result of the Middle Passage."

Blacks Should Support Normalizing Relations with Cuba  12/29/2014 The Skanner: Written by Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., NNPA Columnist

The Forgotten History of U.S.-Cuba Friendship  12/29/2014 Huff Post: "Black Americans have demonstrated a special interest, extending all the way back to Harlem Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., forcing the Eisenhower Administration to embargo arms shipments to Batista in 1958. Throughout the 1960s, many leaders in the civil rights and Black Power movements visited Cuba, to see for themselves how it overcame widespread poverty and discrimination, followed later by leading black Members of Congress. Even in the 1990s, Fidel Castro packed out Harlem's most famous church, Abyssinian Baptist. African Americans knew well what Mandela had said: that the 1988 defeat of white South Africa's vaunted army by Cuban troops backing the revolutionary Angolan government was a decisive blow against apartheid."

How Barbara Lee’s 30-year Cuba campaign paid off  12/21/2014 SF Chronicle: "Lee and her delegation met that day for five hours with President Raul Castro in the first face-to-face session between U.S. lawmakers and Cuban leaders in at least five years. Both brothers, Lee recalled, expressed hope that the newly elected President Obama would change history and restore ties between the two countries. Last week, as she touched down on U.S. soil from another trip to Cuba — her 21st — the Oakland Democrat got the call: Obama was announcing a thawing of relations, an exchange of prisoners and the freeing of American Alan Gross, whom Lee had visited several times during his five-year Cuban captivity."

What Does Ending The Cold War With Cuba Mean For Afro-Cubans And African Americans  12/18/2014 News One: "Listen to Martin and the “NewsOne Now” panel featuring Rep. Charles Rangel, Roland Roebuck, Kim Brown, Lenny McAllister and Avis Jones-DeWeever discuss the political and economic impact the normalizing of relations with Cuba will mean for African Americans and Afro Cubans below. Let us know if you think ending the Cold War with Cuba was a good move."

Drapetomanía, una expo sobre el cimarronaje en el MoAD  12/13/2014 Negra Cubana: "La expo “Drapetomanía: Grupo Antillano and the Art of Afro-Cuba” se encuentra en estos momentos siendo exhibida en el Museo de la Diáspora Africana (MoAD) en San Francisco. La noticia nos la hace llegar el intelectual cubano y curador de la misma Alejandro de la Fuente. Con anterioridad, en el mes de mayo, dicha exposición estuvo en la galería The 8th Floor, en Nueva York y fue expuesta originalmente en el Centro Provincial de Artes Plásticas y Diseño en Santiago de Cuba (abril-mayo, 2013). La exposición, que celebra un grupo de artistas de la década de 1970, viajará a continuación a la galería de Ethelbert Cooper en el Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Universidad de Harvard (primavera 2015)."

MoAD cuts the ribbon and welcomes art lovers to reimagined space  12/4/2014 SF Chronicle: "Executive Director Linda Harrison welcomed the crowd and introduced board chair Wade Rose, director of the Institute for Afro-Latin American Studies at Harvard; Alejandro de la Fuente (who curated the “Drapetomania: Grupo Antillano and the Art of Afro-Cuba” show); and artist Lava Thomas (whose sculptures and drawings are featured in “Lava Thomas: Beyond”). Then — blessed are the brief, and they were — short remarks were made by San Francisco City Administrator Naomi Kelly and by Willie Brown, who as mayor had hammered out the deal that created MoAD as part of a redevelopment project and who sits on the board of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture."

A New Destination for African Art  11/20/2014 NYT: "Sponsored by the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research and its founder Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Cooper Gallery holds a lot of promise, and has a stimulating program planned. Next up, an historical show of work by the now largely forgotten Afro-Cuban art and political movement called Grupo Antillano (1978-83), organized by Alejandro de la Fuente, a professor of Latin American history and African-American studies at Harvard."

Historia de las Ligas Negras de Estados Unidos - (VI)  10/27/2014 Marti Noticias: "Como hemos reseñado muchas veces, en estos artículos y otros espacios de Radio Martí, tres cubanos fueron elegidos al Salón de la Fama en la elección especial que se celebró en Tampa, el 27 de febrero del 2006. Los tres fueron elegidos entre jugadores dueños y ejecutivos de equipos que formaban las Ligas Negras de Estados Unidos y de equipos que funcionaron antes de que las Ligas Negras fueran debidamente organizadas en 1920."

A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement by Alicia Garza  10/7/2014 The Feminist Wire 

Steve Coleman, a made-in-Chicago jazz master, wins a MacArthur  9/16/2014 Chicago Tribune:  "The Sign and the Seal" marked a notable collaboration in Havana for Coleman and the Mystic Rhythm Society with AfroCuba de Matanzas."

Caribbean roots of black church explored  9/11/2014 Miami Times: "Erskine said that the massive Afro-Caribbean population established a form of Christianity that not only preserved African gods and practices but fused them with Christian teachings, resulting in religions such as Cuba’s Santería. He said that the black religious experience in the United States was markedly different because African-Americans were a political and cultural minority."

African American Abstract Artists Exhibit in Cuba  8/31/2014 Radio Havana: "A group of 85 US museum directors, curators, intellectuals and artists, who were on hand at the opening, are scheduled to hold panels, visit Cuban cultural institutions and exchange views and ideas with Cuban colleagues. The exhibition will also travel to different museums in the United States, Europe and Africa. In related news, Havana’s Fine Art Biennial, scheduled for next year, will include an exhibit of the Bronx Museum for the first time on the island."

Cuba in talks for cultural exchange with US museum  8/7/2014 The Art Newspaper: "Cuba is in talks with the Bronx Museum to organise the first major exhibition by a US museum in the country, according to local reports. The show would be part of the 12th edition of the Havana Biennial next year, and could be followed by an exhibition in New York in 2016 that would feature work by Cuban artists. The Bronx Museum was not available for comment. The director of the National Fine Arts Museum in Havana, Ana Cristina Perera, announced the cultural exchange during the 1 August opening of “African American Artists and Abstraction”, an exhibition in Cuba that includes work by nine American artists."

Surrealism of Dali & African American Abstraction in Cuba  8/2/2014 Havana Times: "Within the growing cultural exchanges taking place between artists and personalities of Cuba and the United States, the Museum of Fine Arts in Havana recently opened two exhibitions “Memories of Surrealism” and “Abstraction and African American artists.”"

African Americans Should Care About Cuba’s Black History  6/21/2014 Atlanta Black Star: "There is a rich history in Cuba that should interest African Americans. With the restoration of diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Cuba, there are more opportunities to visit and learn."

