Aging Diaspora Summary

Words: 547
Pages: 3

In examining United States and Cuban relations, an undeniable solidarity between Afro-Cubans and African Americans is forged. Historian Frank Andre Guridy examines this relationship and its interplay in his book Forging Diaspora: Afro Cubans and African Americans in a World of Empire and Jim Crow. Guridy argues Cuba’s proximity and integration into the U.S. political economy created a unique African-diasporic relationship built off cultural exchanges, economic relationships, and political solidarities by developing a cross-national relationship as a means of negotiating the intertwined process of U.S. imperialism and racism. It is important to understand why African Americans and Afro-Cubans sought each other’s association, and most importantly, …show more content…
Relying heavily on archival material from both countries, the author attempts to understand Booker T. Washington’s motive for recruiting afro-Cuban students to his Tuskegee Institute, and why many Cubans are interested in moving down to southern United States to receive an education. Through the Booker T. Washington papers at the Library of Congress, Guridy discovers Washington’s motive to legitimize his institute and promote racial uplift, while elite Cubans are interested in an American education due to the lack of educational opportunity at home. In looking toward another forged event, the Harlem renaissance and the black cultural movement in Cuba known as afrocubanismo retain a cross-national relationship. This relationship was forged by what Guridy labels promoters and audience of the two movements. Two of the four promoters Guridy names include Jose Antonio Fernandez de Castro, a white Cuban, and Langston Hughes, an elite black American. Guridy continues primary research through Fernandez de Castro’s personal memoir and journalistic work which leads to the conclusion that, like many other elite Cubans, Fernandez de Castro attended school in the United States, learned English, and became a journalist which allowed him to identify artistic work in the United States and introduce it to Cubans. On the