Afro-Cuban


Afro-Cuban

The term Afro-Cuban refers to Cubans of African ancestry, and to historical or cultural elements in Cuba thought to emanate from this community. The term can refer to the combining of African and other cultural elements found in Cuban society such as religion, music, language, the arts, and class culture. [ [http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Afro-Cuban&r=66 The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language] , Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company.
≈Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Random House, Inc. 2006.
]

Demographics

According to a 2001 national census which surveyed 11.2 million Cubans, 1.1 million Cubans described themselves as Black, while 2.8 million considered themselves to be "mulatto" or "mestizo". [ [http://www.cubagob.cu/otras_info/censo/tablas_html/ii_3.htm Cuba census 2001] ] Thus a significant proportion of those living on the island affirm some African ancestry. The matter is further complicated by the fact that a fair number of people still locate their origins in specific African ethnic groups or regions, particularly Yoruba, Igbo and Congo, but also Arará, Carabalí, Mandingo, Fula, Makua, and others. Nevertheless, and despite the egalitarian project of the Cuban revolution, racial discrimination still exists in Cuba. Many Afro-Cubans complain that they are refused employment in the lucrative tourism industry, where Cubans make in tips weekly what doctors and other professionals make in months. The percentage of Afro-Cubans on the island increased after the 1959 Cuban revolution led by Fidel Castro due to mass migration from the island of the largely white Cuban professional class. [http://afrocubaweb.com/raceident.htm] A small percentage of Afro-Cubans left Cuba, mostly for the United States, (particularly Florida), where they and their U.S.-born children are called Cuban Americans and Hispanic-Americans . Only a few of them resided in nearby Spanish-speaking countries of Dominican Republic, where Afro-Latino populations predominate. There are some Afro-Cubans who went to Nigeria, the home of the Yoruba and Igbo culture. Angola also has communities of Afro-Cubans, these are descendants of Afro-Cuban soldiers brought to the country in 1975 . They number about 100,000. Descendants of Afro-Cuban slaves were also brought to the only Hispanic African country, Equatorial Guinea.

Religion

Afro-Cuban religion can be broken down into three main currents: Santería, Palo Monte, and Abakuá, and include individuals of all origins. Santería and Abakuá both have large parts of their liturgy in African languages (Yoruba, Igbo and Ñañigo, respectively) while Palo Monte uses a mixture of Spanish and Kikongo. Santería and Palo Monte are largely syncretised with Catholicism, though it is generally considered that the African elements outweigh the Catholic ones. The Abakuá religion is a secret society for men, similar to the freemason orders of Europe (which first integrated white (Spanish) members in the late 19th century) but has not been syncretised with Catholicism and remains close to its origins in south-eastern Nigeria.

Music

Afro-Cuban music involves two main categories of music, religious and profane. Religious music includes the chants, rhythms and instruments used in rituals of the above-mentioned religious currents, while profane music focuses largely on rumba, guaguanco and comparsa (carnival music) as well as several lesser styles such as the tumba francesa. It is an acknowledged fact, however, that practically all Cuban music has been influenced by African music, particularly regarding rhythm.

Language

Other cultural elements considered to be Afro-Cuban can be found in language (including syntax, vocabulary, and style of speech) and generally held stereotypes of Afro-Cuban culture such as male and female behaviour, family structure or general habits. The term Afro-Cuban is rarely taken into the economic sphere, despite the fact that, as in most of the Americas, black Cubans are generally poorer than whites, which translates into class phenomenon along racial lines. The political situation, however, forbids public acknowledgement of the existence of social classes and of racial problems of any kind.

Haitian Creole among Afro-Cubans

Haitian Creole and culture first entered Cuba with the arrival of Haitian immigrants at the start of the nineteenth century. Haiti was a French colony, and the final years of the 1791-1804 Haitian Revolution brought a wave of French settlers fleeing with their Haitian slaves to Cuba. They came mainly to the east, and especially Guantanamo, where the French later introduced sugar cultivation, constructed sugar refineries and developed coffee plantations. By 1804, some 30,000 French were living in Baracoa and Maisí, the furthest eastern municipalities of the province. Later, Haitians continued to come to Cuba to work as braceros (hand workers, from the Spanish word brazo, meaning "arm") in the fields cutting cane. Their living and working conditions were not much better than slavery. Although they planned to return to Haiti, most stayed on in Cuba. For years, many Haitians and their descendants in Cuba did not identify themselves as such or speak Creole. In the eastern part of the island, many Haitians suffered discrimination. But according to the Castro regime, since 1959, when he took over, this discrimination has stopped.