“Estar conectada con personas negras siempre fue vital para el bienestar de Audre”  5/23/2014 Negra Cubana 

“Qué significa ser radical en el siglo XXI”: Entrevista a Angela Davis  5/19/2014 Marxismo Critico: "¿Son las mujeres participantes plenas de la política de hoy? Tal vez no del todo, pero hemos hecho muchos progresos. Respecto a cómo pensamos sobre los movimientos del pasado, animo a la gente a mirar más allá de las heroicas figuras masculinas. Si bien Martin Luther King es alguien a quien reverencio, no me gusta dejar que lo que representa borre las aportaciones de la gente corriente. El boicot de los autobuses de Montgomery en 1955 tuvo éxito porque hubo mujeres negras, trabajadoras domésticas, que se negaron a tomar el autobús. ¿Dónde estaríamos hoy si no hubieran actuado así?"

Audre Lorde y yo  5/10/2014 Negra Cubana: "El pasado jueves 8 de mayo, se presentó en la ciudad de Hannover el documental Audre Lorde: The Berlin years, de la realizadora alemana Dagmar Schultz, quien tuvo una especial relación con la intelectual afroestadounidense y que por más de 30 de años se dedicase a recopilar información documental sobre ella."

Carta a Raúl Castro de Norman Hill - Instituto A. Philip Randolph  2/27/2014 Plataforma: "Le escribo como Presidente Emérito del Instituto A. Philip Randolph, or?ani!aci"n nacional compuesta principalmente por sindicalistas ne?ros #ue sir$en de puente entre los mo$imientos sindicalista % de derechos ci$iles para &omentar la alian!a laboral por la i?ualdad racial % la 'usticia econ"mica.(uisiera hacer constar mi &uerte protesta por el arresto del l)der disidente a&rocubano % porta$o! del mo$imiento social dem"crata Arco Pro?resista, Manuel Cuesta Mor*a, % por las condiciones represi$as de su puesta en libertad."

For Black Cubans, That Handshake Was Hope  12/17/2013 The Root: "“I knew what happened between Raúl and Obama because my assistant called me on the phone and told me,” said famed Afro-Cuban documentarian Gloria Rolando. . “He said, ‘Gloria! Gloria! Did you hear what happened?’ “That was the most important news that day … people were calling me all day about it. We don’t always make comments about news events, but we did about that one. “That meeting may be the window for the start of a new beginning for us.”"

How Miami's Shrewd Black Leadership Turned The Mandela Snub To Local Advantage  12/5/2013 WLRN: ""South Florida, meanwhile, was getting some hard facts about its tourism industry. Basically, it was discovering that while black travelers and conventions were a mainstay of Miami tourism, the industry had few ownership, management or even employment opportunities for African-Americans. 'We needed something to get national support. We were looking for something to ignite a movement.' Twenty percent of the conventions that had come to Miami the year before Mandela arrived were black, recalls H. T. Smith, a lawyer with deep Miami roots. It was a market segment worth hundreds of millions of dollars and local blacks couldn't even get hired as waiters or bartenders, he said."

Afro Cuban Relations with Florida  11/16/2013 Havana Times: "Can anyone imagine Jazz, professional baseball, Latin American and Caribbean literature, without Afro American and Afro Cuban close collaboration?"

Cuban art currently on show in Los Angeles  6/6/2013 Havana Cultura: "The California African American Museum of Art—in partnership with the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Florida International University, and Fundación Amistad— currently hosts a retrospective exhibition covering over 50 years of Cuban visual artist Manuel Mendive's career. The show includes visual and performance work displaying Lukumi and Yoruba influences and tackling religious and political subject matter. The museum is also the venue of a second Cuban-themed exhibition entitled Afrodescendientes: photographer Roberto Chile in Guanabacoa. At the crossroads of photojournalism and artistic photography, the exhibit features the work that Cuban photographer and documentalist Roberto Chile carried out in the Island's easternmost province of Guanabacoa, whose population is largely composed of Afro-Cubans."

More visits by artists like Beyonce, Jay-Z, needed, says Afro-Cuban filmmaker  5/17/2013 Pittsburgh Courier: by Tonyaa Weathersbee

Not Your Daddy's COINTELPRO: Obama Brands Assata Shakur "Most Wanted Terrorist"  5/8/2013 Black Agenda Report: "It's been a week now since the $2 million dollar bounty and “most wanted terrorist” announcement. In that time, not a single nationally noted African American “leader” has raised his or her voice. Not Ben Jealous. Not a single black mayor or member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Not Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, and certainly not the presidential lap dog Al Sharpton. Sharpton has worn wires for the FBI more than once, and is credibly accused of trying to get close to people who were rumored to be close to Assata Shakur in the 1980s. Those people wisely avoided Rev. Al. Such is the pressure of subservient conformity among the black political class that not a single African American politician, religious leader, or personage of national note has opened his or her mouth in Assata Shakur's defense, with the solitary exception of Angela Davis, once a political prisoner and fugitive in the days before the word “terrorist” had been coined. Lockstep conformity like this is hard to shake. In their 45 minutes in an otherwise excellent Democracy Now show mostly devoted to Assata Shakur's case, neither Shakur's attorney Lennox Hinds nor Angela Davis could bring themselves even to hint that the president and attorney general were responsible for branding her as the nation's “most wanted terrorist.”

What’s behind renewed attacks on African American freedom fighter Assata Shakur?  5/7/2013 Pambazuka News: "This latest provocation against Shakur, 65, is directed not only against the veteran Black Panther Party (BPP) and Black Liberation Army (BLA) member, but represents an overhaul attack on the struggle of African Americans against racism and national oppression in the United States."

Supporters Say 'Hands Off Assata' Shakur  5/3/2013 The Root: "Many prominent blacks, from Angela Davis to Roland Martin, are speaking out in support of Shakur, and many folks on Twitter are expressing displeasure at the FBI as well. The hashtag #HandsOffAssata is being used to show support for Shakur online. Some of the tweets from the hashtag are below."

Tonyaa Weathersbee: A goal is reached after two decades  4/11/2013 Jax Air News: "This week marked two milestones for the African-American Cultural Society here. For nearly two decades, it had been trying to get Gloria Rolando, a renowned Afro-Cuban filmmaker whose work primarily deals with the triumphs and struggles of black people in that island nation, to visit. Last Sunday, she finally did. Rolando made a stop here after appearing in Atlanta and en route to other U.S. destinations. She showed two of her films, “The Jazz in Us” and “Cherished Island Memories.” Her lifetime mission has been to use film to uncover those portions of black Cuban life either lost or buried in history. “I am very curious,” Rolando told me. “I like to explore the history of a people, how they got there, what happened to them.”"

