Race in Cuba: Essays on the Revolution and Racial Inequality (Dominguez)

Dominguez, refreshingly pro-Revolution, makes many good points, both in his essays and his interviews, about the challenges of race in Cuba. The problem – likely more the fault of his editor – is that he makes them over and over again. He recognizes that despite Castro’s claim to the contrary, racism was not eliminated in 1962. And he is probably right to say that ignoring the issue for a long time not only did not help the situation but almost certainly made it worse. And he has recommendations, both for Cuba and for those who would seek to have input there (i.e., the United States).

The problem is his goal. He wants racism eliminated. Is that possible? His methods are legislation, social programs, and education. But I’m not sure even those three can eradicate it. He says the racism is not institutional, but holds the government responsible for not acknowledging the histories of the various groups when they leveled the playing field. And he never adequately explain how the government is supposed to both acknowledge the history of a group and maintain socialism.

So, read 1-2 or two of these essays. Or hear him talk or be interviewed. But this whole collection? Not necessary.



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