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Full Episode: Cuba: The Next Revolution

In Cuba Professor Gates finds out how the culture, religion, politics and music of this island are inextricably linked to the huge amount of slave labor imported to produce its enormously profitable 19th century sugar industry, and how race and racism have fared since Fidel Castro’s Communist revolution in 1959.

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  • cubanlinx.com

    no matter what color you are on the outside soon as you reveal your cuban or part cuban we still get no respect we are still human bottam line

  • Ms Hollins

    I enjoyed this documentary thoroughly. In reading the comments of those less satisfied, it seems that many are confused are dissatisfied because of personal biases. One asked “why is this episode about black or white?” This documentary is not about the aboriginal Cubans as it sets out to explains the “face” of Cubans today. For instance, someone wanting to know how and why Americans come in so many different flesh tones wouldn’t necessarily talk about Native Americans, but rather slavery and migration. If you watch a series called BLACK in Latin America, then expect it to talk a lot about black people. There would be more mention of aboriginal Cubans if this series was called Aboriginal people in Latin America. Also, complaining about the content or lack of is frivolous as there are only 60 minutes to fit in so much information. With this said, I’m just happy this series even exist because this perspective is not readily available information anywhere else on TV or even in textbooks.

  • Mike Davis

    I’ll be calling a whole lot more people brother now, whether they like it or not

  • José

    Prof. Gates neglected to point out that dictator Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar was in fact the first and only black president Cuba has ever had, for in fact he was of mixed European, African, Chinese and Amerindian descent. In pre-Castro Cuba, Batista was considered a mulatto socially. It has often been said that a significant part of the so-called “white” middle- and upper-class support for Fidel Castro while he was still up in the Sierra Maestra mountains was motivated by the issue of race: dictator Batista was a mulatto. But not only was he a mulatto, he came from very humble origins in the city of Bayamo. Coming from a humble background, Batista earned a living as a laborer in the sugar cane fields, docks and railroads. He was a tailor, mechanic, charcoal vendor, fruit peddler, and an Army stenographer. In 1921, he traveled to Havana and joined the army. After promotion to Sergeant, he became the union leader of Cuba’s soldiers. In 1933 he led the military insurrection against dictator Machado. Prior to becoming a dictator in 1952, he was elected democratically to the presidency in 1944 and served one term with the support of the masses, particularly the rural and urban working class and the cuban socialist party, which he not only legalized but allowed to participate in his government.

  • Alex

    Here is the bottom line for all of you trying to dispute this great documentary: It is not what the professor forgot to point out, but what he is tring to convey to the masses out there about blacks and slavery. One person said all people are Cuban, I am Cuban and my own people just see black…sorry Chepe Barrajo, but you are most wrong on this one. I live in San Antonio. TX and when ever my wife says here husband is Cubano, her freinds say no problem, then when they see me it is definately a problem. They don’t want to talk to me or anything. Sometimes I wonder if peolpe even get what is going on around them when they act as though there is no racism around them. When my wife watches her novelas, I never see a dark skin person in the show unless they are portrayed in a bad light……so just stop and wake up and get a clue!!

  • JC

    Alex, I completely agree with everything that you’ve stated. I have a friend from the Domincan Republic and they had a wake-up when they realized for that people saw them as black and not latina. I myself am learning to pick my battles, however, when the ignorance is too blatant and cannot be ignore I educate.

    As for Mrs. C. who responded way back in April the program was entitled, Black in Latin America. ;-)

  • ricardo

    If found it to be a good expose. I wept along with the professor who talked about going out in the country when she was young to teach people how to read. I also feel strongly that about how this expose reminded us of the weakness of humanity, be it racism, self preservation or any other action that keeps us from bettering our selves.

  • cody

    as a deaf person who has considered pbs a reliably accessible network, i am disappointed to see that these videos have no captions. even a transcript would have been helpful, but as it is i could not watch any of them.

  • Torie

    I just wanted to write how much I have loved watching this series. I am black British ( West African origin) and I have never really been interested in Latin America but this series has opened my eyes and I am truly fascinated and in awe of the black experience in Latin America. I loved the episode about Mexico and Peru and want to visit these places. Thank you Dr. Gates for this series. It’s truly magical. I think your next project could be the black experience in Europe.

