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Ajiaco is a renewable Cuban stew consisting of different indigenous roots.

A native dish, it symbolizes who we are as a people, and how our diverse ethnic

 backgrounds came to be formed. Ajiaco Christianity explores avenues

that might lead to peace and solidarity among Cubans

 

 

  Books on Cuba

 

The Autobiography of a Slave  /  Bridges to Cuba/Puentes a CubaSanteria from Africa to the New World: The Dead Sell Memories

Fidel Castro and the Quest for a Revolutionary Culture in Cuba  /   Reyita: The Life of a Black Cuban Woman in the Twentieth Century  

 

Singular Like a Bird: The Art of Nancy Morejon   / Caliban and Other Essays   /   The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball

 

 Santeria Aesthetics in Contemporary Latin America Art   / Culture and Customs of Cuba  /  Man-making Words; Selected Poems of Nicholas Guillen

 

 Afro-Cuban Voices: On Race and Identity on Contemporary Cuba   / Afro-Cuba: An Anthology of Cuban Writing on Race, Politics, and Culture 

 

 Nicolas Guillen: Popular Poet of the Caribbean   /    Selected Poetry by Nancy Morejon  /  Cuba: After the Revolution 

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Excerpts from Chapter 1 of

 

Ajiaco Christianity: 

Toward an Exilic Cuban Ethic of Reconciliation

Dissertation Written at Temple U. ( May 1999)

By Miguel De La Torre

 

The Quest for the Cuban Christ  /  Santeria: The Beliefs and Rituals / Ajiaco Christianity

 

*   *   *  *   *

 

Banana wine, even if it turns out bitter, is still our wine.José Martí

 

Two Cubas  

There are two Cubas, those allá (there) and those aquí (here). On the Island are revolutionaries, crusading to construct a Cuba that combats any attempt to subjugate her spirit to the United States hegemony.1

[1The term Cuban-American, which refers to Cubans residing in the United States, is an artificial designation amalgamating "who we are" with "where we live." This is the name given to us by the dominant culture, not a name we chose. When we talk among ourselves, we seldom use the word "Cuban-American" to refer to our being. The act of uttering a word that names us simultaneously subordinates us to the power of the one doing the naming. The word "Cuban-American" constructs us as an object for the dominant culture to possess, and shrouds us in the very act of appropriation. This phenomenon is described by what Pierre Bourdieu calls objectivism in Outline of a Theory of Practice trans. by Richard Nice (London: Cambridge University Press, 1977):]

On the (main)land are modernists who look to the United States as guide and hope for revitalizing a post-Castro Cuba. Due to these fundamental political, economic and ideological differences, the Cuban community is a people divided against itself. We look beyond each other for our mentors because we do not know how to look at ourselves. The individual who chooses to address our two groups from any perspective other than the official one would be suspect of secretly abetting the opposing camp, and might succeed only in uniting both groups to condemn her or his initiative.2

[2 The Resident Cuban calls you a traitor, a gusano (worm), for leaving. The Exilic Cuban calls you a traitor, a communist, for attempting to reconcile. To mention the name of Castro, void of curses, is considered dangerous in Miami. For an Exilic Cuban even to suggest the option of a dialogue with Resident Cubans invites violence. 

Carlos Muñíz was assassinated in Puerto Rico for his leadership role with the Antonio Maceo Brigade, an organization helping to build the revolution, composed mainly by Exilic Cuban college students who supported the social justice goals of the Revolution, the end of the United States blockade, the normalization of relationships, the independence of Puerto Rico, and the United States civil rights movement. Luciano Negrín, also a member of the Antonio Maceo Brigade and prominent dialogue supporter, was killed in Union City, New Jersey in 1979. Ramón Donestevez, a Hialeah boatbuilder was assassinated because of his suspected ties to the Castro government. Exilic leader José de la Torriente was murdered in 1973 on suspicions of embezzling funds from his Cuban liberation organization. José Peruyero, Exilic war hero and president of the Brigade 2506 Veteran Association was killed in 1976 for condemning Brigade veterans who participated in terrorist activities. Three months later, Emilio Milián, a radio commentator, had his legs blown off in a car bombing for criticizing Exilic paramilitary politics. From 1973 to 1976, over one hundred bombs went off in Miami. The tendency in recounting Exilic Cuban history is to insist that terrorist actions were limited to the 1970's. Yet, in 1989 alone, eighteen bombs exploded in the homes and businesses of Exilic Cubans who called for an approach to Cuba contrary to the official line. 

