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Woman suffragists and labor activists continue to sing together, in more than one language, while, in Chicago, the Columbian Exposition of 1893 introduces a new musical genre – ragtime – to the world. Black composers and lyricists – Scott Joplin, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Will Marion Cook, Harry T. Burleigh, Bob Cole, and the brothers James Weldon and J. Rosamond Johnson – work to free themselves from the debasements of the “coon song.” Black operatic singers like Marie Selika Williams and Sissieretta Jones carve out their careers against the tide of popular minstrelsy. A strange new phenomenon – Filipinos in “coon songs” – reflects the latest muscle flex of US Manifest Destiny: the Spanish-American War and the acquisition of Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and – for good measure – Hawai’i, all richly captured in popular song. Lili’uokalani’s overthrow and Hawaiian annexation lead to two remarkable musical by-products of US imperialism: the infiltration of Puerto Rican kachi kachi music in Hawai’i and the unique work-song body – the hole hole bushi – of the Japanese plantation laborers – all women. Meanwhile, Tin Pan Alley has a field day with the newly seized territory, transforming a site of misery and loss into a popular music paradise with the likes of “Hula Hula Dream Girl,” “Along the Way to Waikiki,” and “Oh! How She Could Yacki Hacki Wiki Wacki Woo.”
One of the earliest studies that focused on functioning in the Caribbean people was recorded in Edith Clarke’s book first published in 1957. This study used direct and participant observations in multiple Jamaican communities. Although this and earlier studies did not use standard psychological testing, they were among some of the first efforts to use systematic methods to observe functioning in Caribbean people. Since the mid-twentieth century, multiple studies conducted in the region have used tests and measures designed by researchers of European heritage for people of similar backgrounds who reside primarily from North America and Europe. Equally important is that such assessment tools are used in clinical as well as industrial and organizational contexts. While these tools have provided important information on Caribbean people’s functioning, their lack of attention to reliability and validity concerns for the Caribbean populations have made their findings somewhat questionable. This chapter addresses the historical use of psychological assessment in practice and research throughout the Caribbean region. Although to a lesser extent, it also focuses on contemporary use of psychological assessment tools in the Caribbean context.
In a review of Graham’s Magazine published in the March 1, 1845 issue of The Broadway Journal, Edgar Allan Poe predicted of magazine literature, “[i]n a few years its importance will be found to have increased in geometrical ratio” because “[t]he whole tendency of the age is Magazine-ward.” Busy mid-century readers, speeding along in “the rush of the age,” required a medium that kept pace. “We now demand the light artillery of the intellect,” Poe insisted: “we need the curt, the condensed, the pointed, the readily diffused – in place of the verbose, the detailed, the voluminous, the inaccessible.”1 It can be difficult to pin down how seriously Poe took such declarations. Praise and ironic critique intertwine in his critical writings, as in subsequent paragraphs of this review, where he describes the engraving “Dacota Woman and the Assiniboin Girl” as “worthy of all commendation,” while another engraving in the same issue, “The Love Letter,” “has the air of having been carved by a very small child, with a dull knife, from a raw potato.”2 If Poe marks a genuine trend toward periodical forms of literature in the period, he also stages an ambiguous response to the trend, vacillating between praise and condemnation.
This chapter examines the New York Times’ representation of the Elián González custody case in 1999 within the broader context of the conflict between the United States and Cuba. The central question that frames this work is the extent to which the ideas that underpin the conflict can be shown to influence the Times’ coverage of this specific episode – i.e., the extent to which the coverage of an episode can be influential on the broader conflict. The results point to support for the hypotheses that the discourses represented by the New York Times in its coverage of the González case corresponded with the themes of the broader conflict between the United States and Cuba and that American sources represented in the coverage exemplified predictable attitudes about Cuba and Communism.
Chapter 7 widens the lens of analysis to consider anti-corruption efforts in a diverse set of authoritarian regimes: Cuba, Malaysia, Rwanda, Singapore, and Vietnam. These short case studies are analytically useful as “plausibility probes” to assess the applicability of my theory beyond just the main East Asian cases. They also serve as test cases for alternative explanations, such as that quasi-democratic institutions or collective leadership will help authoritarian regimes to curb corruption. Most, though not all, of the anti-corruption efforts in these authoritarian regimes match my theoretical expectations based on whether autocrats had motivation, discretionary power, and state capacity. I also find further evidence against alternative hypotheses. This chapter is primarily based on secondary-source research.