Filmmaker to visit Palm Coast  4/3/2013 Daytona Beach News-Journal: "Acclaimed Afro-Cuban filmmaker Gloria Rolando will make an appearance Sunday at the African American Cultural Society in Palm Coast. Alberto Jones, president and founder of the Caribbean American Children's Foundation, said he has been trying to get the Cuban filmmaker to visit Palm Coast for many years."

Gallery Guichard Fine Art Gallery: Helping People Collect Art with a Purpose  1/15/2013 Tom Joyner Foundation: "Guichard is well known internationally. Last year, he was one of the featured artists at the San Alejandro University and the Blue Havana Circle gallery in Havana, Cuba, a bridge of fine art between Havana, Cuba and America."

For Her People  7/4/2012 Jackson Free Press: "In 1968, Walker founded the Institute for the Study of the History, Life and Culture of Black People at JSU, now named the Margaret Walker Center. It is housed in Ayer Hall, the oldest building on Jackson State's campus. Dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and dissemination of African American history, the Margaret Walker Center seeks to honor her literary legacy and commitment to black studies with archival manuscripts and oral-history collections… The center engages the community through literacy projects and educational workshops and works with other JSU departments, including its partners: The Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy, The Afro-Cuban Research Institute and The Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement."

Owning the Revolution: Race, Revolution, and Politics from Havana to Miami, 1959–1963  6/1/2012 eScholarship 

Activating The Past—event and edited volume  5/31/2012 EthnoCuba: "...many of the essays prominently place Cuban history and ethnography within an inter-Atlantic conversation. Thus, for instance, the first chapter, by Stephan Palmié: “Ekpe/Abakuá in Middle Passage: Time, Space and Units of Analysis in African American Historical Anthropology.” There are also Cuba-centered chapters by art historian Judith Bettelheim, “Espiritismo Altars in Puerto Rico and Cuba: The Indian and the Congo,” and Carrie Viarnes, “Muñecas and Memoryscapes: Negotiating Identity and History in Cuban Espiritismo.” Surely, however, the broader value of the volume is in (re)emplacing Cuba within wider currents, histories, and movements."

On a frank and, sometimes, heated conversation about race, between Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Ilan Stevens  5/1/2012 Politico beta 

Raising Funds: Disadvantaged Black Students at Yale Visit Cuba in Doc "Black and Cuba"  4/30/2012 IndieWire: "Raising funds via Indiegogo, the documentary Black and Cuba, directed by Robin J. Hayes, professor at The New School, follows a group of disadvantaged African American students at the prestigious Yale University, who take a field trip to Cuba to see "how revolution lives," and to get inspiration in order to pursue their own black resistance reading group."

FMP - Mark Wells on Afro-Cubans and protest against the imprisonment of Darsi Ferrer, part 2  1/15/2012 YouTube: part of the Carlos Moore campaign - "A group of prominent African Americans, traditionally sympathetic to the Cuban revolution, have for the first time condemned Cuba, demanding Havana stop its callous disregard for black Cubans and declaring that racism in Cuba must be confronted."

Review: Forging Diaspora: Afro-Cubans and African Americans in a World of Empire and Jim Crow  6/1/2011 Essays in History: "Forging Diaspora is an impressive effort to unmask the long history of relations between the peoples of the United States and Cuba, a task begun by Louis A. Pérez, Jr. in the late 1990s.[4] Guridy approaches this problematic with a fresh perspective, one that takes people of African descent as its main agents. From the perspective of Cuban history, this work advances scholarly understandings of the role of empire in shaping relations between the United States and Cuba, while also bringing into the discussion a fruitful analytical tool – Diaspora – which has thus far been relatively absent in studies of Latin Americans of African descent. This volume challenges readers to think about the process of constructing Diaspora, as opposed to the simple existence of it and encourages scholars to search for new vantage points from which to study community and identity formation."

From Cuba, progress that U.S. refuses to see  5/30/2011 USA Today: by DeWayne Wickham, head of the Trotter Group of African American columnists

Common gets a bad rap on Assata Shakur  5/14/2011 Guardian: "So, cue conservative outrage over Michelle Obama's inviting rapper Common to a White House poetry reading, because Common wrote an adulatory song about Black Panther Assata Shakur. The New Jersey state police protested. Is it possible that the vile New Jersey police – just this week it was announced that Newark's police department is being investigated by the justice department for multiple civil rights violations – and their rightwing puppetmasters do not know about COINTELPRO? That while Soviet tanks crushed Prague's spring, in America, police assassins, provocateurs and slanderers felled our saints as they slept?"

A review of PBS “Black in Latin America. Cuba: the Next Revolution”  5/1/2011 EthnoCuba: "Just this week, PBS has been showing a series on race in Latin America. This is Prof. Maria Elena Díaz’s very illuminating review of the Cuba episode:"

Full Episode: Cuba: The Next Revolution  4/26/2011 PBS: "In Cuba Professor Gates finds out how the culture, religion, politics and music of this island are inextricably linked to the huge amount of slave labor imported to produce its enormously profitable 19th century sugar industry, and how race and racism have fared since Fidel Castro’s Communist revolution in 1959."

Miami's Continuing Color Problem  12/14/2010 The Root: "There were too many police shootings of unarmed black men in Miami for my taste, and in the prior decade, one of the most notorious police shootings had led to violent riots. There was not a visible black middle-class community, although middle-class blacks were scattered about, but there were plenty of visibly poor and badly deteriorated black neighborhoods. African Americans were mostly politically marginalized and had even less economic power. Cuban Americans -- many of them fair-skinned "white" conservative Republicans, uninterested in power sharing -- were politically ascendant. (Afro-Cubans and other Afro-Latinos, for the most part, blended into the African-American community.) Non-Hispanic white residents were fleeing Dade County and heading to whiter suburbs in northern counties."

Review: Forging Diaspora: Afro-Cubans and African Americans in a World of Empire and Jim Crow  12/4/2010 African Diaspora Archaeology Newsletter: "Frank Andre Guridy has produced a fascinating study of "cross national exchange between Afro-Cubans and African Americans" (p. 2). While the focus of this book is on four specific stories, the author's ambitions extend to commentary on the phenomenon of diaspora, the awareness and kaleidoscopic expression of a people's migration in multiple national and temporal contexts. Guridy contends that "Afro-descended peoples in Cuba and the United States came to identify themselves as being part of a transcultural African diaspora, an identification that did not contradict black aspirations for national citizenship" (p. 4)."

