Yanelys Nuñez Leyva

Dominos in Havana. Photo: Bill Klipp

HAVANA TIMES — Since the middle of September, I’ve been attending a graduate level course every Thursday on “Notions of Race in Cuba.”

The dynamics of this course entails a series of presentations delivered by different researchers from various scientific disciplines.

Because of this, I’ve received a rich body of information, ranging from the origins of humankind, tracing the most significant expressions of racism in world history, to the particularities of race conflict in Cuba.

According to the organizers (scholars Antonio J. Martinez and Esteban Morales, acting in conjunction with the School of Biology of the University of Havana|), this is the first time a course of this nature has been offered, so being a part of this experience makes me very proud.

Those taking the course make up a highly diverse group in terms of age and fields of study, an element that enriches the discussions that take place after each class.

What has caught my attention in these “weekly engagements” are the critical reassessments made by the speakers with regard to many concepts that are deeply established in the cultural perspective of our society (e.g., notions of race, racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia etc.).

These reassessments aim to examine objective truths and to perhaps eliminate the misinformation and stereotypes that do so much damage to social relations in our country.

Such a graduate course has never been more appropriate on the national academic scene.

It immerses everyone in an environment of social convulsion, which is necessary since we’ll only achieve true transformation if we’re able to recognize the many values that unite us as Cubans and as human beings.


Yanelys Nuñez

Yanelys Nuñez Leyva: Writing is to expose oneself, undress before the inquisitive eyes of all. I like to write, not because I have developed a real fondness for nudity, but because I love composing words, thinking of stories, phrases that touch, images that provoke different feelings. Here I have a place to talk about art, life, me. In the end, feeling good about what you do is what matters; either with or without clothing.

8 thoughts on “Notions of Race in Cuba

  • Perhaps an answer to your piece would be found in the ROOT work

  • i am a native born Angolan raised in Cuba and am a Cuban cit who is as tan as a cafe latte and as AFRIKAN AS CHAKA ZULKU..My issue is with writers from all over the world who continue to hawk RACE complexion and hue?
    I am sick and tired of other people making the attempt to assign race to Cubans as a topic Are ther any humans in the pic? What is it with color and skin hue and tone black white and in between What happened to the colorado?
    Now for those who are not Cuban, please do not try to respond its obvious that you don’t get it and neither does the writer Sorry i am not impressed CIRCLES HELP!!

  • A black Cuban told me the country is still plagued with racism, that there is no unity among the people and that the ruling class likes it that way. He also said the people aren’t aloud to talk about racism and are called counter-revolutionary if they do.

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