"Uncovering Blackness": Challenging Ideology and Creating Black Spaces in Contemporary Cuba
A Lecture by Dr. Danielle Clealand
Location: Stanhope Hall 201
Date/Time: 03/05/12 at 12:00 pm - 03/05/12 at 1:20 pm
This event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be served. Space is limited to 20 people. Please contact Jennifer Loessy at email@example.com or 609-258-3216 to reserve a space at this lecture.
Racism in Cuban society, exacerbated by the economic crisis in the early 1990s, has created a clear challenge to the dominant racial ideology in Cuba that negates the existence of racism and discourages black affirmation. The crisis has allowed for the development of counter-ideologies of black consciousness that promotes racial dialogue both formally and informally. This work uncovers these spaces pointing to the importance of both the public and private in the development of black political thought in Cuba, which has the potential to break with the racial status quo of black subordination.
Danielle P. Clealand received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill with a major in Comparative Politics and a minor in Race and Ethnicity Politics. She received her B.A. from Tufts University and her M.A. from New York University. Her work focuses on comparative racial politics in Latin America with an emphasis on racial ideology and its effect on racial attitudes and black consciousness in the region.
While at CAAS, Danielle will work on her manuscript, Uncovering Blackness: Racial Ideology and Black Consciousness in Contemporary Cuba. The project examines racial ideology in Cuba, a union of the ideology of racial democracy and socialist ideology, and its effects on racial attitudes among Cubans and identity formation and racial consciousness among blacks in particular. Uncovering Blackness focuses on state rhetoric and policy in Cuba that have promoted national identity and unity as supreme over racial identity, creating an institutional framework that does not allow for the proliferation of alternate racial ideologies and promotes the philosophy that race is not a cleavage that matters in revolutionary Cuba. She explores black political thought in Cuba amidst this ideological context, both among elites and in everyday conversation, showing that the relevance of racism and experiences with discrimination in Cuba are correlated to feelings of racial solidarity and attitudes that challenge the dominant racial ideology. Danielle's research uses survey data on black racial attitudes and identity and interview data among Cubans of all races that she collected in Havana in 2008 and 2009 to determine not only the scope of black identity, but how whites, blacks and mulattoes view race in their everyday lives. Her research highlights the political importance of race and the racial dialogue that comes out of black communities as racial difference determines modes of access and influences everyday social interactions for nonwhites. Her work is part of a larger conversation about the intersection of ideology and black political thought, both in Cuba and throughout the Americas.
Department: Center for African American Studies