By Solimar Otero
Afro-Cuban Diasporas within the Atlantic international explores how Yoruba and Afro-Cuban groups moved around the Atlantic among the Americas and Africa in successive waves within the 19th century. In Havana, Yoruba slaves from Lagos banded jointly to shop for their freedom and sail domestic to Nigeria. as soon as in Lagos, this Cuban repatriate group turned referred to as the Aguda. This group outfitted their very own local that celebrated their Afrolatino background. For those Yoruba and Afro-Cuban diasporic populations, nostalgic buildings of kin and neighborhood play the function of narrating and finding a longed-for domestic. by way of supplying a hyperlink among the workings of nostalgia and the development of domestic, this quantity re-theorizes cultural imaginaries as a resource for diasporic neighborhood reinvention. via ethnographic fieldwork and learn in folkloristics, Otero unearths that the Aguda establish strongly with their Afro-Cuban roots in modern occasions. Their fluid id strikes from Yoruba to Cuban, and again back, in a way that illustrates the really cyclical nature of transnational Atlantic group association. Solimar Otero is affiliate Professor of English and a folklorist at Louisiana nation collage. Her learn facilities on gender, sexuality, Afro-Caribbean spirituality, and Yoruba conventional faith in folklore, literature and ethnography. Dr. Otero is the recipient of a Ruth Landes Memorial examine Fund provide (2013), a fellowship on the Harvard Divinity School's Women's reports in faith application (2009 to 2010), and a Fulbright award (2001).
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Extra info for Afro-Cuban Diasporas in the Atlantic World
Diaspora is made to awkwardly fit into a future that it never imagined as its domain, in order to highlight the disjuncture that characterizes black experiences of modernity and of diaspora. Incommensurable loss and incompatible knowledges are the base of Kay’s black world, where even when “found,” the “lost” blackness does not come from or mean what it should. This occurs even as Bessie Smith tries to break Bessie-as-icon’s story, into the queer time and space of even those black objects we may read as clear, contextualized, familiar—the blues, for instance.
The order of the things in Kay/Smith’s imaginary trunk, then, is the order of diaspora—which is still, for Kay, the order of location. In the economy of travel, the thing is always already a souvenir, a memory/ metonym of the Other. In the economy of emigration, the thing is either reminder or imperial commodity, the play between local and global. Both are locked in the thinking of late capital, in which history is marked by the consumption of metonymic things and their transport. 22 This circulation suggests a different order, timing, and geography of distribution, in Kay’s text, so that Bessie Smith as historical figure can travel from tent shows to Harlem to Mississippi to Chattanooga (“down and out” to “down” and “out”), while her anecdotal and iconic presence registers her in publicly and privately consumed objects, here collected from the geography of Glasgow to the print-culture artifact of a British queer profiles series.
Kay links the popular circulation of black subjectivity to the sphere of high formal literacy through her experimental form in the biography (made up of anecdotal evidence, fictional scenarios, and autobiographical reflection rendered in various typefaces within each chapter). Kay’s revaluation of Bessie Smith’s and her own relationship to “the world” of the black diaspora through her text exposes the overlaps and incommensurabilities found in various circulating models of black women’s identity in Ellison’s sense of the juglike lens of critical discourse.
Afro-Cuban Diasporas in the Atlantic World by Solimar Otero