  • PJ

    I was surprised –like the above viewer–to find no closed captions or transcript for this series. Shame on you PBS!!

  • Robyn

    The series is called BLACK IN LATIN AMERICA. The omittance of native people is not a form of disrespect or lack of acknowledgement of their existance. Native people are simply NOT the focus of the series. I am not sure why folks keep mentioning. Please refer to the title of the series.

  • Ana Maria

    I was very impressed with the historical content of this episode and glad to finally see something on blacks in latin american countries. I am an afro cuban american and has never visited cuba but would love to go some day because I still have family there. I was especially glad that there was exposure to a large culture of black cubans in cuba. For the simple fact there are many latinos here in america who are so ignorant when it comes to telling them i’m cuban and they question me as if black latinos don’t exist…not saying all latinos because a lot of my friends are but there’s a vast percent who are very ignorant. It appalls me every time. I will continue to watch many more episodes….and spread the word…cheers

  • J. Rhadames Cabrera

    Es triste saber que el Profesor gates no va a leer estos cometarios: Alguas cosas que él esconoce:

    La MAMÁ DEL GENERAL ANTONIO MACEO ES DOMINICANA.

    EL SON FUE LLEVADO A CUBA POR DOS HERMANAS CIBAEÑAS O SEA DE LA REGIÓN DEL CIBAO REPÚBLICA DOMINICANA.

    LOS DOS GRANDES HÉROES MULATOS “CUBANOS” ERAN DOMINICANOS (YA SEA POR ANCESTROS O NACIMIENTO)
    ANTONIO MACEO Y MÁXIMO GÓMEZ ( QUE LE LES UNIERON UNA DOCENA DE BRILLANTES SOLDADOS DOMINICANOS QUE MÁS TARDE FUERON OFICIALES DEL EJERCITO MAMBÍ)

    CÓMO LA DICHOSA REVOLUCIÓN REALIZADA POR FIDEL CASTRO ESCASEAN LOS NEGROS O MULATOS.

    EL COMANDANTE DEL BARCO GRANMA FUÉ UN MULATO Y CASUALIADAD DE LA VIDA DOMINICANO

    COMANDANTE DE LA REVOLUCIÓN PICHIRILO.

    EXISTEN MUY POCOS NEGROS / MULATOS EN LAS ALTAS EFERAS DEL GOBIERNO CUBANO EN SUS INICIOS Y EN SUS TIEMPOS ACTUALES. LA DICHOSA NOMENCLATURA.

    EL TRABAJO DEL PROFESOR GATES ES PARCIALIZADO Y LE FALTA MUCHO MÁS.

  • Rondel Benjamn

    Their is a tremendous opportunity to understand the Afro american experience during the 18th century by studying the Story of the Merikins in trinidad & Tobago …..

  • MARCELA RISSO

    También me gustaría ver algo sobre los afro-uruguayos, que también sufren discriminación económica desde siempre en Uruguay. Por lo menos se le reconoce la música, pero eso es estereotipar…tenemos que saber más para aprender a respetar y apreciar la herencia cultural de todos los grupos de la población. Tenemos un senador, está muy bien, pero no es suficiente con esto. La discriminación e indiferencia han producido que las personas identificadas como afro-uruguayas solo trabajen en el sector doméstico o en trabajos poco remunerado producto de que no tienen medios para educarse. Esto es aun más triste sabiendo que Uruguay tiene educación terciaria gratuita. La inclusión empieza por la educación y eso todavía es un privilegio para la gran mayoría. Me interesa mucho la literatura creada por estos admirables hombres y mujeres que conforman una pequeña parte de la población. No hay mucha, pero sería bueno hacer una antología del continente que incluyera a aquellos de quien nadie se acuerda por estar en un país que, a pesar de ser multicultural, no es tan tolerante como debiera serlo.

  • Fernando

    The documentary is very interesting. However, I think it should mentioned the status of free Blacks and Mulattoes in Spanish Cuba. For instance, in Santiago de Cuba there were Black aldermen and Militia Officers. However, the documentary suggests that the Blacks had no rights back then. History tells us another story.

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