Citation

Caught between Diasporas: Rafael Serra’s Entanglements with Discourses of Race and Nation in Cuba and the US

Abstract | Word Stems | Keywords | Association | Citation | Similar Titles



Abstract:

In this paper, I investigate how Afro-Cuban activist/intellectuals who lived in the US at the turn of the century attempted to reconcile their commitments to Cuban nationalism with their involvement in black internationalism. By examining Rafael Serra’s essays, speeches, and newspaper articles, I will interrogate how this Afro-Latin@ anti-racist, anti-colonial, and after 1898 anti-imperialist activist/intellectual was caught between espousing a purportedly “colorblind” Cuban nationalism as a way of unifying Cubans against US (neo)colonialism and a transnational politics of black solidarity as a response to racism on both sides of the Straits of Florida. Central to my analysis is what I refer to as “entanglement.” Serra, I will argue, was caught in a seemingly irresolvable aporia. Returning to Cuba in 1902 after twenty-two years living in the US, he confronted old and new forms of structural racism that emerged in Cuba’s post-independence period. This led him to recognize these as an obstacle for organizing a nationalist struggle to obtain true independence from the region’s emerging imperial power, the US. At the same time, precisely because Cuba now had become an effective neo-colony of its northern neighbor, the US’ influence in the island posed an obstacle for implementing effective anti-racist reforms. On the one hand then, Serra was forced to acknowledge the need for a revolutionary nationalism that would make Cubans want to part ways with the US and pursue a more just future. Cubans of all backgrounds could not have true nationalist liberation—the kind of revolution of values, of relationships of power, and not just of political status that José Martí and others like Serra advocated for—without the participation and collaboration of Cubans of all backgrounds to break with the island’s deep-rooted structures of race and class dominance. On the other hand, Serra acknowledged that organizing a truly “colorblind” nationalism would be difficult, given that US colonial governors and their Creole elite supporters pitted Cubans of different race backgrounds against each other. I will conclude that Serra was never able to find a way out of this “entanglement.” However, the point of this paper is not to point out this aporia in his written and political work. My goal is rather to use an articulation of these entanlgements as a point of departure for imagining new ways of engaging in anti-colonial and anti-racist politics today that transcend the limitations of these nationalisms and internationalisms.
Convention
All Academic Convention is the premier solution for your association's abstract management solutions needs.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

Association:
Name: American Studies Association Annual Meeting
URL:
http://www.theasa.net


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p509944_index.html
Direct Link:
HTML Code:

MLA Citation:

Fuste, Jose. "Caught between Diasporas: Rafael Serra’s Entanglements with Discourses of Race and Nation in Cuba and the US" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Hilton Baltimore, Baltimore, MD, <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p509944_index.html>

APA Citation:

Fuste, J. "Caught between Diasporas: Rafael Serra’s Entanglements with Discourses of Race and Nation in Cuba and the US" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Hilton Baltimore, Baltimore, MD <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p509944_index.html

Publication Type: Internal Paper
Abstract: In this paper, I investigate how Afro-Cuban activist/intellectuals who lived in the US at the turn of the century attempted to reconcile their commitments to Cuban nationalism with their involvement in black internationalism. By examining Rafael Serra’s essays, speeches, and newspaper articles, I will interrogate how this Afro-Latin@ anti-racist, anti-colonial, and after 1898 anti-imperialist activist/intellectual was caught between espousing a purportedly “colorblind” Cuban nationalism as a way of unifying Cubans against US (neo)colonialism and a transnational politics of black solidarity as a response to racism on both sides of the Straits of Florida. Central to my analysis is what I refer to as “entanglement.” Serra, I will argue, was caught in a seemingly irresolvable aporia. Returning to Cuba in 1902 after twenty-two years living in the US, he confronted old and new forms of structural racism that emerged in Cuba’s post-independence period. This led him to recognize these as an obstacle for organizing a nationalist struggle to obtain true independence from the region’s emerging imperial power, the US. At the same time, precisely because Cuba now had become an effective neo-colony of its northern neighbor, the US’ influence in the island posed an obstacle for implementing effective anti-racist reforms. On the one hand then, Serra was forced to acknowledge the need for a revolutionary nationalism that would make Cubans want to part ways with the US and pursue a more just future. Cubans of all backgrounds could not have true nationalist liberation—the kind of revolution of values, of relationships of power, and not just of political status that José Martí and others like Serra advocated for—without the participation and collaboration of Cubans of all backgrounds to break with the island’s deep-rooted structures of race and class dominance. On the other hand, Serra acknowledged that organizing a truly “colorblind” nationalism would be difficult, given that US colonial governors and their Creole elite supporters pitted Cubans of different race backgrounds against each other. I will conclude that Serra was never able to find a way out of this “entanglement.” However, the point of this paper is not to point out this aporia in his written and political work. My goal is rather to use an articulation of these entanlgements as a point of departure for imagining new ways of engaging in anti-colonial and anti-racist politics today that transcend the limitations of these nationalisms and internationalisms.


Similar Titles:
"Creole" Nationalism in Cuba: The Consequences of Race

Black Women in Cuba & America: Reconsidering Nation, Race, and Gender


 
All Academic, Inc. is your premier source for research and conference management. Visit our website, www.allacademic.com, to see how we can help you today.