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A Promising Reality

Reflections on Race, Gender, and Culture in Cuba


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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Venessa Ann Brown

Special thanks to the series editor, Rochelle Brock, for her interest and value in our work. This book is timely in this time in American history and your commitment makes it possible for the voices of diverse scholars to contribute to the Black Studies and Critical Thinking series. This book is made possible because while in Cuba I met an amazing scholar and new friend, Menah Pratt-Clarke, who agreed to assist me in ensuring that this body of knowledge was shared with the world. I am very appreciative for the colleagues who agreed to share their voices to make this book possible. Many thanks to my graduate student, Sarah Walker-Leard and office manager, Rachel Garrett, for editing and assisting me in the completion of this book.

I am forever grateful to my parents, Richard Sr. and Clytee Brown, for their strong work ethic, unconditional love, and belief in God that grounded me in the importance of being a good citizen, working hard, giving back, and making sure I live my purpose in life. My siblings, Celia, Velma, Cynthia, Richard Jr., and George, and my nephew and nieces, Wayne, Britney, and Ashley, are my biggest cheerleaders and my best friends. Love to my godchildren, James, Christine, Jalil, Leah, and all the others for making me a “Mom.” Special acknowledgments to my brother, George, and my friends who continue to battle some form of cancer. Each day my brother gets up and he...

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