By Alejandro de la Fuente

After thirty years of anticolonial fight opposed to Spain and 4 years of army career through the U.S., Cuba officially grew to become an self sustaining republic in 1902. The nationalist coalition that fought for Cuba's freedom, a flow within which blacks and mulattoes have been good represented, had anticipated an egalitarian and inclusive country--a kingdom 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, govt guidelines, and various types of social and political mobilization in republican and postrevolutionary Cuba, Alejandro de l. a. Fuente explores the possibilities and barriers that Afro-Cubans skilled in such components as activity entry, schooling, and political illustration. hard assumptions of either underlying racism and racial democracy, he contends that racism and antiracism coexisted inside Cuban nationalism and, in flip, Cuban society. This coexistence has endured to at the present time, regardless of major efforts via the progressive govt to enhance the lot of the negative and construct a country that was once really for all.

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Additional resources for A Nation for All: Race, Inequality, and Politics in Twentieth-Century Cuba (Envisioning Cuba)

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Supported by American authorities, some members of the ‘‘better classes’’ even questioned whether Cubans of African descent were real and full members of the nation. During the revolution they had sided with Spain precisely because of the racial composition of the Liberation Army and the fear that Afro-Cubans might create a black republic in the island. Some of the members of this traditional elite had staunchly defended the Spanish character of Cuban civilization and could easily connect and sympathize with North American racial ideologies.

Maceo’s death in battle was commemorated every year with massive processions to his grave that invariably included the most prominent politicians and representatives of the black clubs and societies. Congress celebrated special sessions in his memory, and parks were built, monuments erected, and streets named in honor of the mulatto general. ∑∑ Contestation over Maceo’s memory and legacy reached a point in which his own ‘‘race’’ became the subject of controversy. When the general’s remains were exhumed in September 1899, it was stated that his skull presented an ‘‘interesting anomaly .

García finished the war as a captain of the Liberation Army and was later a member of the provincial council of Las Villas, where he owned a pawnshop. Travieso became a representative and was later referred to as the ‘‘patriarch’’ of his native town, Bejucal, near Havana. ∑∂ Even dead, black heroes of independence provided visibility and prestige to Afro-Cubans. Besides Martí, Antonio Maceo was the most revered, quoted, and contested symbol of Cuban racial fraternity. Maceo’s death in battle was commemorated every year with massive processions to his grave that invariably included the most prominent politicians and representatives of the black clubs and societies.

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