Our Rightful Share: The Afro-Cuban Struggle for Equality, 1886-1912 / Edition 1

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In Our Rightful Share, Aline Helg examines the issue of race in Cuban society, politics, and ideology during the island's transition from a Spanish colony to an independent state. She challenges Cuba's well-established myth of racial equality and shows that racism is deeply rooted in Cuban creole society. Helg argues that despite Cuba's abolition of slavery in 1886 and its winning of independence in 1902, Afro-Cubans remained marginalized in all aspects of society. After the wars for independence, in which they fought en masse, Afro-Cubans demanded change politically by forming the first national black party in the Western Hemisphere. This challenge met with strong opposition from the white Cuban elite, culminating in the massacre of thousands of Afro-Cubans in 1912. The event effectively ended Afro-Cubans' political organization along racial lines, and Helg stresses that although some cultural elements of African origin were integrated into official Cuban culture, true racial equality has remained elusive.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Aline Helg's assiduously researched study . . . is one of the first substantive works in English on this topic.

The Historian

An extremely important book. It is an impressively researched, well-thought out, and well-written study.

American Historical Review

An important contribution to the body of historiography on race relations and politics in Cuba.

Slavery and Abolition

Our Rightful Share represents admirably exhaustive research, excellent analysis, and impressively balanced conclusions.

Franklin W. Knight, The Johns Hopkins University

A major contribution to the literature on race, culture, and politics in the post-emancipation Americas.

George Reid Andrews, University of Pittsburgh

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807844946
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 2/20/1995
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 375
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Aline Helg, professor of history at the University of Geneva, is author of Civiliser le peuple et former les elites: L'education en Colombie, 1918-1957.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction: The Dynamics of Ideology and Action 1
Ch. 1 After Slavery, 1886-1895 23
Ch. 2 The Fight for a Just Cuba, 1895-1898 55
Ch. 3 The Making of the New Order, 1899-1906 91
Ch. 4 Frustration, 1899-1906 117
Ch. 5 Mobilization, 1907-1910 141
Ch. 6 Rumors of a Black Conspiracy, 1907-1911 161
Ch. 7 The Racist Massacre of 1912 193
Conclusion: The Limits of Equality 227
Notes 249
Bibliography 319
Index 343
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