Right Tries to Bloc NAACP Criticism of Tea Party Racism  7/21/2010 Black Voice News: "What surprised me was the opposition of Cynthia Tucker, African-American editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution who wrote that the NAACP had no business condemning the Tea Party. Her view was: 1) she did not know what “elements” of racism were; 2) this would confirm that the NAACP was an arm of the Democratic Party; 3) the NAACP did not purge its own ranks; and 4) the resolution just draws attention to the Tea Partiers. This is very weak stuff for the editor of a major American newspaper, especially coming an African American."

?Encuentro con delegación de Estados Unidos  6/3/2010 Noticias de la Biblioteca Nacional José Martí: "Un fructífero intercambio sostuvieron el Dr. Eduardo Torres Cuevas, director de la Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba José Martí y el investigador de la propia institución Tomás Fernández Robaina, con una delegación de periodistas norteamericanos."

Why Defame Cuba? A Congregant’s Plea to Rev. Jeremiah Wright  4/13/2010 Black Agenda Report: "Lots of unexpected names turned up as signatories to a letter charging the Cuban government with systematic discrimination against Blacks. Among those who committed the foul injustice against Cuba, and shamed themselves, was Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s former pastor. A fellow member of the United Church of Christ asks, respectfully, that the minister explain himself."

The Insanity of the African American Racial ‘Critique’ of Cuba  3/9/2010 Black Agenda Report: "Late last year, a group of 60 prominent African Americans circulated a letter denouncing racism in, of all places, Cuba. I say, of all places, because almost any other country on the planet would be a better target than Cuba for a scathing and very public racial critique by African Americans… The signatories cite figures that purport to show that people of African descent are more likely to be incarcerated than whites. But those same figures show a much lower rate of Black incarceration in Cuba than in the United States, and a far lower percentage of Blacks among Cuban political prisoners. Still, Dr. Walters wants to make the Black condition in Cuba “part of any negotiations on the normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba.” In that statement, Walters is saying that the United States – of all nations – should negotiate with Cuba on the status of Cuba's Black citizens, before the U.S. lifts its illegal embargo and otherwise starts behaving like a civilized neighbor. I must assume that means the Cubans will have the same right to negotiate the treatment of Black Americans: an end to mass Black American incarceration, freedom for Black American political prisoners, a lowering of Black unemployment – and all the rest of our problems."

The shamelessness of the United States government  2/26/2010 Granma: "ONE out of every four prisoners in the world is in a U.S. penitentiary. The composition of these prisoners is profoundly racist: one out of every 15 black adults is incarcerated; one out of every 9 is aged 20-34 years; and one out of every 36 Hispanics. Two-thirds of those serving life sentences are African Americans or Latinos, and in the case of New York state, only 16.3% of prisoners are white. Every year, 7,000 people die in U.S. prisons, many of them murdered or suicides. For example, U.S. prison guards routinely use Taser guns on prisoners. According to a recent report, 230 U.S. citizens have died as a result of the use of these weapons since 2001. The report refers to the case of a county jail in Garfield, Colorado, accused of regularly using Taser guns and pepper spray on prisoners, and then tying them to chairs in extreme positions for hours at a time."

FMP - Mark Wells on Afro-Cubans and protest against the imprisonment of Darsi Ferrer, part 1  1/13/2010 YouTube: part of the Carlos Moore campaign - "A group of prominent African Americans, traditionally sympathetic to the Cuban revolution, have for the first time condemned Cuba, demanding Havana stop its callous disregard for black Cubans and declaring that racism in Cuba must be confronted."

African American activists, including Jeremiah Wright and Cornel West, blast Cuba on racism  1/4/2010 LA Times 

Black activists launch rare attack on Cuba about racism  1/3/2010 LA Times: "The CIA World Factbook says blacks are 35% of the Cuban population, but many observers say that figure is probably above 60%. (The discrepancies arise from the way the Cuban government counts and classifies race.) The ratio of people of color has grown since the Castros took power, as wealthier whites fled for Miami and elsewhere. The remittances whites sent to families on the island have widened the income gap between Cuba's blacks and whites, said Mark Sawyer, a UCLA political science professor and Cuba expert who signed the document. So has a preference for hiring whites in a tourist industry that has become more important with the collapse of the government-regulated economy, he said. The Castro government has long treated racism as an issue solved by the revolution, which promised equality for all. But despite the Castros' early and overt denunciation of racism, it continues to be a pernicious presence in Cuban daily life. Sawyer offered one example, noting that kinky black hair is commonly referred to as pelo malo, or "bad hair.""


The Phantom Letter  12/23/2009 Havana Times: "A reply signed by eight Cuban intellectuals including De la Hoz had been published days earlier in Granma under the heading: “A message from Cuba to the African-American intellectuals and artists.” The reply ran without making known the contents of the declaration from the US that provoked such a response. It astonishes me that in this 21st century the newspaper should utilize such a misleading tactic, thus giving Cuban readers free rein to speculate about the reasons that may or may not have led the African American intellectuals in the US to dare produce such a declaration. ...What, then, could the ghostly declaration be talking about? Could it be that it’s grounded in the everyday life of black Cubans today?"

We Stand With Cuba!: African Americans Express Solidarity With the Revolution  12/20/2009 PanAfrican Newswire 

Racist or Revolutionary: Cuba’s Identity is at Stake  12/18/2009 Defenders Online: by Ron Walters - "In the meantime, the Cuban government’s rejection of the concerns expressed by African Diaspora leaders who’ve long supported their revolution only intensifies the sense that it’s not interested in reforming racial practices there. Perhaps government officials believe the push to normalize relations with the U.S. government trumps its longstanding relationship with black Americans. This would waste a tremendous opportunity to complete the goals of fundamental social change envisioned by those who made the revolution, and those who supported it after its initial success."

Reverse images: The acrimonious debate on race in Cuba  12/15/2009 SF Bay View: "If Moore were honest, he’d promote dialogue to break the information blockade that prevents African Americans from knowing what truly is happening in Cuba. He’d promote a hemispheric Black Consciousness Movement, a movement that took the form of the Black Power Movement in the U.S., to energize a movement to help dispel the centuries old fiction of racial democracy in the former Latin colonies. He’d address a need for a hemispheric reparations movement. Instead of promoting racial solidarity and political progressiveness in the West, Carlos Moore has spent the last 50 years fighting communism and spitting on the only country in the Western Hemisphere to have spilled blood in the last 100 years fighting for the rights of Africa and Black people."