After Spanish, Creole is the second most-spoken language in Cuba. Thanks to approximately 300,000 Haitians that have arrived in recent decades, over 400,000 Cubans either speak Haitian Creole fluently, understand it but speak with difficulty, or have at least passing familiarity with the language. It is mainly in those communities where Haitians and their descendant live that Creole is most spoken. In addition to the eastern provinces, there are also communities in Ciego de Ávila and Camagüey provinces where the population still maintains Creole, their mother tongue. Classes in Creole are offered in Guantanamo, Matanzas and the City of Havana. There is a Creole-language radio program.

List of Famous Afro-Cubanos

*List of Famous Afro-Latinos

*Celia Cruz - Salsa Singer
*Christina Milian - Singer
*Joel Casamayor - Boxer (WBC Lightweight Champion)
*Rita Marley - Singer (Wife of Bob Marley)
*Ibrahim Ferrer - Singer (Buena Vista Social Club)
*Afro-Cuban All Stars
*Mellow Man Ace - Rapper
*Gilbert Arenas - NBA
*Javier Sotomayor - Holds World Record in High Jump
*Sen Dog of Rap Group Cypress Hill
*Tony Pérez - MLB (Hall of Fame)
*Gina Torres - Actress
*Faizon Love - Actor
*Lola Falana
*Brayan Peña - MLB
*Renny Arozarena - Actor
*Sugar Ramos - Boxer (Former WBA Featherweight Champion)
*Sergio Oliva - Boby Builder (Only bodybuilder to have ever beaten Arnold Schwarzenegger in a Mr Olympia competition)
*Cristóbal Torriente - Negro League Baseball Hall of Fame
*Martín Dihigo - Negro League Baseball Hall of Fame
*Addys D'Mercedes - Singer
*Alonso Brito - Singer/Songwriter
*Benny Moré - Singer
*Yotuel Romero - Singer
*Luis Moro - Actor/Filmmaker
*Matt Cedeño - Actor/Model
*Georg Stanford Brown - Actor
*José Contreras - MLB
*Orlando Hernández - MLB
*Liván Hernández - MLB
*Alexei Ramirez - MLB
*Fantasia Barrino - Singer
*Kid Chocolate - boxer

ee also

*Cabildo (Cuba)
*Afro-Latin American

References




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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Afro-Cuban — n. Cuban who is of African descent adj. of or pertaining to an Afro Cubans or their culture or history …   English contemporary dictionary

  • afro-cuban — | ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷| adjective Usage: usually capitalized A&C Etymology: Afr + Cuban : of or relating to Cubans of African, especially Negroid, descent * * * /af roh kyooh beuhn/, adj. 1. combining elements of black African culture with those of Cuban… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Afro-Cuban — /af roh kyooh beuhn/, adj. 1. combining elements of black African culture with those of Cuban culture. n. 2. percussive Latin music originating in Cuba and showing strong African rhythmic influence. [1945 50] * * * …   Universalium

  • Afro-Cuban — Af•ro Cu•ban [[t]ˈæf roʊˈkyu bən[/t]] adj. peo ant of or denoting features of Cuban culture of black African origin • Etymology: 1945–50 …   From formal English to slang

  • Afro-Cuban — adjective Describing the section of the population of Cuba that has an African heritage …   Wiktionary

  • afro-cuban — af·ro cu·ban …   English syllables

  • Afro-Cuban All Stars — est un projet musical né en 1995 sous l impulsion de Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, directeur musical du groupe Sierra Maestra. En mars 1996, 25 des plus brillants musiciens cubains se sont côtoyés une semaine et vont enregister trois albums :… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Afro-cuban all-stars — est un projet musical né en 1995 sous l impulsion de Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, directeur musical du groupe Sierra Maestra. En mars 1996, 25 des plus brillants musiciens cubains se sont côtoyés une semaine et vont enregister trois albums :… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Afro-cuban all stars — est un projet musical né en 1995 sous l impulsion de Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, directeur musical du groupe Sierra Maestra. En mars 1996, 25 des plus brillants musiciens cubains se sont côtoyés une semaine et vont enregister trois albums :… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Afro Cuban All Stars — est un projet musical né en 1995 sous l impulsion de Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, directeur musical du groupe Sierra Maestra. En mars 1996, 25 des plus brillants musiciens cubains se sont côtoyés une semaine et vont enregister trois albums :… …   Wikipédia en Français


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