For a six-months period, from May to October 1996, twelve bombs exploded in Miami for the same reasons. These actions led the FBI to name Miami the capital of United States terrorism. Recently, the Archdiocese of Miami received numerous bomb threats for collecting and sending emergency relief to Resident Cubans suffering catastrophic damage when hurricane Lili directly hit the Island on October 1996.

The aid was returned by the Castro administration because the word "exilic" or the phrase "love conquers all" were written on the cans and boxes. Bomb threats to the Cuban Museum for exhibiting the works of Tomas Sanchez, a Resident Cuban, lead America's Watch, a human rights organization investigating Salvadoran death squads and Castro political prisoners, to title their report on Miami's lack of freedom of expression: "Dangerous Dialogue." 

Likewise, Resident Cubans who critique the present regime from within or become active in human rights movements are accused of being agents of the United States, and are subsequently jailed for violating laws that prohibit the right to assemble. Four such dissidents, Martha Beatriz Roque, Vladimiro Roca, Felix Bonne and Rene Gomez Manzano, are detained for criticizing Cuba's one-party system. On March 15, 1999, Vladimiro Roca, son of the late Cuban Communist Party Leader Blas Roca, was condemned to five years in prison. Both lawyer Rene Gomez Manzano, and engineer Felix Bonne were sentenced to four years each, and economist Marta Beatriz Roque received three and a half years. All defendants had an opportunity to avoid prison terms if they voluntarily left the country. They chose to stay. Elizardo Sanchez, head of the Cuban Commission on Human Rights, estimates 381 political prisoners are in Cuban jails. According to Amnesty International, Cuba has the longest term political prisoners in the world. See Amnesty International, Cuba: Silencing the Voices of Dissent (New York: Amnesty International, 1992). Obviously, freedom of speech is an unrealized ideal for both the Exilic and Resident Cuban.]

Defining Ajiaco

Ajiaco is a renewable Cuban stew consisting of different indigenous roots. A native dish, it symbolizes who we are as a people, and how our diverse ethnic backgrounds came to be formed. Ajiaco Christianity explores avenues that might lead to peace and solidarity among Cubans by debunking the Exilic Cuban ethnic identity constructed to mask and normalize the position of power occupied by the Exilic Cuban elite. . .

Founded on the socio-historical reality of Exilic Cubans, ajiaco Christianity equates salvation with reconciliation (both with the Deity and each other). Hence, the post-Castro libertarian society created in Miami by the Exilic Cuban elite is immoral, especially when it plans to extend the social structures of gender, race and class oppression existing in Miami to the Cuban Island.

A Christianity Culturally Based

As previously mentioned, ajiaco is a native dish, a renewable Cuban stew consisting of different indigenous roots which symbolizes who we are as a people. According to Cuban sociologist Fernando Ortiz, the Amerindians gave us the maíz, papa, malanga, boniato, yuca, and ají. The Spaniards added calabaza and nabo, while the Chinese added Oriental spices. Africans, contributing ñame and with their culinary foretaste, urged a meaning from this froth beyond mere clever cooking. We are "a mestizaje of kitchens, a mestizaje of races, a mestizaje of cultures, a dense broth of civilization that bubbles on the stove of the Caribbean."