In the first half of the nineteenth century, New Orleans’ reputation at home and abroad was for French opera. Performances of opéra comique appeared on the city’s stages in the last decade of the eighteenth century; from the 1830s, grand opéra became a mainstay of the repertoire at the francophone Théâtre d’Orléans, whose resident company was recruited annually from Europe. ‘Rossini fever’ seems largely to have bypassed New Orleans, and the relatively few performances of Italian operas that the city did have in the first three decades of the century were always in French (or sometimes English) translation and often heavily adapted. Between 1837 and 1842, however, English-born impresario James Caldwell arranged several short seasons of Italian opera in an attempt to lure novelty-loving audiences to his St Charles Theatre. Although there were already numerous troupes performing opera in Italian further north in the United States, the troupes Caldwell engaged came to New Orleans from the south, from Cuba, where they were contracted to Havana’s theatres. This chapter focuses on the seasons given by these troupes, exploring the discussions that took place about the relative merits of French and Italian comedy, and the exchange of performers and materials between the permanent French troupe and the visiting Italians. When the Théâtre d’Orléans troupe was invited to visit Havana the press expressed concerns that Cuba was ‘uncivilised’ and unhygienic, and that news of a tour there would ultimately prevent New Orleans from recruiting high-quality performers for its own francophone troupe.
This article explores the impact of Afrocubanismo on the development of Cuba’s arts during the 1940s and 1950s. The article follows the discursive output of artists, intellectuals, and cultural policymakers of different racial backgrounds over the deployment of lo negro to construct cubanidad. It argues that, if the 1920s and 1930s experienced a movement towards the construction of a homogeneous mestizo Cuba, the following decades reveal an effort by some artists to desyncretize lo cubano. While some intellectuals constructed notions of authenticity that circumscribed black art to black artists, many white Cuban artists in turn embraced elite Hispanic heritage as their main creative language while valorizing some Afro-Cuban artists’ recreations of lo negro. The article also demonstrates that the scholarly debates about cultural appropriation in recent decades have a long history within the Afro-Cuban community. It shows how Afro-Cuban artists and intellectuals pioneered arguments about the exploitative use of lo negro to make national art and the central role of culture in shaping racial inequality.
By the turn of the nineteenth century, as Cuba was gearing up to become one of the world’s largest sugar producer for the world markets, planters and colonial officials in Havana were rolling back many historic protections for smallholders, enslaved people, and free people of African descent, prudential measures that the Crown had historically encouraged as a means of “keeping the peace.” Yet, in Santiago, in the island’s east, many such measures remained in place, and the new coercive policies received a locally specific interpretation inside first-instance district courts. The demographic weight of the free population of African descent and its importance to the economy meant that officials could not rely on coercion alone to control them. Historically, it had been through custom that Santiago’s Afro-descendants had managed their relations with state authorities and with local enslavers and landholders. In an Age of Revolutions, at a time of profound shifts across the Caribbean, they maintained their ground as well as access to custom-based legal protections, even while their Havana counterparts saw theirs besieged on an unprecedented scale.
In Santiago, in Cuba’s far east, a region known to be the cradle of radicalism on the island, peasant communities of African descent laid a distinctive path to emancipation during the nineteenth century. Afro-descendant peasantries did not rely on liberal-abolitionist ideologies of universal freedom as a primary reference point in their struggle for rights. Instead, as they occupied land and pulled themselves out of slavery through manumission, fugitiveness, and unrest, they negotiated their rights through a colonial legal framework that allowed room for local custom. As they chipped away at the institution of slavery gradually yet consistently, they also reimagined colonial racial systems before any of Cuba’s prominent nineteenth-century liberal intellectuals. This introduction provides an outline of the book's main argument and the six chapters that follow.
During the first half of the nineteenth century, no written law numerated the rights of conditionally and partially free individuals, the vast majority of those who would eventually obtain manumission. How much of their time could such individuals control? Could they be punished? Could they live independently? Were the children born of mothers who held this ambiguous status free or enslaved? In courts of first instance, in the absence of illuminating legislation, judges turned to witnesses for arbitration, as enslavers and enslaved vied over the terms of their oral contracts and public reputations. The freedom that emerged from such vernacular legalism was not liberal autonomy. Rather, it was situational dependence on others, usually free and enslaved Afro-descendants who had participated in the coartación in some capacity, and who arbitrated casuistically. Freedom’s legal meanings emerged through such negotiations that belonged to local custom. Historically, these negotiations went back to the cobreros’ customary access to land and coartación as subsistence-based rights. By the 1830s, some enslaved people had redefined such need-based rights as merit-based entitlements.
