For Monday, I’m reading: Guy Tirolien, Nicolás Guillén (in conversation with Langston Hughes), Aimé Césaire, and Léon Damas.
I meant to talk about the New York Times obituary in 1989. I suppose I should be happy that a man considered the NATIONAL POET OF CUBA was mentioned in the New York Times, but I’m not grateful. For me, it seems like it was a passing mention for a poet who was so significant in the Caribbean and Latin America. It privileges his work around “the multiethnic and ethnic mix of Cuba” over his writing about the Communist revolution. The obituary does not talk about blackness. 1989 … 2015, and PWI (predominantly white institutions) still don’t want to talk about blackness. What’s interesting to me, too, is how little of his work is mentioned, how there’s a passing nod to the fact that he was born and where, and the positioning of him as an educated man who studied law. There’s a mention of exile (5 years in exile in a sentence with no telling of that hardship and story) and covering the Spanish Civil war.