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Introduction - The Violent Intimacy of Nation-Building, Race, and Gender Inside Cuban Households

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 August 2022

Anasa Hicks
Affiliation:
Florida State University
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Summary

The introduction to Hierarchies at Home presents the central argument: Although women of African descent only briefly made up the majority of domestic servants in Cuba before 1959, for the entirety of the twentieth century the archetypal figure of a domestic servant in Cuba was an African-descended woman. The centrality of the black Cuban woman to the image of domestic service mattered because the work was a primary way that racialized hierarchies reproduced in Cuba throughout the twentieth century. Cuba’s public-facing image after its war for independence was a country founded on anti-racist ideals. But the steady association between blackness and domestic service sustained and revealed a stratification that placed African-descended Cubans in positions of subservience to white Cubans and ran counter to the public image. The introduction briefly reviews literature on domestic service in the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America, and outlines the chapters.

Type
Chapter
Information
Hierarchies at Home
Domestic Service in Cuba from Abolition to Revolution
, pp. 1 - 19
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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