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SW Raceless Cubanidad
  • Stephen Wilkinson
Stephen Wilkinson

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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The article contests the dominant ‘discursive formation,’ as Foucault called it, that privileges the role of white creole liberalism in the formation of Cuban nationalism. The article relies on an a priori method to argue that the existing discourse is an elitist construction that disregards the role that blacks and free coloureds had in the formation of the Cuban national idea. By analysing the historiography of three uprisings from the first half of the 19th century, the article argues that there is sufficient reason to believe that Blacks and free people of colour were the first in Cuba to have aspirations that combined the demand for the abolition of slavery along with the establishment of an independent sovereign state that would regard all citizens as equal regardless of their race. By extension, it therefore follows that in these early rebellions, inspired by the example of the Haitian revolution and the Spanish-American Wars of Independence, Black and free coloureds must have formed a racially inclusive idea of being ‘Cuban’ independently of and before the majority of white population of the island.