[Fernando Ortiz was the first to use ajiaco as a metaphor for the Cuban experience. He used this term within the context of a Cuba composed of immigrants who, unlike the United States, reached the Island on the way to someplace else. His usage of ajiaco did not indicate his belief that Cuban culture achieved complete integration, rather, the ajiaco is still simmering on the Caribbean stove without reaching a full synthesis. See Fernando Ortiz, Los factores humanos de la cubanidad (La Habana: Revista Bimestre Cubana, XLV, 1940) 165-69. Rather than accenting the immigrants, I used this term to refer to the distinctive nexus of our people's roots, specifically our Amerindian, African, Spaniard, Asian and Anglo roots. While I portray the ajiaco metaphor as positive, Ortiz includes a racist element in his ethnology. This is evident when he describes the negative aspects of the ajiaco. He wrote in Los negros brujos: Apuntes para un estudio de Etnología Criminal (Miami: New House Publishers, 1973):

The white race influenced the Cuban underworld through European vices, modified and aggravated under certain aspects by the social factor of the children of the ambient. The black race provided its superstitions, its sensualism, its impulsiveness, in short, its African psyche. The yellow race brought the addiction of opium, its homosexual vices and other refined corruptions of its secular civilization. (19)

Furthermore, Ortiz advocates immigration to solely occur from Northern Europe in order to "sow among us the germs of energy, progress, life." To continue accepting other races only increased criminality on the Island. See Idem, "La inmigración desde el punto de vista criminológico," Derecho Sociogía 1 (May 1906): 55-57.] 

In effect, we eat and are nourished by the combination of all of our diverse roots.

The Cultural Rationale of Ajiaco Christianity

Ajiaco symbolizes our cubanidad's (Cuban community's) attempt to find harmony within our diverse roots aspiring to create Martí's idealized state of a secularized vision of Christian love which is anti-imperialistic, anti-militant, anti-racist, moral and radical.

[7 José Martí (1853-95), Cuban journalist, revolutionary philosopher and patriot, is credited with organizing the physical invasion of Cuba to bring about her independence from Spain. A prolific writer (whose Obras Completa consist of 73 volumes) and precursor of modernismo, Martí is regarded as the father of Cuba by both Resident and Exilic Cubans. He was killed a month (May 19, 1895) after landing in Cuba during a skirmish with Spaniard troops at Dos Ríos. His death made him a martyred symbol of Cuban liberation.]

Unlike the North American melting pot paradigm maintaining that all immigrants who arrive on these shores are somehow placed into a pot where they "melt down" into a new culture that nevertheless remains Eurocentric in nature, an ajiaco retains the unique flavors of its diverse roots while enriching the other elements. Some "ingredients" may dissolve completely while other "ingredients" remain more distinct, yet all provide flavor to the simmering stew, a stew which by its very nature, is always in a state of flux.

[8 For example, although the Taíno left few visible traces of their existence, they continue to influence Cuban culture, popular memory and imagination. Runaway slave communities incorporated the cultural influences of the Amerindian's dwindling population, reintroducing them to the overall Cuban culture.]

While none of the inhabitants representing the "ingredients" originated from the Island, all repopulated the space called Cuba as displaced people. While not belonging, they made a conscious decision to be rooted to this particular land. For this reason, our ajiaco is and should be unapologetically our own authentic reality, our locus theologicus (theological milieu), from where we Cubans approach the wider world.9

[9 The ajiaco metaphor is not intended to exclusively represent Cubans. Obviously, cultural mixtures also occurred within other Latin American countries. Cubans are no more or no less a product of cultural blends. Yet, the term ajiaco may not best represent other Hispanic groups. For example, Central Americans might use the term sancocho Christianity to refer to their own perspective, being that sancocho is their term for their indigenous stew.]

The Rejection of Cultural Alternatives

Most Latina/o theologians use the term "Mulato" and/or "Mestizo Christianity" to describe the Hispanic Christian perspective.10 

[10 Considerable debate has taken place over ethnic self-identification. The term "Hispanic" has been accused of overemphasizes the Euro-Spanish element of our heritage, ignoring the contributions made by Africans, Asians and Native Americans. Additionally, "Hispanic" is the official term imposed by United States governmental agencies in the 1970's, specifically the Census Bureau, to officially identify people of Latin America and Spanish descent living in the United States. The label Latino/a is also a neologism emphasizing a Latin (European) culture while overlooking other groups. Both of these nebulous terms act as a stigmatizing label which homogenizes the group. Murguia states "the term Hispanic fundamentally is integrationist with some amount of pluralism within it, while Latino is fundamentally pluralist with some amount of integration within it." Although an ethnic label is an abstraction from reality, the necessity of using a term for Hispanics or Latino/as has lead me to use both terms interchangeably throughout this dissertation. The debate as to which term to use is a false debate for it fails to deal with the complexity of our existence, including intra-oppressive realities along national, class, and race categories. See Suzanne Oboler, Ethnic Labels, Latino Lives: Identity and the Politics of (Re)Presention in the United States (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995) 164-67; and Edward Murguia, "On Latino/Hispanic Ethic Identity," Latino Studies Journal 2, no 3 (September 1991): 11.]

