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A Promising Reality

Reflections on Race, Gender, and Culture in Cuba

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Edited By Venessa Ann Brown and Menah Pratt-Clarke

A Promising Reality: Reflections on Race, Gender, and Culture in Cuba is a compilation of the reflections of a group of chief diversity officers, faculty, and educators from the United States about Cuba. As part of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education delegation to Cuba in July, 2015, A Promising Reality represents a collection of voices, experiences, and perspectives about issues of race, gender, cultural identity, and the African experience in Cuba. Key themes explored include Cuban culture, the Cuban Revolution, politics, economics, education, equity, and social change. Utilizing narrative inquiry, some of the reflections are comparative with the United States, and some reflections focus exclusively on Cuba. The book takes readers on a journey of thought-provoking stories that reflect the excitement, uncertainty, complexity, and promising possibilities on the cusp of changing diplomatic, political, economic, and social relationships between the United States and Cuba. A Promising Reality seeks to broaden the perspectives of its readers regarding US-Cuban relations. This book is ideal for courses on international relations, international studies, international affairs, comparative cultures, political science, education, politics, sociology, history, race, gender, and social justice. It is a must-read for anyone traveling to Cuba as part of study-abroad, professional development, or personal adventure.

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9. Missing in Plain Sight: The Complicated Story of Race in Cuba Today (Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh)

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9. Missing in Plain Sight: The Complicated Story of Race in Cuba Today

YVETTE M. ALEX-ASSENSOH

Editors’ Note: Dr. Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh is Vice-President of Equity and Inclusion. Prior to joining the University of Oregon in her current position, Dr. Alex-Assensoh served as a tenured Professor of Political Science and a Dean at Indiana University in Bloomington. She won outstanding research awards, secured national funding for her research projects, served as a Fulbright Scholar at University of Zagreb in Croatia and led national committees focused on issues of equity, diversity, teaching excellence, and ethics. She is the author/co-author of six books and dozens of scholarly essays, as well as a sought-after consultant on diversity/gender issues. She is a trained lawyer and registered mediator and also a member of the Indiana Bar and Oregon Bar. She received her bachelor’s degree from Dillard University; her master’s degree and doctorate in Political Science from The Ohio State University; and a law degree from Indiana University.

Introduction

In the summer of 2015, I was a visitor to Cuba, the beautiful island just 90 miles south of the United States’ Florida coast. Our group visit was on the eve and heels of the restoration of full-fledged American diplomatic ties with the enigmatic country. Therefore, my observational skills as a lawyer and also as a political scientist who studies racial politics went into full gear.

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