Between 1808 and 1830, as new coffee plantations developed in Santiago, private actors and local state authorities realized that they did not have the means to coercively control the unprecedented number of enslaved people working in the jurisdiction. Instead, they prudently turned to cooptation. They encouraged the formation of dense familial networks between enslaved people working on coffee estates and between enslaved and free people of color, as well as the distribution of local militia responsibilities to the free Afro-descendant peasant class, who in El Cobre were even given government roles. Although Santiago’s enslaved and free people of African descent would draw inspiration from liberalism and seek to exploit the local elites’ fears of it, they were far more successful at eliciting prerogatives through long-established colonial frameworks: prudential policies that allowed for some redistribution of rights and resources against birth status hierarchies.
By the middle of the nineteenth century, as the state turned more and more custom into positive law, perhaps with the understanding that such measures were a controlled transition to a post-emancipation society, enslaved people in Santiago, as elsewhere, appealed to the state more frequently too. The move away from custom and toward positive law was not always beneficial to the enslaved. The state was now moving to freeze custom’s plasticity, to reduce local autonomy, and to support new commercial endeavors that in certain areas could slow down the pace of emancipation from below. But the people of African descent in Santiago did not remain passive: they rose up in arms, joining anticolonial and antislavery insurgencies, the three wars of independence against Spain (1868–1878, 1879–1880, 1895–1898) – a pivotal moment in the annals of Black liberation in the Western Hemisphere. The traditional familial networks that had formed the foundation of colonial custom were now mobilized on the battlefield in a movement for a liberal republic free of slavery, likely conceived in the popular imagination through the lens of regional autonomy. So were local vernacular understandings of color status, which had reflected some social mobility and had been structured around notions of merit.
The local courts in Santiago also turned to custom to establish the rights and obligations of freed individuals even after letters of manumission had been issued. Even after becoming formally free, manumitted individuals could still be indebted to others. A vast historiography has explored manumission networks primarily from a social perspective, as avenues into freedom. But these networks also had legal effects. Inside the courts, it was members of those very same networks who helped judges clarify how much work debtors should do and what kinds of rights they enjoyed. While constraining, such networks also constituted the foundations of an emerging system of emancipation from below with free people of African descent as its main nodes. As enslaved people became free, they enslaved others whom they freed conditionally on their death. The effect of this pattern was an accelerating manumission rate and, with it, growing expectation among enslaved people to attain freedom. Frequent manumission also helped unfix color statuses within Santiago. Some santiagueros of African descent used color taxonomies to conceive of positions within local hierarchies originating in manumission.
Between 1791 and 1803, Santiago witnessed the arrival of more than 18,000 refugees who left neighboring Saint-Domingue in the midst of an antislavery revolution. Some among them were planter elites who wanted to recreate the plantation society that they had left. But they reached Santiago at a time when the free population of African descent had created a social and political space for themselves through alliances with a small group of political elites in Santiago. It was the combination of such alliances, marronage, and the Iberian sovereignty crisis that helped them contain the Saint-Domingue refugees’ plantation dreams. Already in the 1790s, prominent figures, such as the local bishop, complained that a plantation-based economy had a distinctly foreign quality within Santiago and that it was likely to cause social conflict. That sense was only amplified by actions undertaken by the popular sectors around 1808. Trailing in the Saint-Domingue refugees’ wake was also a new kind of rights talk to which enslaved and free people of color in Santiago were very attentive. In eastern Cuba, free people of color grafted this new talk onto Spanish legal traditions.
In nineteenth-century Santiago de Cuba, the island of Cuba's radical cradle, Afro-descendant peasants forged freedom and devised their own formative path to emancipation. Drawing on understudied archives, this pathbreaking work unearths a new history of Black rural geography and popular legalism, and offers a new framework for thinking about nineteenth-century Black freedom. Santiago de Cuba's Afro-descendant peasantries did not rely on liberal-abolitionist ideologies as a primary reference point in their struggle for rights. Instead, they negotiated their freedom and land piecemeal, through colonial legal frameworks that allowed for local custom and manumission. While gradually wearing down the institution of slavery through litigation and self-purchase, they reimagined colonial racial systems before Cuba's intellectuals had their say. Long before residents of Cuba protested for national independence and island-wide emancipation in 1868, it was Santiago's Afro-descendant peasants who, gradually and invisibly, laid the groundwork for emancipation.