Cuban opposition pleased by African American support  12/10/2009 Radio Marti 

Cuban opposition pleased by African American support. By Professor Emeritus, David Covin.  12/10/2009 Cuba, Democracia y Vida: ""This letter is a very positive step, said Jorge Soca, because before no one wanted to talk about this. There has always been the notion that racism in Cuba did not exist but this is a lie", she added." [And that too is a lie, since racism in Cuba has been discussed for years, both in and out of Cuba.]

Challenging Cuba as the violator of black people's rights? Really?  12/10/2009 Uhuru Newws: "The document states, “Racism in Cuba, and anywhere else in the world, is unacceptable and must be confronted!” African Internationalism, the theory of Chairman Omali Yeshitela, contends that if we confront and defeat imperialism (and the U.S. is the leading imperialist power) then racism — the ideas in the heads of our oppressors — will be a non-issue. I agree."

Importante líder afronorteamericana retira su firma de la carta que acusó a Cuba de racismo  12/8/2009 CubaDebate: "Makani Themba-Nixon, directora ejecutiva The Praxis Project que aparece entre los firmantes de una carta de intelectuales y líderes afronorteamericanos que habían acusado a Cuba de prácticas de racismo y acoso de los ciudadanos negros, ha divulgado este lunes una nota en la que pide que su nombre no aparezca en ese documento."

Cuba’s Role in an African Genocide and Revolutionary Racism on the Island  12/7/2009 Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter: "One of the deeds that the dictatorship in Cuba wants to keep hidden from the world and African Americans in particular, is its role in the mass killings in Ethiopia in the 1970s and 1980s. Beginning in late 1977, the first 5,000 of what would eventually number over 17,000 Cuban military personnel arrived in Ethiopia. By 1987 the Cuban presence had dropped to fewer than 2,000 personnel. During 1977-78, a conservative estimate of over 30,000 Africans perished as a result of the Red Terror unleashed by the Ethiopian Communists and their Cuban allies. Amnesty International concluded that "this campaign resulted in several thousand to perhaps tens of thousands of men, women, and children killed, tortured, and imprisoned." Sweden's Save the Children Fund lodged a formal protest in early 1978 denouncing the execution of 1,000 children, many below the age of thirteen, whom the communist government had labeled "liaison agents of the counter revolutionaries."

Mensaje desde Cuba a los intelectuales y artistas afronorteamericanos  12/4/2009 Jiribilla 

Envían desde Cuba mensaje a los intelectuales y artistas afronorteamericanos  12/4/2009 CubaDebate 

Nueva declaración de condena al racismo en Cuba, de personalidades caribeñas  12/4/2009 Cuba Puntos de Vista: from Jamaica's intellectual elite.

High-Profile Group Urges Cuba to Stop Racism  12/2/2009 BET: “This is historic,” Enrique Patterson, an Afro-Cuban Miami author, told the Web site. Although predominantly White Cuban exiles “tried to approach these people before, they lacked credibility. Now [African Americans] are listening.”

African-American group challenges Cuba on race  12/2/2009 Miami Herald: "While the African American signers support Cuba's right to sovereignty ``and unhesitatingly repudiate any attempt at curtailing such a right,'' the statement added they ``cannot sit idly by and allow for peaceful, dedicated civil rights activists in Cuba, and the black population as a whole, to be treated with callous disregard.'' ``Racism in Cuba, and anywhere else in the world, is unacceptable and must be confronted,'' their statement declared."

Obama's ex-pastor doesn't like Cuba, either  12/1/2009 Uncommon Sense: by Marc Masferrer, the great nephew of that quintessential Cuban hoodlum, El Tigre Masferrer.

Commentary: Is black America's honeymoon with the Castros over?  12/1/2009 McClatchy: By Carlos Moore "In a landmark "Statement of Conscience by African-Americans," 60 prominent black American scholars, artists and professionals have condemned the Cuban regime's apparent crackdown on the country's budding civil rights movement. "Racism in Cuba, and anywhere else in the world, is unacceptable and must be confronted," said the document, which also called for the "immediate release" of Dr. Darsi Ferrer, a black civil rights leader imprisoned in July. The U.S. State Department estimates Afro-Cubans make up 62 percent of the Cuban population, with many informed observers saying the figure is closer to 70 percent."

Prominent black Americans condemn Cuba on racism  12/1/2009 Miami Herald: "The statement was largely driven by Carlos Moore, a highly regarded Cuban author and black-rights activist living in Brazil who has long criticized racial discrimination in Cuba. Moore persuaded Abdias Nascimiento, a founder of Brazil's black movement and longtime Castro supporter, to send Raúl Castro a letter earlier this year denouncing racism in Cuba, then appealed to friends and contacts in the black community to add their support. "Without this historic figure, no one would have listened," said Patterson, who predicted that other high-profile black Americans will soon add their signatures to the statement."


Subject: Prominent black Americans condemn Cuba on racism  12/1/2009 James Early: [Early responds to the articles about Carlos Moore's letter campaign among African Americans.]

African-American group challenges Cuba on race  12/1/2009 Miami Herald: "The growing number of Afro-Cuban activists complaining about racial discrimination and casting their struggle as an issue of ``civil rights,'' rather than ``human rights,'' has helped to draw the attention of African Americans, said Victoria Ruiz-Labrit, Miami spokesperson for the Cuba-based Citizens' Committee for Racial Integration."

Líderes negros condenan el racismo en Cuba  12/1/2009 El Nuevo Herald 

Commentary: Is black America's honeymoon with the Castros over?  12/1/2009 McClatchy: By Carlos Moore

Lest We Forget: An open letter to my sisters who are brave  3/27/2008 The Root: Alice Walker on Obama - "True to my inner Goddess of the Three Directions however, this does not mean I agree with everything Obama stands for. We differ on important points probably because I am older than he is, I am a woman and person of three colors, (African, Native American, European), I was born and raised in the American South, and when I look at the earth's people, after sixty-four years of life, there is not one person I wish to see suffer, no matter what they have done to me or to anyone else; though I understand quite well the place of suffering, often, in human growth. I want a grown-up attitude toward Cuba, for instance, a country and a people I love; I want an end to the embargo that has harmed my friends and their children, children who, when I visit Cuba, trustingly turn their faces up for me to kiss."

