Part I: Summary Reyita tells the story of Maria de los Reyes Castillo Bueno, a black Cuban woman living through several pivotal moments in Cuban history as a member of perhaps the most disenfranchised group of people in Cuban society; Reyita was poor, she was black, and she was a woman. The story begins with a recounting of the story of Tatica, Reyita’s grandmother, and her trial of being abducted from her native Africa and brought to Cuba to be sold into slavery. Tatica’s story sets a precedent that is upheld by the next generations of her family of racial discrimination, struggle for survival and equality, and political activism. Reyita explains that her grandmother’s love of Africa instilled in Reyita a …show more content…
Ultimately, Reyita learns that Rubiera is not in actuality her husband, because he never got their marriage formalized. Eventually, despite Rubiera’s betrayal, Reyita is able to find bits of happiness in her 118-person family and her material goods that she purchases herself, as well as her “spiritual riches”. In the beginning of the book Reyita says that now she is happy enough and surrounded by so much love that she wants to live to be 100, a statement that she reinforces at the story’s close.
Part II: Thematic Analysis
Race and Gender interacted in interesting ways throughout Reyita’s story and in Cuban Society at the time. To me, it seemed that there were times that it was unclear whether Reyita was being discriminated against because she was black or because she was a woman, or whether it was a mixture of the two. Reyita herself does not think less of herself for being a woman or for being black, although she lives in a society that does think less of her, and that stigmatizes and disenfranchises her for both of those qualities. Reyita is very unique in that she undergoes a transformation during her marriage, which changes her views about herself and her place in her household. In the beginning of her marriage, Reyita accepts Rubiera’s harsh restrictions on her social life and her independence, and