Saturday, December 1, 2012

Notions of Race in Cuba

Notions of Race in Cuba
December 1, 2012
Yanelys Nuñez Leyva

HAVANA TIMES — Since the middle of September, I've been attending a
graduate level course every Thursday on "Notions of Race in Cuba."

The dynamics of this course entails a series of presentations delivered
by different researchers from various scientific disciplines.

Because of this, I've received a rich body of information, ranging from
the origins of humankind, tracing the most significant expressions of
racism in world history, to the particularities of race conflict in Cuba.

According to the organizers (scholars Antonio J. Martinez and Esteban
Morales, acting in conjunction with the School of Biology of the
University of Havana|), this is the first time a course of this nature
has been offered, so being a part of this experience makes me very proud.

Those taking the course make up a highly diverse group in terms of age
and fields of study, an element that enriches the discussions that take
place after each class.

What has caught my attention in these "weekly engagements" are the
critical reassessments made by the speakers with regard to many concepts
that are deeply established in the cultural perspective of our society
(e.g., notions of race, racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia etc.).

These reassessments aim to examine objective truths and to perhaps
eliminate the misinformation and stereotypes that do so much damage to
social relations in our country.

Such a graduate course has never been more appropriate on the national
academic scene.

It immerses everyone in an environment of social convulsion, which is
necessary since we'll only achieve true transformation if we're able to
recognize the many values that unite us as Cubans and as human beings.

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