Showcasing the Global Network of Kellogg Fellows
Of all my travels around the world, my trip to Cuba is the one trip people have been most curious about.
“So, how was Cuba?” they invariably ask when they find out I went there last summer.
I have learned to summarize my trips in one or two sentences because although most people try to be polite, they really can’t sustain their interest in others’ travels. But Cuba is turning out to be different. They want to know what it was like. Their eyes even light up. So I indulge them a bit more.
About the Trip: June 18-25th, 2017. Cuba and the African Diaspora: Legacies and Realties. An 8-day experiential study trip to travel and learn. The mission of this Travel & Learn is to introduce and expose participants to the historical origins of the African Diaspora in Cuba through an intensive on-site engagement of the island’s culture, history, and structural continuities from the nineteenth century to the present. Led by Evelyn Hu-DeHart (KNFP-V) and Reynaldo Ortiz-Minaya.
Photo Credit: Rose Hayden-Smith
In Cuba, it seems that there are rules—and then there are ways around the rules in order to get things done or to satisfy needs. For the Castro regime, the emphasis has been on rules and controls the authorities exercise over the people and the country’s enterprises in conformity with Communist ideals. However, as things began to change, certain acceptable euphemisms and modified practices allowed new ways to enter the culture and still save face for the Revolution.
Expectations play such an important part in any adventure and certainly they did as I reflect upon my visit to Cuba in 2016!
I expected a great deal – certainly seeing vintage U.S. cars from the 1950's and I was not disappointed! (I rode in a '52 Chevrolet and a '57 Buick. Both were taxis and both needed a good motor overhaul, but their outsides were pristine!) However, I was surprised to find NEW cars–but none from the USA!
Hear Joyce King (KNFP-05) on her story of racial healing and transformation.
Hear David Castro (KNFP-13) on his story growing up in Brooklyn.
Both of my parents were born in Alabama during the mid 20's and left for Cleveland, Ohio as teenagers in the late 30's. As a child and adolescent I never remember any conversations about their childhood or mention of their fathers. It was only later as a teenager through conversations with relatives I discovered my grandfathers were the victims of racial incidents that resulted in their deaths at an early age. My parents never knew their fathers.
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“Nothing is too wonderful to be true” – these words of Michael Faraday, a 19th century chemist, describe my glorious and fortunate life. I have been truly overwhelmed with opportunities.