In this article director Robin Hayes discusses the making and content of the documentary feature Black and Cuba (2014), which follows a diverse group of Yale African American Studies PhD students who journey to Cuba to explore the island’s revolutionary past and present. Although the group had no previous filmmaking experience or training, in the traditions of Third Cinema and Black studies, they decide to empower themselves to create a documentary about their trip in order to share what they learn with their communities. The film’s depictions of the students’ candid encounters with Afro-Cubans from all walks of life reveal the ongoing relationship between race and class in spite of mainstream tropes in both the United States and Cuba that assert these national cultures are “postracial” and “color-blind.” The author argues that Black and Cuba’s comparative exploration of continuing racial inequality illustrates that decreased investment in the social safety net and increased privatization of the economy create specific obstacles for both African Americans and Afro-Cubans.


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pp. 42-59
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