End failed trade ban with Cuba  12/14/2007 Times Union: by Tonyaa Weathersbee - ""When I approached this solid waste dump, I couldn't even smell it," said Alberto Jones, who is a native of Guantanamo and vice president of the friendship association. "It was like a botanical garden ... the air quality has improved in that area tremendously." "When I met this lady [Garcia], I said to Soledad: 'She ought to be a CNN hero,' " Weeks told me. So Weeks nominated Garcia. And she won. The living room erupted into cheers. Then came the rude interruption. Actress Rosario Dawson announced that because of travel restrictions between the United States and Cuba, Garcia couldn't come to New York to pick up her $10,000 prize. Jones had to accept it on her behalf. Such craziness ought to make more Americans want to step up - and push for an end to the failed embargo and travel ban."

Attacking Tonyaa Weathersbee  12/2/2007 AfroCubaWeb: "Tonyaa Weathersbee is a columnist for the Florida Times Union out of Jacksonville. A member of the prestigious Trotter Group of African American columnists in the US, she has maintained an interest in Cuba and issues of race & identity there. In September, 2007, Tonyaa Weathersbee wrote an article about a recent trip she took to Cuba, One Race, Two Countries. A group of 4 Cuban Americans attacked her for this article in a letter to the editor, Cuba is no paradise for blacks, 11/07, citing a few myths that are common among Cuban Americans. AfroCubaWeb columnist Alberto Jones comments on this attack in A Failed Revisionist attempt To Mask Cuba’s Tragic History, 11/07."

Miami Protesters Say: Jail Killer Cops!”  12/1/2007 Socialist Action: "Rage over the deaths of four unarmed Black men by Miami cops over a 19-day period has sparked angry protests against police brutality. The rash of deaths began on Oct. 25 when a young Haitian man, Gracia "BG" Beaugris, was shot three times while walking home with his father's laundry. While Miami officials promise an investigation, the state attorney's office has not convicted a single cop involved in the death of an African American in 20 years, despite many such cases. No indictments in the recent deaths have been filed."

Seeing the people, not Cold War politics  11/5/2007 Florida Times-Union: by Tonyaa Weathersbee, a member of the Trotter Group, an association of Black US columnists. This article discusses Alberto Jones, whose columns appear on AfroCubaWeb.

AfroLatinos at TransAfrica Washington  10/19/2007 TransAfrica: "Keepers of the culture from Colombia and Venezuela were in Washington last Thursday to talk about the current conditions of African descendants living in the two South American countries. “Language has separated us,” said Marino Cordoba of Colombia to the mostly AngloAfrican (Englishspeaking Black) crowd at the K Street, NW offices of TransAfrica, the leading African American lobbying group for the African diaspora. “We need to learn each others language,” he continued. Cordoba also called for the support of U.S. House Resolution 618, sponsored by Congressional Black Caucus member Donald Payne (DNJ). The resolution calls for the Colombian government to do more to end the discrimination, marginalization and violence against Colombians of African descent. Cordoba, who had to flee his birth country after being threatened by the paramilitary, now works for a Latino advocacy group in suburban Washington. Joining Cordoba were Jesus Garcia, the editor of the journal Africamerica, and Geronimo SanchezGarcia, a faculty member of the Instituto niversitaro de Barlovento, one of the few historically Black institutions in Latin America. The later two are from Venezuela, whose President recently made an historic announcement that indicated the historic debt Venezuelan society owes the descendants of enslaved Africans. Unlike the American constitution that defined Africans as 3/5 of a human being (in ancient Egyptian logic five represented a whole human), many Latin countries never legally defined race. Therefore Garcia sees this as an “advance,” and, ironically, is seeking constitutional recognition of AfricanVenezuelans."

Where is Sara Gomez? (¿Dónde está Sara Gomez?)  10/1/2007 Scope: A Review by Kwame Dixon, Syracuse University, USA

Pro-Castro Columnist Compares Black Exiled Dissident to Maid  7/17/2007 Miami Herald Blogs: published 3/06 - "Andres Gomez, the leader of the pro-Castro group Antonio Maceo Brigade who lives in Miami, writes in a Cuban government publication that anti-revolutionary activity is undergoing a renaissance of sorts in the United States. He singles out for ridicule Bibliotecas Independientes, or Independent Libraries, a group that promotes literacy and the development of civil society in Cuba. Writing in, a Cuban government web site, Gomez uses the race of Ramon Colas, the group's leader, as part of his criticism. "This organization, whose only visible member includes a little Negro who travels a lot, whose style and mannerisms remind me of maids in Cuba before 1959, always dressed in their white uniforms -- seems to ignore, just like his masters, that in Cuba, for example, during the last 15 years, they celebrate annually a national book fair." Colas said it's the only time he has felt any "racism'' since he came to Miami about 5 years ago from Cuba. "He is using a series of offensive and racists words against me that you would never get away with using against African Americans," Colas said of Gomez… "It's not racist, really, it's an estimation of mine of what he is," Gomez said Wednesday. "It's not racist in the least. He is like that. And I maintain what I said. In any case, he'd be a shame to his race.""

Three US rap stars denounce the September 11th lie  1/31/2007 Voltaire Net 

After 40 Years, the First National Security Whistleblower Still Seeks Justice  11/30/2006 Common Dreams: published 2/17/06 - "After an outstanding career in law enforcement, Abraham Bolden was appointed by John F. Kennedy to be the first African American presidential Secret Service agent, where he served with distinction. But you haven't heard about Abraham Bolden during Black History month, because after helping to prevent JFK's assassination in the weeks before Dallas, Bolden was arrested on the very day he went to Washington to tell the Warren Commission about those attempts. Caught in a maze of National Security concerns that only became clear after four million pages of JFK files were released in the 1990s, Bolden was sentenced to six years in prison, becoming America's first National Security Whistleblower. The files released after Congress passed the JFK Act unanimously in 1992 show the massive amount of information that had been withheld from at least five Congressional investigations. Even worse, the Final Report of the JFK Board created by Congress shows that crucial files about attempts against JFK--the cases Bolden worked on--were destroyed by the Secret Service in 1995. And, a report by the government oversight group OMB Watch says that "well over one million CIA records" related to JFK's era remain unreleased, perhaps until the mandatory release date of 2017... Unknown to Bolden until recently, the crux of all this secrecy about the attempts to assassinate JFK in Chicago, Tampa, and Dallas were John and Robert Kennedys' "Plan for a Coup in Cuba" to overthrow Fidel Castro on December 1, 1963. The most secret operation of the Kennedy years, the CIA side of the operation was code-named AMWORLD, a term withheld from five Congressional investigations (and the Warren Commission) and declassified only in the 1990s. It appeared in print for the first time just three months ago. Using declassified files from the National Archives, we found that in the days, weeks, and months before Dallas, Robert Kennedy had a secret government committee looking at how the US could deal with the "assassination of American officials" if Castro found out about the Kennedys' coup plan, and tried to retaliate."

