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Author: Michael Zeuske

Focuses on how in Cuba race-marking was interrelated with surname-giving, also after the abolition of slavery. Through researching life histories on the local level in the Cienfuegos region, the author examines names of former slaves, finding that these were after abolition in notarial records often marked with the adjectives s.o.a., or "sin otro apellido" (without other surname, taking into account the Iberian double surname tradition). This, according to him, points to a stigmatization of these black citizens and related to their former status as possession, and is thus a racial marker, only more hidden than the open racial assignations during slavery. He relates these postemancipation surnames of former slaves to the dotation of surnames during slavery, whereby most surnames of slaves were those of the last owner of the slaves. He also discusses differences in name-giving between the notarial records and everyday life. He further indicates that a new racism developed in the Cuban society of the late 19th c. and early 20th c., which was voiced more openly in the realm of culture, and regarding events as incarceration and death, and more hidden within the civil and judicial spheres, where the fiction of a race-blind republic was maintained.

In: New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids
Author: Michael Zeuske

[First paragraph]"Aunque por supuesto nuestro trabajo no es historico (Miguel Barnet)" Apart from Manuel Moreno Fraginals's El ingenio, there is hardly any other book in Cuban historiography that has met with such wide circulation as Biografia de un cimarron by Miguel Barnet.1 It is, in spite of a series of contradictions, the classic in testimonio literature for contemporary studies on slavery as well as for the genre of historical slave narratives extending far beyond Cuba. In particular the various new editions and translations, such as the English versions that have been published under the titles Autobiography of a Runaway Slave (Barnet 1968), Autobiography of a Runaway Slave (Esteban Montejo & Miguel Barnet 1993) or Biography of a Runaway Slave (Barnet 1994) and the discussion that Barnet's book stimulated bear witness to this position.2

In: New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids
In: Critical Readings on Global Slavery