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Contours of Transnational Contact: Kid Chocolate, Cuba, and the United States in the 1920s and 1930s


Boxer Kid Chocolate was one of the most prominent and popular athletes in Cuba in the 1920s and 1930s. An analysis of his career and the reasons for his popularity in Cuba shed light on the cultural dimensions of U.S.-Cuban relations during this time. Appreciation of the career of Kid Chocolate in both the U.S. and Cuba suggests that Cubans and Americans shared a cultural world that centered on the appreciation of sport in general and was characterized by extensive Cuban consumption of North American sporting culture. But Cubans were not simply passive consumers of this culture. Instead they infused their own meaning into the career of Kid Chocolate, subtly invoking it as a challenge to North American hegemony in Cuba while also critiquing North American racism.

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