Negroes with Guns: Robert Williams and Black Power  2/7/2006 Independent Lens: "NEGROES WITH GUNS: Rob Williams and Black Power tells the dramatic story of the often-forgotten civil rights leader who urged African Americans to arm themselves against violent racists. In doing so, Williams not only challenged the Klan-dominated establishment of his hometown of Monroe, North Carolina, he alienated the mainstream Civil Rights Movement, which advocated peaceful resistance. For Williams and other African Americans who had witnessed countless acts of brutality against their communities, armed self-defense was a practical matter of survival, particularly in the violent, racist heart of the Deep South. As the leader of the Monroe chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Williams led protests against the illegal segregation of Monroe’s public swimming pool. He also drew international attention to the harsh realities of life in the Jim Crow South. All the while, Williams and other protestors met the constant threat of violence and death with their guns close at hand."

Katrina's Window Into Slavery's Past — and Present  9/21/2005 Village Voice: "Rebecca J. Scott's Degrees of Freedom is a fascinating and well-written piece of comparative history, but it's not exactly written for a mass audience. Its subtitle, however, says that it should be: "Louisiana and Cuba After Slavery." Scott (see photo) is a University of Michigan law and history professor who spent years trying to understand what happened after the Civil War — and after the Spanish-American War — to the hundreds of thousands of slaves working in the huge sugar-cane industries of Louisiana and Cuba. Those who are rebuilding New Orleans would do well to capitalize on what's inside Scott's suddenly extremely timely book. With the Bush regime in power, that's unlikely to happen. But here's a question posed and analyzed by Scott: After slavery, how did the African Americans fare, compared with the African Cubans? I'll be more simplistic than Scott: Since slavery officially ended, the African Americans have been treated worse, and this was apparent long before Fidel Castro was even born."

Assata - Rap Icons Godmother Still Gaining Support  8/25/2005 Thug Life Army: "Dear Mayor Palmer: Let me introduce myself by saying that ASSATA SHAKUR is my sister, friend, and comrade in the struggle for human rights of all oppressed people. When three “Freedom Fighters” boldly took action in 1979 and entered the Clinton Correctional Facility and liberated Sister ASSATA from the chains and shackles of her jailers, I rejoiced. I was proud to be apart of a generation of young African Americans that were courageous and committed enough to go up against America and didn’t give a damn about odds."

Rap Icons Godmother Target of Amendment  6/18/2005 Thug Life Army: "Many prominent and influential politicians, hip-hop and rap artists and community groups have stepped forward to show support for Assata and her struggle. There is an attempt to further the kidnapping of Tupac’s godmother and political activist Assata Shakur. We received the following from a member of the Congressional Black Caucus today."

Castro Speaks on Rap Icon's Godmother  5/11/2005 AP: "On Tuesday, he referred to Bush as "the little Hitler" and suggested he wanted to dominate the world. Castro dedicated more than an hour to reading for Cubans a New York Times story about the Posada case and again listed numerous terrorist actions that that Cuban officials attribute to Posada or his associates. He even suggested that Posada and his friend Orlando Bosch might have ties to the 1963 assassination of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy. "There are strange things, very strange, mixed up here," Castro said."

New Campaign For Rap Icon's Godmother  5/6/2005 Thug Life Army: "The following information is provided by The Talking Drum Collective of Stone Mountain, Ga. The Hands Off Assata Campaign is a coming together of organizations and individuals who are outraged by the heightened attempts by the federal government, congress of the united states and the State of New Jersey to illegally force thru kidnapping a return of Assata Shakur from Cuba to the plantation United States…"

Miami’s Royal Palm Sells For $127.5m  2/1/2005 Black Enterprise: "The Royal Palm Crowne Plaza Resort, a black-owned luxury Miami hotel, is changing hands now that developer R. Donahue Peebles has agreed to sell it to The Falor Co. for $127.5 million. Peebles stands to make a hefty profit, as he reportedly spent $84 million to acquire the 417-room, oceanfront resort, which opened in 2002. His company, Peebles Atlantic Development Corp. (No. 42 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/ SERVICE 100 list with $82 million in sales), was named the BLACK ENTERPRISE Company of the Year in 2004. Peebles’ acquisition of the Royal Palm was a high-profile venture because its sale to an African American developer was a concession by Miami Beach to end a three-year tourism boycott." [Sold to a white developer.]

PROTEST MEASURES AGAINST US STUDENTS IN CUBA  6/29/2004 Cuba Now: "US religious leader Rev. Lucius Walker has circulated an urgent alert on government measures against American youths studying medicine in Cuba and called on supporters of the scholarship program to protest what he described as “unfair and mean-spirited regulations.” The alert says that, among the new and even more stringent measures against Cuba, are “certain changes which, in our view, constitute a direct attack on the scholarship opportunity which Cuba has extended to 500 US students.” Rev. Walker also highlights the racist implications of the new regulations: “Almost 80 (soon to be 100) African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans and poor white students are faced with the loss of their medical careers… they could not afford to pursue their dreams of becoming doctors in the US. Now their own government is telling them that they cannot accept a full scholarship from Cuba.” "

U.S. Policy on Cuba Deprives Black Americans  11/18/2003 Black America Web: "On Pennsylvania Avenue, it's all about the 2004 election. And that means that traveling to Cuba - a majority-black nation - must remain a no-no for most of us, otherwise Miami's Cuban exiles, who are more than 90 percent white, will put a chokehold on the Bush administration's re-election bid. But the larger issue regarding the travel ban to Cuba isn't the White House's political schemes. It's that you - Mr. and Ms. - are being deprived of an affirming and even life-changing experience. Cuba, just 90 miles to the south of Miami, is defined and dominated by African culture and heritage. And all Cubans, even the white ones, seem to know this."

