By Alejandro de la Fuente
After thirty years of anticolonial fight opposed to Spain and 4 years of army profession by means of the us, Cuba officially grew to become an autonomous republic in 1902. The nationalist coalition that fought for Cuba's freedom, a move within which blacks and mulattoes have been good represented, had estimated an egalitarian and inclusive country--a state for all, as Jos? Mart? defined it. yet did the Cuban republic, and later the Cuban revolution, reside as much as those expectancies? Tracing the formation and reformulation of nationalist ideologies, executive rules, and diverse different types of social and political mobilization in republican and postrevolutionary Cuba, Alejandro de l. a. Fuente explores the possibilities and obstacles that Afro-Cubans skilled in such components as activity entry, schooling, and political illustration. not easy assumptions of either underlying racism and racial democracy, he contends that racism and antiracism coexisted inside of Cuban nationalism and, in flip, Cuban society. This coexistence has persevered to today, regardless of major efforts by way of the innovative executive to enhance the lot of the bad and construct a kingdom that was once really for all.
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Extra resources for A Nation for All: Race, Inequality, and Politics in Twentieth-Century Cuba (Envisioning Cuba)
Today, those who have been born in this country are citizens of Cuban democracy. . The republic is with all and for all. . If we, who are the designated ones, do not open our arms to the blacks, who helped us achieve independence . . ’’ Good patriots, Masdeu implies, are not supposed to be racially conscious, much less discriminatory. How inclusive Cubanness would be was not just a question of ideological and discursive symbols, regardless of how powerful they might have been. Adding to the strength of the nationalist ideology was the presence of blacks in the leadership and ranks of the Liberation Army.
Black generals Jesús Rabí, Agustín Cebreco, Quintín Bandera, Juan Eligio Ducasse, Prudencio Martínez, Pedro Díaz, and others had survived, and their contribution to Cuba Libre could hardly be disputed. These generals were living symbols of the Afro-Cuban participation in the war for independence, and they represented a potential source of leadership to resist the e√orts of those who wanted to minimize blacks’ role in the making of the nation. The social signiﬁcance of these black veterans was guaranteed through endless banquets in their honor, the eagerness of the emergent political parties to attract them, and the creation of social and political clubs named for them.
What we frequently perceive as black discourse is, in fact, black middle-class discourse. And because racial barriers hardened along with the desirability and prestige ascribed to professional jobs—the higher and better-paid an occupa14 : introduction tion, the whiter—the black middle class became the most visible target of racial discrimination. In response, Afro-Cuban professionals created their own exclusive societies and fought against exclusion from the closed social spaces of the white bourgeoisie.