A national 2012 census showed that out of over 11 million Cubans currently living on the island, around 1 million Cubans described themselves as Afro-Cuban or Black (9.3% of the population) and 3 million considered themselves to be "mulatto" or "mestizo" (mixed-race). Afro-Cuban refers to Cubans with African ancestry, a concept related but distinct from Afrocubanism, or Afro-Cuban as a socio-historical cultural movement distinguished by unique forms of religion such as Santería, Palo Monte and the fraternal sect of Abakuá; music such as son, conga, mambo, chachachá, rumba, guaguancó, comparsa, and tumba francesa; and other art forms like theater, dance, and the visual arts. Studies of Afro-Cuban culture and identity also address the aftermath of the slave trade and colonization, as well as racism and its consequences in contemporary Cuban society and politics.
The resources included in this guide range from archival collections such as the Lydia Cabrera papers, oral histories, lectures, books, articles, databases, audiovisual materials, and online resources.
Photo and description by K. Villa, Havana, Cuba, Jan. 2016:
This image shows the “Rincon de La Descolonización” (Corner of De-Colonization) that is found outside of the Presidential Palace, on the corner of Morro and Colon, behind the Granma Memorial. It memorializes the death of five of the Abakua Brotherhood who attempted to save the eight medical students who were executed by the Spanish military in November 1871. Each year since 2006, on November 27, a parade is held, beginning at this corner, to celebrate the memory of the martyrs.
Untitled (Bag with Afro-Cuban Motifs), Sergio Guerra (Cuba), 1981. Lowe Art Museum.
"The Latinx Project at NYU announces its second Miriam Jiménez Román Fellowship for advanced doctoral students and assistant professors whose research advances the study of Afro-Latinx communities in the U.S. The fellowship is open to all fields. The selected candidate will spend a semester or a year with the NYU Latinx Studies academic community. The aim of the fellowship is to allow the fellow to teach a course of their choosing, as well as complete a doctoral dissertation, a major publication, or research project during the fellowship year."
See their website for more information and/or click HERE to fill out the application.
Jorge Castellanos papers Jorge Castellanos was an author and professor born in 1915 in Guantánamo, Cuba. Exiled to the United States by way of Jamaica in 1961, Castellanos was working as a history professor at Marygrove College in Detroit, Michigan, by 1962. After retirement, he continued to publish books on Cuban culture, most notably his series Cultura Afrocubana, co-authored with his daughter Isabel Castellanos, from 1988 to 1994.
Celia Cruz collection Celia Cruz (1925-2003) migrated to the U.S. in 1960 after having had an important career in Cuba with the group La Sonora Matancera. She never returned to Cuba and died in New York in July 2003. Celia was considered "the Queen of Latin Music" and dominated the Latin music scene for almost fifty years. Along with photographs and documents, the collection also contains important music scores of the instrumental parts for the arrangements of some of Cruz's major hits and an array of items like a shoe, cassette tapes, a fan, CDs and a DVD.Alberto del Pozo's Orichas Collection This collection consists of the series of drawings by Cuban-born artist Alberto del Pozo (1946-1992) of the deities of Afro-Cuban Santería. There are approximately 25 orichas in the Santería pantheon, 17 of which were depicted by del Pozo in this series. Santería refers to the Afro-Cuban practice of Lucumí or Regla de Ocha, a religious system originating with the African Yoruba people.
Oral Histories - Digital Collections (miami.edu)
For example, Interview with Padrica Mendez. 2009. (Patron must sign up for StoryCorps account or be on campus to access some of the oral history recordings)
Tumba francesa group in Havana, Cuba
"Tumba francesa (Habana en casa de Mimi Bacardí)"; Tumba Francesa is a traditional cultural dance and style of that emerged in the 18th century in Oriente, Cuba." Lydia Cabrera papers.