You can’t break the ties between us - An interview with Danny Glover  9/16/2003 Cuba Now: "My first connection with Cuba was when I was about 12 years old, right at the time of the Cuban revolution. My parents were postal workers and they were very much involved in the union. And at the time of the Cuban revolution, African Americans were very supportive of that victory. There were many African Americans with leadership positions who were very proud of the victory of the Cuban revolution. So that was the first time that I heard of it, and heard of the names of Comandante Che, and also Comandante Fidel."

Fight For Global Justice Is TransAfrica's Immense Task, Says Danny Glover  11/18/2002 Black World Today 

NAACP Explores Trade Links Between Cuba, Black American Farmers  11/14/2002 CNS: "After meeting with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro for four hours, NAACP Leader Kweisi Mfume told reporters in Havana Wednesday that Castro seems interested in creating trade links with thousands of black American farmers. Mfume, who is on his second trip to Cuba, also said the NAACP is exploring the possibility of starting a chapter in Cuba. "We hope to build a bridge between the NAACP and the people of Cuba, many of whom are descendants of Africa," he said."

"In Defense Of Black Reparations" - Part II  10/29/2002 Black World Today: by Manning Marable, friend of Cuba.

Black Muslim Reflects on Sniper Suspect  10/29/2002 Pacific News: "Then I found the Nation of Islam. Here, my anger was channeled. Contrary to some popular misconceptions about the Nation, I was taught not to hate white people, but to use that energy to develop myself and help my people. When I learned that Blacks are just 13 percent of the country but nearly 60 percent of America's inmate population, when I learned that Blacks account for 54 percent of all new cases of AIDS in the United States, when I learned that one-third of Black people live in poverty, receive substandard education, health care, and other public services -- it made me angry. But I learned to channel that rage to work on the problem rather than take my anger out on whites." And then there is the possibility that the sniper suspect suffers from Gulf War Syndrome which has caused a number of veterans to snap and become homicidal.

Amiri Baraka coming to Oakland  10/23/2002 San Francisco Bay View: "Baraka will be in Oakland this weekend for three events: on Saturday, a writer’s workshop at 3:00 and a jazz and poetry explosion at 7:00, and on Sunday, a discussion of Black Reparations at 2:00."

'Boondocks' comic echoes African-American thoughts  10/22/2002 USA Today: by DeWayne Wickham

Is There a Hip-Hop Vote?  10/21/2002 Pacific News: "When legendary hip-hop icon LL Cool J recently endorsed New York Republican Governor George Pataki over the Democratic Party nominee, who is Black, it surprised many in New York state politics and the civil rights community."

Tavis Smiley's Audience Growing  6/24/2002 NYT: Tavis went on the TransAfrica trip to Cuba and produced a good documentary on the event on BET before the new management fired him for not toeing the party line.

See what African American columnists around the nation are writing about America's War on Terrorism.  5/29/2002 Trotter Group 

DANNY GLOVER IN HAVANA AGAIN - A place in the heart  5/27/2002 Granma: "Danny was recently elected president of the TransAfrica Forum, an influential nongovernmental organization promoting decisive and equitable participation by the African American community, specifically, and all people in the United States in that country’s decision-making and the society in general; educational efforts on human rights and social policy; and recognition and exchange with African peoples and black communities around the world, especially in the Caribbean, whose ancestors were slaves. He explained that TransAfrica has made valuable contacts in Cuba, and hopes to keep increasing that communication and carrying out mutually beneficial concrete actions. "I’m sure that even in the short run there will be pleasant surprises."

Lead Story has show on AfroCubans  5/26/2002 BET News: "The impact of the U.S. embargo on Afro-Cubans and their relationship with African Americans, the United States and other Cubans. For more information, visit"

Varela Project offers false hope of change in Cuba  5/24/2002 USA Today: Wickham is a founder of the Trotter Group of African American columnists who recently visited Cuba again.

History, race must be factored into Cuban equation  5/21/2002 USA Today: DeWayne Wickham of the Trotter Group led 9 African American columnists to Cuba in February 2000 and was also recently in Havana for a symposium with Cuban journalists.

Activists Pull Black Agenda from the Shadow of Sept. 11 Attacks  5/20/2002 Black Press USA: "Domestic issues that were muted by the September 11 terrorist attacks are being pushed to the forefront as the fall elections approach, say activists and political observers who are gearing up voting and public policy campaigns."

Miami Beach: Black-owned hotel ends boycott, begins hope  5/18/2002 Houston Chronicle: "The former Washington resident, who built his business developing commercial office space, swooped into Miami Beach in 1996, bought a dilapidated hotel and won a municipal bid to build another in an adjacent oceanfront lot. The venture was at the center of a settlement between activists, city officials and lodging executives ending a three-year black tourism boycott of South Florida. It cast Peebles as the nation's first African-American to develop and own a major convention-resort hotel… The hotel will be able to draw a good chunk of the black tourism market, worth $36 billion last year, according to industry watchers. It is sold out for Memorial Day weekend, booked the Black Film Festival in June and an NAACP conference next year, marketing director Velton Showell said."

Should African Americans Wave The Flag? By Donna J. Warren  10/23/2001 Black Electorate: "Don’t need evidence to find bin Laden guilty. Nothing new to South Central LA. Most of the 56,775 inmates in California’s prisons under the 3 Strikes Law were convicted with little or no evidence, often on the word of a police officer, or worse still, sentenced to 25 years to life because 5, 10, 15 years or more ago the evidence was a bargained plea. 57% of these prisoners are African American; this in a state that may be 12% African American. California Courts don’t need evidence to convict."

Rep. Cynthia McKinney On Dissent And Her Letter To Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal  10/18/2001 Black Electorate: "In the FBI's own words, its counterintelligence program (COINTELPRO) had as a goal, "to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize" the activities of black organizations and to prevent black "leaders from gaining respectability." And instead of real leaders, COINTELPRO offers us hand-picked "court priests" who are more loyal to the plan than to he people. Court priests who preach peace, peace when there is no peace."As you can see, the statistics are very grim for Black America. Although your offer was not accepted by Mayor Giuliani, I would like to ask you to consider assisting Americans who are in dire need right now. I believe we can guide your generosity to help improve the state of Black America and build better lives.

Farrakhan Assails Bush Administration  10/17/2001 The Black World Today 

Cuba spreads medical care as political tool  1/30/2001 USA Today: Wickham is a founder of the Trotter Group of African American columnists

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

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

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

Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies, DeWayne Wickham Ingathering:The Literary Journal of Arts & Letters from the Black Diaspora in the Americas, Chicago
Caribbean Cultural Center, NY Kwame Touré Work Study Institute and Library
Centro Martin Luther King, la Habana 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


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 ==>

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