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The Erotics of Black Self-Making in Cuba

Jafari Allen

Publication Year: 2011

Published by: Duke University Press

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pp. ix-xii

... First, no one is able to do ethnography without people who share. This book would not be possible without people who opened their hearts and minds and their homes, meetings, social circles, and favorite haunts. My gratitude goes to those who opened their mouths to tell their own truths and to those who ...

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Introduction: Invoking “a larger freedom”

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pp. 1-17

¿Venceremos? (Will we overcome?) ¿De verdad? (Really?) I asked seventy-year-old Señor Leudis Ferrer as we sat together in a small park just beyond the Plaza de la Revolución in Havana. From the first moment of contact with Cuba, one is struck by this social ethos— ¡Venceremos! (We shall overcome!)—and its stark ...

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1. Looking (at) “Afro-Cuba(n)”

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pp. 19-40

You have landed in Cuba—for whatever reason. Undaunted by the noise and gas fumes, the mysterious condensation wafting up from the floor . . . the out-of-fashion costumes of the flight attendants on your Cubanacan flight from Toronto, Nassau, Madrid, or Mexico’s District Federál, you have arrived, to see ...

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2. Discursive Sleight of Hand: Race, Sex, Gender

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pp. 41-73

Amalia and I are preparing supper together in the kitchen—once the pantry of the large in-town house of a wealthy family from Cadíz, currently rumored to be living in several homes in Miami that recall the former grandeur of this one. Located in the Havana neighborhood of Santo Suarez, the large house, now much in need of repair, is subdivided into four ...

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3. The Erotics and Politics of Self-making

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pp. 74-99

One afternoon in central Havana, while talking with men playing dominoes and gossiping, I witnessed a rare occasion. Across the street Lili was leaving home in the brightest part of the day. The men’s conversation about the upcoming baseball championships and the appearance of red beans at the local ...

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4. De Cierta Manera . . . Hasta Cierto Punto (One Way or Another . . . Up to a Certain Point)

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pp. 100-128

Domingo grew up in regla, just on the other side of the bay from his current haunt, Old Havana, in an apartment building built by a microbrigade—one of the self-help projects of the Revolution wherein local volunteer workers built homes for fellow workers. He nostalgically recalls helping to pull weeds and move ...

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5. Friendship as a Mode of Survival

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pp. 129-156

The question is thus much more complex than whether Cuba is or is not “oppressive” to homosexuals and gender nonconforming individuals. While Cuba is currently becoming freer and more open, in fits and starts, it also has quite a long way to go to fully realize the promise of the Revolution. ...

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pp. 157-185

as scholars such as Kamala Kempadoo (1999, 2004; Kempadoo and Doezema 1998), Denise Brennan (2004), Mark Padilla (2007), and others have shown, sex work is taking place throughout the Caribbean. Nowhere is this more remarkable than the ambiente (environments or scene) of sex labor in Cuba. ...

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pp. 186-194

in his chapter in No Guarantees: In Honour of Stuart Hall, James Clifford defends “the constitutive role of cultural, ethnic, and racial identification in contemporary politics” (2000: 96), noting that “identity politics” is currently being “attacked from all sides” (94). He writes, following Stuart Hall, that ...


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pp. 195-210


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pp. 211-231


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pp. 233-241

E-ISBN-13: 9780822393801
E-ISBN-10: 0822393808
Print-ISBN-13: 9780822349327
Print-ISBN-10: 0822349329

Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2011