We are ending the Black History Month Takeover series with Cuba! With updated guidelines by the Obama administration, Americans traveling to Cuba has been on the rise. If you are interested in visiting this interesting country, be sure to read the two part series “An American’s Travel Guide to Cuba.” I look forward to visiting next month and will share all the details of my trip with you. In terms of the Afro-Latino history in Cuba, blacks of West African descent are called Afro-Cubans. Afro-Cubans make up about 1 million of 11 million Cubans. However, about 3 million are considered “mulatto” or “mestizo”. Mestizo is someone of European and Amerindian descent. Havana has the largest number of Afro-Cubans as well as blacks from neighboring Caribbean countries.
In the 1920s and 1930s “Afrocubanismo” was born. It was a movement that focused on black culture. The mission was to highlight and incorporate influences of Afro-Cubans in Cuban culture. Look for these influences in music-drums, dance-the rumba, food and jazz!
During the mass migration of Cubans to the US, starting in 1959, mostly white professionals left the island. This left an increase in the black population on the island. Racism and discrimination against blacks in Cuba is an ongoing issue. Most black Cubans live in poor housing conditions and are not given profitable jobs. Henry Louis Gates Jr. wrote an interesting article for The Root entitled “One-on-One with Afro-Cubans: What It Means to Be Black in Cuba.”
Have you been to Cuba? If so, share your thoughts with us below. Enjoy the slideshow below of black travelers in Cuba! Our cover girl Roni is The Travel Guru and has written about her trip to Cuba on her blog.