- Item id365075 - Afro-Cubans-Miami
- Item id365076 - Afro-Cubans-Music
- Item id365077 - Afro-Cubans-Religions
- Item id365078 - Afro-Cubans-Santería
- Item id365805 - Culture, Afro-Cuban
FLYER FOR THE THEATRICAL PRODUCTION, CUENTOS DE JICOTEA DE LYDIA CABRERA Y DANZAS AFROCUBANAS Archivo Digital de Teatro Cubano Cuban Theater Digital Archive.
Alejandro De La Fuente. A Nation for All. University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
Clealand, Danielle. The Power of Race in Cuba. New York: Oxford UP, 2017. Transgressing Boundaries: Studies in Black Politics and Black Communities.
Devyn Spence Benson. Antiracism in Cuba: The Unfinished Revolution. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina, 2016. Envisioning Cuba.
La Rosa Corzo, Gabino. Runaway Slave Settlements in Cuba: Resistance and Repression. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003.
Matibag, Eugenio. Afro-Cuban Religious Experience: Cultural Reflections in Narrative. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1996.
Moore, Robin D., and NetLibrary, Inc. Nationalizing Blackness: Afrocubanismo and Artistic Revolution in Havana, 1920-1940. Pittsburgh, Pa.: U of Pittsburgh, 1997. Pitt Latin American Ser.
Olupona, Jacob K., Rowland Abiodun. Ifá Divination, Knowledge, Power, and Performance. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2016.
Perry, Marc D. Negro Soy Yo: Hip Hop and Raced Citizenship in Neoliberal Cuba. Durham: Duke UP, 2016.
Díaz, María Elena. The Virgin, the King, and the Royal Slaves of El Cobre: Negotiating Freedom in Colonial Cuba, 1670-1780. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford UP, 2000.
Gutiérrez, Mariela. An Ethnological Interpretation of the Afro-Cuban World of Lydia Cabrera (1900-1991). Lewiston: Edwin Mellen, 2008.
Howard, Philip A. Changing History: Afro-Cuban Cabildos and Societies of Color in the Nineteenth Century. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1998.
Jiménez Román, Miriam, and Juan Flores. The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States. Durham [N.C.]: Duke UP, 2010.
Lachatanere, R. El sistema religioso de los afrocubanos. La Habana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 1992.
López Valdés, Rafael L. Africanos de Cuba. San Juan de Puerto Rico: Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe con la colaboración del Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, 2002.
Montejo Arrechea, Carmen Victoria. Sociedades negras en Cuba, 1878-1960. La Habana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales: Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo de la Cultura Cubana Juan Marinello, 2004.
Naranjo Orovio, Consuelo. Racismo e inmigración en Cuba en el siglo XIX. Madrid, Doce Calles: Fundación de Investigaciones Marxistas:, 1996.
Ortiz, Fernando. Cuban Counterpoint, Tobacco and Sugar. Durham: Duke University Press, 1995.
Ortiz, Fernando. Los Bailes Y El Teatro De Los Negros En El Folklore De Cuba. Madrid, Spain: Editorial Música Mundana Maqueda, 1998.
Palmié, Stephan. The Cooking of History: How Not to Study Afro-Cuban Religion. Chicago: U of Chicago, 2013.
Sawyer, Mark Q. Racial Politics in Post-Revolutionary Cuba. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Sosa, Enrique. Los Ñáñigos: Ensayo. Ciudad De La Habana, Cuba: Casa De Las Américas, 1982.
Valdeís, Yrmino. Ceremonias fúnebres de la santería Afrocubana: Ituto y honras de Egún. 1.th ed. Antiguo San Juan, Puerto Rico: Sociedad de Autores Libres, 1991.
Caribbean Newspapers, 1718-1876
|Slavery & Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive|
World Scholar: Latin America And The Caribbean A collection of primary source documents about Latin America and the Caribbean; academic journals and news feeds covering the region; reference articles and commentary; maps and statistics; audio and video; etc.
