LASA Center Director Section Series on Indigeneity, Afro-descendants and other marginalized populations in Latin America.

EVENT: Roundtable on the African-descended contribution to Cuban independence

LASA Center Director Section Series on Indigeneity, Afro-descendants and other marginalized populations in Latin America.

4pm EST (9pm GMT), 13th December, 2021

The African-descended contribution to Cuban independence

Please join us at 4 PM EST (9pm GMT)  on December 13th, 2021, for the third instalment of the LASA Center Director Section Series on Indigeneity, Afro-descendants, and other marginalized populations in Latin America.

This will be a roundtable discussion on African-descended peoples’ contribution to the struggle for Cuban independence and their role in creating a racially inclusive nationality. Hosted by Stephen Wilkinson, Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations and Director of the International Institute for the Study of Cuba at the University of Buckingham, alongside  Marta Carminero-Santangelo, Director of the University of Kansas Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

This is Teams event: Click here to join at 4pm EST on 13th Dec.: LASA Directors’ Series 13/12/21


Cécile Accilien, Kennesaw State University,

Aisha Finch, Emory University

Bonnie Lucero, University of Houston –Downtown

Main contact: Stephen Wilkinson:

It is commonly understood that the exceptional raceless Cuban national identity is rooted in the 19th Century wars of independence that combined the struggle for abolition with the struggle for independence, thereby pitting African-descended and European-descended Cubans together in a common fight for liberty, both from enslavement and colonial control. This roundtable brings together three renowned scholars to discuss the ways in which nineteenth-century Cubans of African descent reimagined Cuban national identity and independence.  Attending to the experiences of women as well as men, the panel will explore how African descended slaves and free blacks rebelled prior to the first War of Independence of 1868, asking whether it can be argued that a vision of a future raceless society might have been an aim of these insurrectionists, possibly inspired by the Haitian Revolution.

Cécile Accilien is Professor and Chair in the Interdisciplinary Studies Department at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia. She co-edited and contributed to two collections of essays, Revolutionary Freedoms: A History of Survival, Strength and Imagination in Haiti.

Aisha Finch is Acting Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Emory University. She is the author of Rethinking Slave Rebellion in Cuba: La Escalera and the Insurgencies of 1841-1844, and the co-editor, with Fannie T. Rushing, of Breaking the Chains, Forging the Nation: The Afro-Cuban Fight for Freedom and Equality, 1812-1912.

Bonnie A. Lucero is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Center for Latino Studies, University of Houston-Downtown. She is the author of Revolutionary Masculinity and Racial Inequality: Gendering War and Politics in Cuba and A Cuban City, Segregated: Race and Urbanization in the Nineteenth Century.

Picture is portrait of the Cuban Romantic poet of African descent, Gabriel de la Concepción Valdés known as Plácido, who was executed in the racist massacre of 1844, erroneously known as ‘Conspiración La Escalera’ or ‘The Ladder Conspiracy’.