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Abstract

Thomas F. Anderson’s nuanced and meticulously researched study adds to recent scholarship on Afrocubanismo as it sheds new light on a previously unexplored group of texts: poems dealing with Cuban carnival celebrations. By looking at poems about comparsas published between 1916 and 1950, Anderson’s book illuminates the ways in which race and national identity were being negotiated – both on the page and in the street – during Cuba’s first decades as a nation. Even as these poems about comparsas chronicle the arrival and development of Afrocubanismo as an artistic movement, they also reveal the reservations and inconsistencies in writers’ attitudes towards Afro-Cuban culture.

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