The histories of Cuba and the United States are tightly intertwined
and have been for at least two centuries. In Race to Revolution,
historian Gerald Horne examines a critical relationship between
the two countries by tracing out the typically overlooked interconnections
among slavery, Jim Crow, and revolution. Slavery was
central to the economic and political trajectories of Cuba and the
United States, both in terms of each nation’s internal political and
economic development and in the interactions between the small
Caribbean island and the Colossus of the North.
Horne draws a direct link between the black experiences in two
very different countries and follows that connection through
changing periods of resistance and revolutionary upheaval. Black
Cubans were crucial to Cuba’s initial independence, and the relative
freedom they achieved helped bring down Jim Crow in the
United States, reinforcing radical politics within the black communities
of both nations. This in turn helped to create the conditions
that gave rise to the Cuban Revolution which, on New Years’ Day
in 1959, shook the United States to its core.
Based on extensive research in Havana, Madrid, London, and
throughout the U.S., Race to Revolution delves deep into the
historical record, bringing to life the experiences of slaves and
slave traders, abolitionists and sailors, politicians and poor farmers.
It illuminates the complex web of interaction and infl uence
that shaped the lives of many generations as they struggled over
questions of race, property, and political power in both Cuba and
the United States.