New Translation—“Afrocubanas: History, Thought, and Cultural Practices”


Many thanks to Peter Jordens for sending this item related to one of our previous posts New Book: Afrocubanas. Afrocubanas: History, Thought, and Cultural Practices (Devyn Spence Benson, Daisy Rubiera Castillo and Inés María Martiatu Terry, eds.) has been translated by Karina Alma and published by Rowman and Littlefield in May 2020.

Description: Originally published in Spanish and edited by Cuban historian Daisy Rubiera Castillo and playwright and theater critic Inés María Martiatu Terry, this ground-breaking edited collection is the first work of its kind. It places the experiences of black and mulata women at the center of Cuban history. Including essays from a mix of well-known and newly published Cuban authors, the volume examines the lives of Afrocubanas from the late nineteenth century to the present. The volume’s contributors collect and interrogate the voices of black Cuban women and the political, cultural, social, and ideological contributions they have made to the history of their nation.

One of the unique qualities of Afrocubanas is that the text is the product of a grassroots community working group in Havana. A number of antiracist organizations emerged to fight racial inequality in light of Cuba’s new economic challenges after the fall of its chief trading partner, the Soviet Union in 1991. But, the Afrocubanas Project (founded in the mid-2000s) is one of the few groups that challenges racism and sexism together. The members of the Afrocubanas Project hail from a variety of professions, ages, and sexual orientations. They share a collective interest in challenging negative stereotypes about black women. This volume merges their activism and scholarship to offer a counter discourse to existing narratives about black women in Cuba while also creating and disseminating new knowledge about Afrocubanas.

There is no other published work in English devoted to analyzing the political and intellectual dimensions of black Cuban women’s thought across the island’s history. This text is essential reading for scholars and students of Africana Studies, Afro-Latin American Studies, Caribbean history, and courses focusing on black women in the Atlantic region. 

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