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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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13. Postscript: A Story of Resilience (How I Came to the USA) (Jorge-Felix Morfa)

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13. Postscript: A Story of Resilience (How I Came to the USA)

JORGE-FELIX MORFA

Editor’s [Menah Pratt-Clarke] Note:

A few days before the book was due for submission to the publisher, I was speaking at the Franklin County NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet in Rocky Mount, Virginia. I was sharing that I was working on this book and thinking about Cuba and issues of race and national identity. After the program, a man approached me. He said that his name was Jorge and that he wanted to introduce himself to me since he was from Cuba. He introduced me to his wife and his daughter. His daughter was a Girl Scout and had participated with other Girl Scouts as part of the color guard for the banquet, which was why he was at the program. She showed me her many badges and he was very proud of her.

Jorge and I had a wonderful conversation. He shared that he had come to America by raft; had learned English on his own; and had written his story about his experience about 10 years ago on a yellow legal pad. I told him I would be glad to include it in the book as a story about determination, resilience, perseverance, survival, and faith. I shared that his experience was representative in many ways of the key themes of the book and represented the power of the Cuban people....

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