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Race in Contemporary Cuba

A Conversation with Roberto Zurbano, moderated by Ned Sublette
October 26th, 2015
4:00 PM


Forum for Scholars and Publics, 011 Old Chem

Monday, October 26

3:00 p.m.

Join us for a conversation with Roberto Zurbano, Cuban literary critic, social activist, and acclaimed writer about race in contemporary Cuba.

The conversation will be moderated by Ned Sublette, musician and producer as well as author of Cuba and Its Music. The two will discuss Afro-Cuban literature, music and social activism.

Read Zurbano's 2013 New York Times piece, "For Blacks in Cuba, the Revolution Hasn't Begun."

Co-sponsored by the Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at UNC-CH and Duke, the Forum for Scholars and Publics, and the Department of Language and Literature NCCU.

Lead image: "Havana, 2013" by Alex Webb/Magnum Photos

Roberto Zurbano

Roberto Zurbano’s career began in the field of literary criticism and from there, went on to support the Cuban hiphop movement, which eventually evolved into his current work as a Cuban social activist. Zurbano was the Fall 2013 Scholar/Writer in residence of the Connecticut College Center for Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity. His articles and essays have received international criticism and acclaim and have appeared in literary magazines, journals and media worldwide, with a recent acclaimed New York Times post. In his writings, Zurbano provides insight into new ideas he proposes for the Regional Articulation of Afro-Descendants in Cuba, via an antiracist organization founded in Cuba in 2012 in collaboration with Afro-Descendant leaders from throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. After a controversially edited and headlined op-ed piece appeared in the New York Times, he was demoted from his position as chief editor at Casa de las Américas in Havana. 

Ned Sublette

Ned Sublette is the co-author with Constance Sublette of The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry (Lawrence Hill Books, 2015). He is also the author of The Year Before the Flood (Lawrence Hill Books, 2009); The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square (Lawrence Hill Books 2008); and Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo (Chicago Review Press, 2004). In the 1990s he co-founded the record label Qbadisc, which pioneered the marketing of contemporary Cuban music in the United States in the early 90s, and he has produced over 150 one-hour music documentaries for the Peabody Award-winning public radio program Afropop Worldwide.