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7182 - Sharing Post-Emancipation Strategies for Freedom: The Educational and Economic Collaboration between Afro-Cubans, Afro-Puerto Ricans, and African Americans

In the first two decades of the twentieth century, dozens of Afro-Cuban and Afro-Puerto Rican students attended Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute. Their presence reflected a wider Afro-Caribbean interest in Washington’s educational philosophy, which was also demonstrated by the writings of an Afro-Cuban intellectual, Rafael Serra. This exchange of ideas among black leaders in the United States, Cuba, and Puerto Rico can tell us much about the effect of imperialism on the former slaves’ transition into freedom, and about the way Afro-Caribbean leaders, who were staunchly opposed to American empire, negotiated their national and diasporic identities in order to improve the lives of black communities. This paper will argue that while black leaders throughout the African diaspora often concentrated on the attainment of political rights, they also believed that economic advancement could lead to equality. Afro-Caribbean leaders were particularly interested in African American models of education and economic achievement, even while they drew on their own educational traditions and worked for Cuban and Puerto Rican independence. This paper will explore specific aspects of strategies for education and economic achievement that were circulating in a transnational framework to understand the transition of former slaves into free laborers and citizens, both in their individual national contexts and in a region that was increasingly connected, in order to disentangle the strands of imperialism and black diasporic exchange represented in this episode.

Palavras-chaves: transnational, african diaspora, cuba, puerto rico, education

Autores: Otheguy, Raquel (State University of New York at Stony Brook, Ud States of Am / USA)

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