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Black Cuban, Black American: A Memoir Under Review - Essay Example

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The present paper represents a detailed review of a book "Black Cuban, Black American: A Memoir" by Evelio Grillo, which covers three significant life periods in the life on the author in different perspective than that covered in American history books…
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Black Cuban, Black American: A Memoir Under Review
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"Black Cuban, Black American: A Memoir Under Review"

Download file to see previous pages One of the major themes within the story is that of prejudice, but not only as it has come to be generally thought of – the attitude of white people toward people of color. While Grillo is sure to include that aspect in the story, it does not play as major a role in his early life as the prejudice experienced between people of color. “Differences in language and culture became formidable impediments to full integration of black Cubans within the black American community” (11), Grillo says. More than language separated the groups, though, as Grillo continues on to point out the vast differences between the cultural experiences of black American slavery as opposed to black Cuban slavery. “In Spanish-speaking countries, slaves, though subjugated and exploited, were, I believe, taught to read, write and do arithmetic. … Laws or custom forbade the teaching of reading and writing to U.S. slaves” (11). According to Grillo, this difference and others created a gulf between the two groups that became very difficult to overcome. “A common racial identity as blacks did not bridge the gulf that existed between the two groups. Black Americans spoke English and followed Protestant religions. Black Cubans spoke Spanish and practiced Catholicism” (11). However, it was only by crossing that chasm that black Cubans had the opportunities to break out of the rigid, poverty-stricken condition the social system had reserved for them. “The relatively small number of black Cubans who entered college achieved nearly full integration, socially, into black American life. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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