Celebrate Cuba in Black History Month – some books and films to read and watch

Biography of a Runaway Slave Author Miguel Barnet The story of Esteban Montejo, as told to the author when Esteban was over 100 years old. His fascinating life charts his slavery, emancipation and participation in the Cuban Revolution. Read review and buy here

Reyita: The Life of a Black Cuban Woman in the Twentieth Century Author Daisy Rubiera CastilloReyita is the amazing life story of a black Cuban woman, who lived through racism and dictatorships, taught herself to read, took part in black politics, lost a son in the revolution and went on to have over a hundred grandchildren. Read review and buy here

PoetryBlack Woman and other poems Author Nancy MorejonCollection of poems by one of Cuba's foremost poets. This anthology has been decribed as exquisite, profound and crafted. Read review and buy here

My Last Name/El Apellido Author Nicolas GuillenNicolas Guillen is Cuba's most important twentieth century poet, one of the Caribbean's most seminally original voices. This anthology presents some of Guillen's finest work from all periods of his creative life. Published as a bilingual text. Read review and buy here

FictionMaids of Havana Author Pedro Perez SarduyCompelling novel based on the stories and memories of poet and writer Pedro Perez Sarduy's mother. Set in Cuba and the USA, from 1938 to the 1990s, two Afro-Cuban women tell their stories. The book asks what life was like for Afro-Cubans before the Cuban revolution, since and what the issues are that faced black Cubans who left Cuba after the revolution. Race, class, gender and nation are all examined. Read review and buy here

Feature film

DVD: Cecilia (1982, Cuba, ICAIC, Dir. Humberto Solas, English subtitles) Adapted from Cirilo Villaverde's 1882 ‘Cecilia Valdés o La Loma del Ángel', often called the national novel of Cuba, and directed by Humberto Solás in the style of the first part of his tripartite Lucía (1968), Cecilia is a lavish, turbulent, delirious melodrama set in 1830s Havana amidst agitation for independence from Spain. Buy here