Feminism in Cuba: Nineteenth through Twentieth Century Archival Documents This collection, compiled by Dr. K. Lynn Stoner, includes Cuban sources that span the period from Cuban independence to the end of the Batista regime. The collection sheds light on Cuban feminism, women in politics, literature by Cuban women, and the legal status of Cuban women. The collection includes archives of Minerva (see below) is a journal dedicated to women of color in Cuba
Changó from the Alberto del Pozo Orichas Collection
AfroCubaWeb: the African cultures in Cuba - Abakwa - Congo - Dahomey - Haiti - Yoruba - West Indies AfroCuba Web is an extensive online resource of news articles, essays, biographies, statistics, art, music, culture, politics, religion, links to websites. and more with the objective of educating about and preserving Afro-Cuban culture.
At the Crossroads: Afro-Cuban Orisha Arts in Miami Digital exhibition from HistoryMiami Museum.
Colecciones - Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba José Martí (bnjm.cu) A link to the Jose Marti National Library of Cuba's collection's page, which includes a collection dedicated to Wifredo Lam as well as Folklore and Ethnology, and others.
Digitales – Afrocubanas Afrocubanas Magazine's list of links to blogs and websites dedicated to Afro-Cuban history and culture.
CANDELA Book Club Instagram page of a Miami-based Afro-Cuban advocacy group and book club, includes announcements about events.
Historia Negra de Cuba Instagram page of blogger and Afro-Cuban advocate Marley Pulido, includes archive of articles and other links.Let’s Mambo!: Machito and His Afro-Cubans Library of Congress archival collection of Latin jazz musician and bandleader Machito, formally known as Francisco "Frank" Raúl Gutiérrez Grillo, (circa 1908-1984), active on the New York City jazz scene with his innovative band the Afro-Cubans from 1940 to the early 1980s, forming an influential legacy that includes salsa music and Afro-Cuban jazz. The collection contains approximately 150 manuscripts and published compositions and arrangements performed by the ensemble, as well as clippings, papers, a concert poster, and maracas.
Knight, Franklin W. "Migration and Culture: A Case Study of Cuba, 1750–1900." The Journal of the Historical Society (Boston, Mass.) 8.4 (2008): 545-66.
Rodríguez, Arsenio, and Justi Barreto. Arsenio Rodriguez Primitivo: Sonido, 1999.
Cruz, Celia, Merceditas Valdés, Bienvenido León, Eugenio De La Rosa, Coro Yoruba, Performer, and Tambores Batá De Jésus Pérez, Performer. Santero: Afro-Cuban Cult Music. Cuba]: Panart Records, 1960.
Carbonell, Luis. Estampas De Luis Carbonell. Miami, Fla.: Kubaney, 1988.
Celia Cruz, Cuban singer. Cuban Photograph Collection.
Catteau, Manuel, Queyrat, Jean, and Mann, Sharon. The Tumba Francesa. Paris, France: ZED, 2006. Living Cultures.
Sara Gomez: An Afro-Cuban Filmmaker. ArtMattan Productions, 2005.
Gómez Yera, Sara, and Tomás González Pérez. De Cierta Manera. La Habana, Cuba: Ediciones ICAIC, 2018. Colección Guión Cubano; 03.
P Rez Betancourt, Lvaro. Voices of the Orishas. Berkeley, Calif: Berkeley Media, 1994. Academic Video Online: Premium.
Orisha Aesthetics: A presentation by Michelle González Maldonado
Worldview, the Orichas, and Santería: A presentation by Mercedes Cros Sandoval
The Contradictions of Afrocubanismo Nationalism by Robin Moore
Afro-Cuban Religions: Race, Gender, and Politics. "Female Archetypes and Stereotypes of Santeria," Elaine Penagos and "Criminalization of Afro-Cuban Religions: Urban versus Rural," Thomas Terrill
Luis Carbonell, actor Cubano. Cuban Photograph Collection.