In 1856, a free black man named José Moreno did something that shook up Cuba’s newly established system of segregated public schools: He applied for a teaching license. Professor Raquel Alicia Otheguy (Bronx Community College) tells Moreno’s story in an article in Cuban Studies.
Otheguy portrays Moreno’s quest as a form of resistance against “the hardening racial hierarchy” taking shape in Cuban schools and society. A slave revolt a decade earlier had resulted in increased “oppression of Afro-descendants in Cuba by whites who were attempting to prop up a slave-based sugar economy and a besieged colonial regime.”
Read more about Professor Otheguy’s work on José Moreno and race and education in colonial Cuba on the SUM website.