288 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 14 illus., notes, bibl., index
Afro-Cubans and African Americans in a World of Empire and Jim Crow
2011 Wesley-Logan Prize, American Historical Association
2009-2010 Elsa Goveia Book Prize, Association of Caribbean Historians
Cuba's geographic proximity to the United States and its centrality to U.S. imperial designs following the War of 1898 led to the creation of a unique relationship between Afro-descended populations in the two countries. In Forging Diaspora, Frank Andre Guridy shows that the cross-national relationships nurtured by Afro-Cubans and black Americans helped to shape the political strategies of both groups as they attempted to overcome a shared history of oppression and enslavement.
Drawing on archival sources in both countries, Guridy traces four encounters between Afro-Cubans and African Americans. These hidden histories of cultural interaction--of Cuban students attending Booker T. Washington's Tuskegee Institute, the rise of Garveyism, the Havana-Harlem cultural connection during the Harlem Renaissance and Afro-Cubanism movement, and the creation of black travel networks during the Good Neighbor and early Cold War eras--illustrate the significance of cross-national linkages to the ways both Afro-descended populations negotiated the entangled processes of U.S. imperialism and racial discrimination. As a result of these relationships, argues Guridy, Afro-descended peoples in Cuba and the United States came to identify themselves as part of a transcultural African diaspora.
"A fascinating study. . . . Guridy has selected four exemplary moments in U.S. and Cuban republican history. . . . Will encourage readers to explore more deeply by demonstrating that substantial understanding of any one of these topics requires a better understanding of the others."
“A work that will have significant relevance for a number of fields….The book should be required reading for scholars studying the African diaspora….It is written in a clear, accessible style, …easy for instructors to incorporate individual chapters into syllabi for undergraduate courses.”
--Journal of American History
“A groundbreaking study in black transnational history. This book will be required reading for students concerned with the African diaspora, southern U.S. history, and black community building during the twentieth century.”
--Journal of Southern History
“While this will be a welcome text in history courses that emphasize black diaspora theory and research methodology, it is also certain to spark exciting discussions in advanced undergraduate and graduate seminars in interdisciplinary fields such as Africana studies and Latin American studies.”
“An impressive effort to unmask the long history of relations between the peoples of the United States and Cuba.”
--Essays In History
“This is a book that makes me respect the work of historians on the subject of African-descended populations in the Americas. . . [It] expands our understanding of relations between and among African-descended people in the Western Hemisphere. ”
--Journal of African American History
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