By Jafari S. Allen

Promoting the progressive socialist undertaking of equality and dignity for all, the slogan ¡Venceremos! (We shall overcome!) looks all through Cuba, in every single place from newspapers to college work of art to nightclubs. but the accomplishments of the Cuban country are belied by means of the marginalization of blacks, the unfairness opposed to sexual minorities, and gender inequities. ¡Venceremos? is a groundbreaking ethnography on race, hope, and belonging between blacks in early-twenty-first-century Cuba, because the country opens its economic climate to international capital. increasing on Audre Lorde’s imaginative and prescient of embodied, even “useful,” hope, Jafari S. Allen indicates how black Cubans interact in acts of “erotic self-making,” reinterpreting, transgressing, and probably reworking racialized and sexualized interpellations in their identities. He illuminates intimate areas of autonomy created through humans whose multiply subaltern identities have rendered them illegible to nation functionaries, and to so much students. In daily practices in Havana and Santiago de Cuba—including Santeria rituals, homosexual men’s events, hip hop concert events, the tourist-oriented intercourse alternate, lesbian organizing, HIV schooling, and simply striking out—Allen highlights small yet major acts of fight for autonomy and dignity.

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Lyudmila ____What does love mean to you? Love is understanding and respect. Love is everything. Without love, a person is dead. It’s happiness, it’s sorrow, it’s laughter, it’s tears. It lives right here, where the soul is, a little blob, that’s where love lives. ____Are you ready to love someone else? I don’t know. If I were to judge by the statistics, some people love one another really strongly, some love all of their lives, some forget, some fall in love with other people. But there’s also a difference between love and a crush.

I’m open but I’m not ready. I miss our first-and-a-half years of life together. But that person is long gone. I don’t feel well, and I can’t sleep most of the time. Natasha in the apartment of a friend, who is a hairdresser. Lyudmila ____What does love mean to you? Love is understanding and respect. Love is everything. Without love, a person is dead. It’s happiness, it’s sorrow, it’s laughter, it’s tears. It lives right here, where the soul is, a little blob, that’s where love lives. ____Are you ready to love someone else?

But it’s probably fear. And also, I feel like it doesn’t matter. ____What are your hopes for the future? I would like to be with Natasha, with my love. But it’s all murky, so I am really not sure about my future. It’s all covered in fog, I live from day to day. I hope that Zamanskaya and my children will be with me in the future. But if it’s not going to be her, then there has to be some other person who I would trust, to whom I would be as close. Home, family—that’s what I would like to have. ____What about fears?

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