Mulato connotes a mixture of Spaniard and African stock and refers to a racial blend common in the Caribbean. But, mulato is also a racist term due to its association with the word "mule."11

[11  Etymologically, mulato is believed to be a derivative from the Arabic mulwállad (pronounced muélled). Muwállad is defined as "one born of an Arab father and a foreign mother;" a possible passive participle of the second conjugation of wálada, "he begot." However, mulato literally "mule, young or without domesticity," was influenced in form by a folk-etymological association with the Spanish word mulo, "mule" from the Latin mulus. Adding the diminutive suffix "-at" to the word mulo creates a general hybrid comparison. Dozy's monumental work on the Arabic language insists the word mulato is actually a Portuguese word of contempt signifying mule. See The Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology , s.v. "Mulatto;" Diccionario Crítico Etimológico de la Lengua Castellana, s.v. "Mulo," by J. Corominas; Supplément aux Dictionnaires Arabes, 3d ed., s.v. "Begot" by Reinhart Dozy; A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, s.v. "Mulatto," by Ernest Klein; (Amsterdam: Elsevier Publishing Company, 1967) 1012; Diccionario de uso del Español, s.v. "Mulato," by María Moliner; and An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, s.v. "Mulatto," by Walter W. Skeat. Fernando Ortiz, the famed Cuban anthropologist, concurs with Covarrubias the etymologist who clearly states mulato is a comparison to the nature of a mule. See Fernando Ortiz, El engaño de las razas (La Habana: Editorial De Ciencias Sociales, 1975) 40. Even if Cubans fail to make a connection between the word mule and mulatto, African Americans make such a connection and find the association offensive. We construct our ethical perspective within the United States location, therefore, sensitivity toward the United States element of our ajiaco should also be observed. For a detail discussion on the usage of the term "mulatto" within a North American culture, see Winthrop D. Jordan, "American Chiaroscuro: The Status and Definition of Mulattoes in the British Colonies," The William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser., (April 1962): 183-200; John G. Mencke, Mulattoes and Race Mixture, American Attitudes and Images: 1865-1918 (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Papers, 1979); Edward Byron Rueter, Race Mixture: Studies in Intermarriage and Miscegenation (New York: Johnson Reprint Corporation, 1970); and Joel Williamson, New People: Miscegenation and Mulattoes in the United States (New York: The Free Press, 1980).]

A mule is the product of a horse and donkey and is unable to reproduce itself. This negative connotation in the word mule carries over to the word "mulatto," regardless of the efforts made to construct a positive definition.12

[12 Additionally, the word mula (f) is defined as junk or trash. Among Argentines, the word is used to refer to an ingrate or traitor. Costa Ricans use the word to refer to a drunk. Hondurans use the word to refer to anger or rage, while in Mexico it is an idiom for a drug. Simply stated, the word mulatto contains so many negative suggestions that it would be counter-productive to employ it. See Diccionario de americanismos, s.v. "Mula," by Alfredo N. Neves.]

Contrary to the mule's sterility, any theology constructed from the Cuban perspective requires fecundity. As a child, I still recall that whenever my mother made an ajiaco, she would comment on its hearty qualities by stating, "Hice un ajiaco que levanta los muertos," (I made an ajiaco that can raise the dead). Ajiaco, the collection of our diverse roots, becomes a life-giving substance, something that can raise the dead (in life).

