While many Cubans of all racialized identities often insist that there is no race or racism in Cuba, they still experience ongoing forms of prejudice and discrimination. This article analyzes the translocal processes through which the logics of racialization and racism circulate in contemporary Cuba. Based on long-term ethnographic research in Santiago de Cuba, known as Cuba’s Blackest City, I analyze the local construct level of culture as central to ongoing processes of racialization in Santiago. I trace Cubans’ experiences of racialization from Santiago to Havana to the United States, connecting their experiences of race and racism to broader transnational forms of anti-Blackness that date back to the colonial era. I show the ways in which the translocal process of racialization through level of culture is not another form of Cuban exceptionalism, but rather links the Cuban experience to broader regional constructs of race, respectability, and culture.


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pp. 385-410
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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