During the Caribbean Studies Association 2016 conference I met a number of brilliant young Haitian-Americans, including a 20-something Cornell PhD candidate whose project focuses on Black feminist political theory in contemporary novels by Caribbean authors. Her mother emigrated from Haiti before she was born and left the country permanently in the early aughts. I had to admit to her my ignorance of the precise details of Haitian history that motivated her mom to leave Haiti.
Clockwise from left: author Zora Neale Hurston, Hurston and her partner Percival Punter, and Haitian “zombie” photographed by Hurston during her fieldwork 1936-1937.
On the tap-tap (Port-au-Prince take on the dollar cab/combi/collectivo) from Touissaint Louverture airport yesterday, I had the good fortune of running into Prof. Daphne LaMothe of Smith College. An expert in African American literature, Prof. LaMothe shared with me that Zora Neale Hurston wrote the essential novel Their Eyes Were Watching God here in Haiti in just seven weeks.
Latin America’s Cold War by Hal Brands is the first historical text to take an international perspective on the postwar decades in the Latin American region. Hal Brands sets out to explain what exactly happened in Latin America during the Cold War, and why it was so traumatic. Ultimately, Brands exposes Latin America’s Cold War as not a single conflict, but rather a series of overlapping political, social, geostrategic, and ideological struggles whose repercussions can be felt to this day.
Read Hal Brands’ Latin America’s Cold War and check out the award-winning documentary Black and Cuba. Present day Cuba discussed in the documentary can not be fully understood without the context and history that Brands’ historical text provides.
The Cuban Missile Crisis: A Concise History by Don Munton and David A. Welch dispenses a brief and accessible historical narrative pertaining to The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. The authors draw on newly available documents to provide a comprehensive treatment of its causes, events, consequences, and significance. The different viewpoints from the Soviet Union, Cuba, and the United States are examined in this book as well.
Read The Cuban Missile Crisis: A Concise History and watch the award winning documentary Black and Cuba. The Cuban Missile Crisis brought the world to the brink of a nuclear war during the Cold War and deepened the divide in public relations between the United States and Cuba. The history and documentary go hand in hand to understand the Missile Crisis and its’ effect on today.
Manuel Couceiro Prado was a painter and the founder of the Grupo Antillano (1978-1983), a group of Cuban artists who were trying to establish the African and Caribbean context of Cuban national identity. He was radicalized against Batista in 1952 and was a founding member of the July 26th Movement.
As a post cuban revolutionary artist, Prado channels the instability of his times into his artwork. This can be seen In his work Untitled, where life like figures are exaggerated into each other, founding a feeling of insecurity.
Examine Prado’s artwork and check out the award-winning documentary Black and Cuba. The film provides much needed information on the Cuban Revolution, which has shaped and influenced Prado’s artwork. Knowledge on the Cuban revolution is vital to understanding his works of art.
Above, to the left is the oil on canvas painting “Untitled” / “Sin título” (Manuel Couceiro, Untitled / Sin título, oil on canvas, 107 x 152 cm., ca. 1970.)
To the right is the artist Manuel Couceiro Prado.
TEACHERS: Will you be educating your students on The Civil Rights Movement or on racism this fall? Do you need fresh discussion topics, readings, assignments, etc.? Look no further than Black and Cuba’s complete syllabus guide!
Watch Lee Daniels’ The Butler and then watch the award winning documentary Black and Cuba. The Butler “tells the story of a White House butler who served eight American presidents over three decades. The film traces the dramatic changes that swept American society during this time, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man’s life and family.” Watching both of these films will create a deeper appreciation of the progress made on civil rights as well as a greater understanding on the parallels of racism in the United States and Cuba.
Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Black and Cuba go hand in hand as vital sources for your course. Find even more lesson plans in our complete syllabus guide today!
TEACHERS: Will you be educating your students on Black Radical Tradition this fall? Do you need fresh discussion topics, readings, assignments, etc.? Look no further than Black and Cuba’s complete syllabus guide!
Watch Selma and then watch the award winning documentary Black and Cuba. Selma is a powerful examination of one of the key moments of the Civil Rights movement and of the man who sacrificed to ensure the movement endured. The March from Selma to Montgomery (1965) is an instance of Black Radical Tradition. Pair it with Black and Cuba to better understand the influence of Black Radical Tradition in regards to the countries of the United States and Cuba.
Selma and Black and Cuba go hand in hand as vital sources for your course. Find even more lesson plans in our complete syllabus guide today!
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is seen as the archetypal modern African novel in English and is one of the first of its kind to receive global critical acclaim. The book follows the protagonist, Okonkwo, and his descent from leader of his village to an outcast.
Read Things Fall Apart and watch the award winning documentary Black and Cuba. Achebe makes the downfall of Okonkwo to be synonymous with the arrival of white men and the Christian Church. The death of Okonkwo is symbolic to the oppression of blacks by whites. This same oppression can be seen in modern day Cuba.