Lourdes Casal was born in Cuba and emigrated to the United States in 1962. She became a teacher famous for her studies of Black Cubans. She is also known for her work on attitudes and behavior as a result of transitions for Cubans. “Casal was one of the first exiles to make return trips to Cuba. She is remembered for her pioneering efforts to bring about improved relations between Cubans in Cuba and those in the United States.” 7 We will look at poems from a collection called Palabras Juntan Revolucion. In these poems the author speaks of contrasting feeling with the Cuba she left and the New York she has made her home. Though she admittedly defines herself as a New Yorker she also feels she will always be a welcome stranger because of her upbringing. Her poetry also describes cultural traits and symbols the help the imaging of pictures.
Marisella Veiga was born in Havana, Cuba but raised in the U.S. Her essay titled “Fresh Fruit,” compares two Latinas, one older, one younger, and through the comparison the reader sees the difference in generations as well as the implications of machismo and marinisma.
A third author, Margarita Engle, was born in Los Angeles to a Cuban mother and American father. We will study an excerpt from her book Singing To Cuba which describes a visit to her beloved Cuba. Scenes of Castro’s influences and restrictions contrast memories of her parents and images imagined through their stories.
Students will look at stories gathered from periodicals that probe into the conflicting feelings of Cubans in Miami and those in Cuba in relation to the Elian Gonzales debacle. Venn diagrams will again be used to explore similarities and differences between two distinct Cuban populations. Students will also explore the history of some Cuban music and dissect the cultural influences that are part of its make up.