Cuba: Freemasonry’s Past and the Racial Present


In Cuba Counterpoints, Julie Skurski (CUNY-The Graduate Center) explores the racially inclusive history of the Freemasonry in Cuba. Here is an excerpt of this fascinating article:


[. . .] However, race is not discussed at Masonic events, not only because Maceo and Martí have become symbols of racial fraternity, but because Freemasonry is based on the premise of the equality of all members, and the discussion of race, along with religious or political affiliation, is considered divisive. But Masonry’s rhetoric of raceless unity, which parallels that of the state in certain respects, is combined with an inclusive practice of electing leaders and an acceptance of diverse religious faiths. Afro-Cubans are present in the leadership of many lodges in Havana and recently in the leadership of the national governing body, the Gran Logia de Cuba; Lázaro Cuesta Valdés, the current Gran Maestro of the Gran Logia, which is an elected position, as well as most of his officers, is black. Notably, many Masons of all racial backgrounds, including Cuesta, are practioners of Afro-Cuban religions. [. . .]

For full article, see

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