True, it is the intention of Latino/a theologians to use the word "mulatto" to indicate the positive mixture of races and cultures creating what Vasconcelos termed, la nueva raza cósmica.13 But "mulatto" contains so many negative connotations that it detracts from properly defining our work. Furthermore, it fails to adequately encompass Cubans. Our roots contain more elements than just Mulatto (black and white) or Mestizo (Amerindian and Spaniard). We are also Asian,14 

[14 Just as a middle passage exists in the Atlantic, so does one exists in the Pacific for Cubans. With the abolition of slavery and the sugar industry's need for laborers, Cubans imported Chinese to replace the emancipated blacks. Although these Chinese were not official slaves, their journey to our Island and their existence on Cuban soil were similar. See Ch'ên Lanpin, Chinese Emigration: The Cuba Commission Report of the Commission sent by China to Ascertain the Condition of Chinese Coolies in Cuba, trans. by A. MacPherson and A. Huber (Shanghai: The Imperial Maritime Customs Press, 1876); Duvon Clough Corbitt, A Study of the Chinese in Cuba, 1847-1947 (Wilmore, KY: Asbury College, 1971); and Juan Pérez de la Riva, El Barracón: Esclavitud y capitalismo en Cuba (Barcelona: Editorial Crítica, 1978) 55-140.]  

and due to our Exile, also European. We Cubans are heirs of a Taíno indigenous culture,15 

[15 To reduce our Amerindian ingredient to just Taínos is problematic. As more laborers were needed on the Island, they were imported (kidnaped or bought as prisoners of war) from surrounding territories, including but not limited to the Yucatan Peninsula.]

of a Medieval Catholic Spain;16 

[16 Andalusians, Basques, Castilians, Catalonians, Galicians, isleños (Canary Islanders) and Portuguese are some of the diverse cultures of the Iberian peninsular who came to Cuba. Hence, the term Spaniard cannot be limited to one ethnically homogeneous Iberian population. Also the Iberian Peninsula witnessed a series of peoples culturally and genetically merging with each other. They include, but are not limited to Arabs, Berbers, Carthaginians, Celts, Greeks, Gypsies, Jews, Romans, Phoenicians and Visigoths. Additionally, after Latin American wars for independence, royalists throughout the hemisphere found a haven in Cuba, as did the French before them, who fled the Haitian Revolution. Hence, "Spaniard" reflects an ajiaco within itself.]

of Africa (primarily Yoruba land),17

[17 Under the label "African" exists an ajiaco. Ortiz provides a brief ethnological sketch of ninety-nine different African nations represented in Cuba. "African" has become a homogeneous term signifying the mixture of different peoples, traditions and cultures. See Fernando Ortiz, Los negros esclavos (La Habana: Editorial de ciencias sociales, 1975) 40-56. Further complications occurred over the definition of African as black Haitians, Bahamians, Jamaicans and other Islanders traveled to Cuba during the past two centuries. Having found employment harvesting sugar, they eventually stayed.]

of Asia (specifically Cantonese),18

[18 Like the other elements of our ajiaco, it would be misleading to simply catagorize all under the rubrics of Asian. They came from Swatow, Amoy, Canton, Hong Kong, Saigon and Manila. They came from different districts of China and countries with different customs, traditions, languages and dialects.]

and due to our continuing presence in the United States, of a Eurocentric Protestant tradition19

[19  Our European root is not derived from Spain, rather, it is added to our ajiaco through our interaction with the United States. Spain is spiritually and ethnically more aligned with Africa than with Europe. Even though the Crescent was vanquished from Spain by the Cross, eight hundred years of Islamic rule has imprinted a Moorish soul upon the Spaniards. It should not be surprising that Hegel, as we shall see in chapter five, surgically removes Spain from the European continent.]

We are most truly a multi-cultural people, belonging to five cultural inheritances, yet fully accepted by none of them, making us simultaneously "outsiders" and "insiders" on all sides. We find the blood of conquerors and conquered converging in our veins. It is from this existential space that we must construct the theological bases upon which we Cubans can reconcile our several selves to our "self."

