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Presented By: Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

LACS Lecture. Atlantic History Initiative - Antiracism in Cuba: The Unfinished Revolution

Devyn Spence Benson, assistant professor of Africana and Latin American studies, Davidson College

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How do racism and antiracism coexist? How do we fight against racism in a racist world? What are the lessons learned from the 1959 Cuban Revolution? Analyzing the ideology and rhetoric around race in Cuba and south Florida during the early years of the Cuban revolution, Dr. Devyn Spence Benson answers these questions in her book Antiracism in Cuba: The Unfinished Revolution. She examines how ideas, stereotypes, and discriminatory practices relating to racial difference persisted despite major efforts by the Cuban state to generate social equality. This talk examines 1960s government programs and campaigns against discrimination, showing how such programs frequently negated their efforts by reproducing racist images and idioms in revolutionary propaganda, cartoons, and school materials.

Dr. Devyn Spence Benson is an Assistant Professor of Africana and Latin American Studies at Davidson College. She is a historian of 19th-20th century Latin America with a focus on race and revolution in Cuba. She is the author of published articles and reviews in the Hispanic American Historical Review, Journal of Cuban Studies, Journal of Transnational American Studies, and PALARA: Publication of the Afro-Latin / American Research Association. Benson's book, Antiracism in Cuba: The Unfinished Revolution (UNC Press, 2016) is based on over 18 months of field research in Cuba where she has traveled annually since 2003. Follow her at Twitter @BensonDevyn.

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