Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Black in Cuba

Hi Meltingpot Readers,

Today I'm taking a group of High School students on assignment to cover the immigrant experience in Philly. No time to write, but I thought I'd send you over to the The Root to check out this story on the Black experience in Cuba.

Who's been to Cuba and can give us their opinion?

I'm on the move, but I'm still listening.



Dera Williams said...

This is what I wrote on the Roots comments:

This article is quite interesting. I was in Cuba two years ago on an educational tour with a mixed-race group of educators. We were mainly in Havana and the blacks there, it appeared to me, to not gloss over but to minimize the racial problem. We visited a number of educational institutions and blacks are high appointments at various levels. I believe in this case, it is more of a class thing, as in many Latin and Caribbean countries. Education takes you to another level where you don't have to deal or choose not to deal with it that much. As you state, there is a mixture and you see a lot of what we would call interracial couples/families that are not so to them. I asked one black lecturer directly if there was a race problem. And he said, no, they are just Cuban. Same things with one of their renowmed filmmakers when asked, she said what blacks wanted was to perceived as Cubans and that is being accomplished.
I made my own observances during the eight days I was there. Beautiful, artistic country, the people are welcoming and wonderful. We we went to a community gathering of blacks, they were entrenched in African clothing and pride, emphasizing their black pride. When I was at the ballet, the majority of the company were white and some mixed-race; the heads of the juvenile crime system was white with some black directors and the young people were all races, many mixed-race and black. Unfortunately, we didn't make it to Santiago which is a more Africa city. Our college has an ongoing relationship with Cuba travel and tourism because of our phenominal African American Studies head. All in all, it was a wonderful experience and a place I would love to go back to.

LT said...

Hi Dera,

Thanks for posting this. It's great to have another perspective.