Economic Uniqueness of Exilic Cubans

Exilic Cubans' mean family income of $39,600 is closer to the United States population's mean of $44,500 than any other Hispanic group. Contrast this with Mexicans at $29,300 or Puerto Ricans at $26,600. 63 percent of Exilic Cubans own businesses (the highest rate among Latin Americans) contrasted with 19 percent of Mexicans, or 11 percent of Puerto Ricans. Unemployment rates of 4 percent for Cubans are lower then the national average, while Mexicans are at 11 percent and Puerto Ricans are at 8 percent [Table 1]. Only 14 percent of Exilic Cubans find themselves below the poverty line as opposed to 25 percent of Mexicans and 37 percent of Puerto Ricans. Finally, 22 percent of Exilic Cubans hold managerial or professional employment, much higher than the 9 percent of Mexicans or 12 percent of Puerto Ricans.

Table 2. Earnings by Gender and Ethnicity

CHARACTERISTIC

TOTAL

POPULATION

NON-HISPANIC

CUBAN

HISPANIC

ORIGIN

1) Male Earnings





$0 - $9,999

25.9%

25%

27.4%

35.3%

$10,000 - $24,999

33.2%

32.3%

36.6%

43.3%

$25,000 - $49,999

31.4%

32.5%

26.9%

18.7%

$50,000 +

9.6%

10.2%

9.2%

2.8%

Median earnings

$20,612

$21,267

$17,572

$13,599

2) Female Earnings





$0 - $9,999

45.5%

45%

38.8%

53.7%

$10,000 - $24,999

39.5%

39.7%

46.7%

36.7%

$25,000 - $49,999

13.6%

13.9%

13%

9%

Source: http://www.hope.edu/delatorre/diss/

Dr. De la Torre is a Cuban, a professor of religion at Hope college, with specialization in Christian Social Ethics, Theologies of Liberation and Postmodern/Postcolonial Studies. He is the author of a seminal article on the denial of racism in Cuba entitled, "Masking Hispanic Racism: A Cuban Case Study": "I am a recovering racist, a product of two race-constructed societies. Exilic Cubans see themselves as white and the Island's inhabitants as mostly black." "A major issue which will arise in a post-Castro Cuba is intra-Cuban race relations, an issue mostly ignored because of the myth proclaiming Cubans as non-racists. I propose to debunk this myth. Any serious discourse on intra-Cuban reconciliation must unmask the hidden tension existing between seemingly white Exilic Cuba and black Resident Cuba."  Holland, MI 49422 / 616-395-7756  www.hope.edu/delatorre/  For the rest of this fascinating article, see http://www.hope.edu/delatorre/articles/jhlt.html

 

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books

For July 1st through August 31st 2011
 

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#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
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#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

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#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

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#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
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#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Santeria: The Beliefs and Rituals 

of a Growing Religion in America

By Miguel A. De La Torre

This book by Miguel De la Torre offers a fascinating guide to the history, beliefs, rituals, and culture of Santeria -- a religious tradition that, despite persecution, suppression, and its own secretive nature, has close to a million adherents in the United States alone. Santeria is a religion with Afro-Cuban roots, rising out of the cultural clash between the Yoruba people of West Africa and the Spanish Catholics who brought them to the Americas as slaves. As a faith of the marginalized and persecuted, it gave oppressed men and women strength and the will to survive. With the exile of thousands of Cubans in the wake of Castro's revolution in 1959, Santeria came to the United States, where it is gradually coming to be recognized as a legitimate faith tradition.

*   *   *   *   *

The Brilliant Disaster

JFK, Castro, and America's Doomed Invasion of Cuba's Bay of Pigs

By Jim Rasenberger

My telling of the Bay of Pigs thing will certainly not be the first. On the contrary, thousands of pages of official reports, journalism, memoir, and scholarship have been devoted to the invasion, including at least two exceptional books: Haynes Johnson’s emotionally charged account published in 1964 and Peter Wyden’s deeply reported account from 1979. This book owes a debt to both of those, and to many others, as well as to thousands of pages of once-classified documents that have become available over the past fifteen years, thanks in part to the efforts of the National Security Archives, an organization affiliated with George Washington University that seeks to declassify and publish government files. These newer sources, including a CIA inspector general’s report, written shortly after the invasion and hidden away in a vault for decades, and a once-secret CIA history compiled in the 1970s, add depth and clarity to our understanding of the event and of the men who planned it and took part in it. . . .

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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 8 November 2008

 

 

 

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