The United States occupations of Cuba and Puerto Rico following the War of 1898 instituted immediate reforms to the educational systems of the islands. The imposition of public school systems modeled on those of the United States and a concurrent wave of Protestant schools established by American missionaries are well-known features of the imperialist project. Yet American reforms were shaped by what was known in the nineteenth century as “the school question,” or the controversy over the appropriate relationship between schooling, religion, and the government that had pitted the Protestant majority against Catholics and resulted in a consensus that religious-affiliated education should be permitted but relegated to the private sphere. The implementation of this consensus as the basis of occupation policy in Cuba and Puerto Rico, majority Catholic societies, contributed to the significant growth of a system of private Catholic schools and sparked debate about the relationship between religion, education, and nationalism. In an imperial context, “the school question” led to political polarization in the face of persistent US hegemony.
This chapter considers the relationship between solidarity and revolution by exploring the internal and international politics of the African National Congress (ANC). In the 1960s, the ANC operated internationally but there was little consensus on how the party should wage its struggle against apartheid South Africa. Taking inspiration from Cuba, young Tricontinental radicals challenged the diplomatic strategy of ANC elders like Oliver Tambo and launched an unsuccessful invasion of nearby Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). Tambo responded by appropriating parts of this message and situating the ANC as part of an anti-capitalist revolt aimed at the United States. Tambo also opened the ANC to non-Africans who supported his leadership, which increased the influence of the South African Communist Party and fought off Cuban-inspired militancy by collapsing the distinctions between revolutionary action and international solidarity. Because the Vietnamese and Portuguese revolutions confirmed the inevitability of apartheid’s demise, the ANC prioritized international collaboration over guerrilla warfare as part of a strategy that positioned the party as the legitimate alternative to the apartheid state.
The Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China saw decolonization as a long-awaited opportunity to overturn the imperialist-dominated world order. Both countries saw themselves as bearing no guilt for the crimes of imperialism and the underdeveloped state of newly independent countries. Rather, they saw themselves to varying degrees as victims of imperialism and natural allies for Asia, Africa, and Latin America. However, the advent of attempts to give political structure to the developing world raised the specter of a “Third World” not necessarily aligned with Moscow or Beijing. For the Soviets, the very notion of a “Third World” was a non-starter, a political and ideological dead-end that would deflect the revolutionary energies of the people. For the Chinese, the unwillingness of many in the developing countries to accept Chinese leadership kept this constituency beyond China’s reach. Consequently, the rhetoric of support for anti-imperialism and alliance between the “international communist movement” and the “national liberation movement” masked a much more complex, manipulative, and often antagonistic relationship between the “Second World” and the “Third.”
In the 1960s, Algeria and Cuba became global archetypes of revolution. Opposed to the international system, militant, and loosely allied with the Soviet Union, the two countries challenged Western security in both the Caribbean and North Africa. This similarity created an important if superficial solidarity that emphasized regional support for armed revolutionary movements as a way of safeguarding their states from US intervention. Nevertheless, the Cuban and Algerian positions in Third World affairs started to diverge in the late-1960s as the two countries politico-economic positions changed and they adopted distinct strategies for advancing a radical Third World agenda. Algeria became increasingly invested in using established structures and norms to adjust the international order. In contrast, Cuba championed a global armed militancy, sometimes targeting Third World governments associated with such groups as the G-77 but viewed as insufficiently dedicated to Tricontinental goals. This divergence in international perspectives and tactics reveals the complexity of the Tricontinental ideology, as well as the evolution of radical diplomacy as revolutionary states matured.
Cuba is well-known for its mix of radical positions and skills at brokering agreements. Cuban internationalism began as a way to build alliances to counterbalance its geopolitical asymmetry with the United States and gain allies to ensure its survival. These skills are exemplified in the Tricontinental Conference. This investigation sketches the central role that Havana played in the development and hosting of the conference, then focuses on the negotiations undertaken by Cubans to keep the talks going in a thorny political climate in which many political positions were represented. More specifically, we focus on the role of Cuba before and after the Tricontinental in negotiating the tensions and infighting between stakeholders from anti-colonial and socialist liberation movements and parties in the Third World, as well as the emerging rift between the Soviets and Chinese. Finally, honing in on the example of West Germany, we consider how Western leftist participants at the conference saw Cuba’s role in this multidimensional, avant-garde camp that included not only guerrilla movements, communist parties, and other radical organizations, but social democrats as well.