Blackness, Cubanness, and the End of an Era

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Odette Casamayor-Cisneros

Abstract

This paper seeks to demonstrate the importance of examining racial inequalities in today’s Cuban society. When the island is clearly in the verge of experiencing fundamental transformations, it is more than ever necessary to study the basic mechanism underpinning the pervasiveness of racial prejudices and racism against Black Cubans both on the island and within its exiled communities. How can the current negotiations between the Cuban and US government impact everyday lives of Black Cubans?

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Author Biography

Odette Casamayor-Cisneros, University of Connecticut-Storrs

Odette Casamayor-Cisneros (odette.cisneros@uconn.edu), a Cuban born scholar and writer, is Associate Professor of Latin American and Caribbean Cultures at the University of Connecticut-Storrs. She received her PhD in art and literature from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. Her book Utopia, distopía e ingravidez: Reconfiguraciones cosmológicas en la narrativa post-soviética cubana, published by Iberoamericana-Vervuert in 2013, examines, through the lens of literary production, the existential void experienced by Cubans after the collapse of the Socialist Bloc in the 1990s. Casamayor is currently working on her new book, On Being Black: Challenging Hegemonic Knowledge through Racial Self-Identification Processes in Post-Soviet Cuban Cultural Production.