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In black and white
In black and whites
Tommy, a different neighbour
The martians have arrived

In black and whites
TXT: pedro juan gutiÉrrez photo: rÓMULO SANS

The abolition of slavery was proclaimed in Cuba on October 7th, 1886. Just 121 years ago. To put it differently, many grandparents and great-grandparents of today’s blacks and mestizos were slaves. Anyone with any knowledge about slavery, as elemental as it may be, can close his eyes for a few minutes and put himself in the shoes of an African slave cutting cane from dusk to dawn. Almost naked, with one wretched, meager meal and a couple of overseers cracking whips on their backs. At night he slept on the floor of an infected hut, chained with shackles around his ankles.
It wasn’t even a dog’s life. It was much worse. That state of affairs lasted almost 400 years and led to intense and extensively turbulent and complex relations between blacks and whites. Later on, in the first half of the 20th century, blacks were even more stigmatized by a few ‘scientific’ studies that attributed them with all sorts of vices, evils and perversions. The list is long. Anthropologist and ethnologist Israel Castellanos stood out notably in the Fascist-style crusade to “prove” the tendency of blacks toward evil and crime...

+ information pág. 98-101 The H Book 2008 09

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