Questions of Memory and History in Cuba and Sierra Leone by Emma Christopher

“Questions of Memory and History in Cuba and Sierra Leone: Old and New Identities in the Making of They Are We” by Dr. Emma Christopher, Director, Producer and Researcher of the film They Are We Anti-Slavery Australia, University of Technology Sydney, Australia.

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In the new book, “Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana,” authors Peter Kornbluh and William LeoGrande use recently declassified documents to expose the secret history of dialogue between the United States and Cuba. Among the revelations are details of how then-U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger considered launching airstrikes against Cuba after Fidel Castro sent troops to support independence fighters in Angola in 1976. In the years that followed, top-secret U.S. emissaries, including former President Jimmy Carter and Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez, worked to normalize relations with Cuba. The book’s release comes as Cuban leader Raúl Castro is set to participate for the first time in next year’s Summit of the Americas in Panama. Cuba recently denounced the Obama administration for extending the more than 50-year embargo for another year in a little-noticed move in September.

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Cuban chants traced to Sierra Leone – BBC News

During more than three centuries of transatlantic trade, just short of a million slaves were shipped to Cuba. Today many of their descendants know little or nothing of their origins. But one community in western Cuba has managed to keep the songs of their forefathers alive through the generations. In a remarkable discovery the origins of the songs have been traced back to a village in Sierra Leone.

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