Cuban essayist Zuleica Romay, who won the special 2012 Casa de las Americas Literature Award on black presence in the contemporary Americas and the Caribbean, called for cultural policies to face today’s stereotypes and racist behaviors.
After receiving the award, the author of “Elogio de la Altea o las Paradojas de la Racialidad” (Altea Praise and Racial Paradoxes), told Prensa Latina that the the work allows her to appreciate racial prejudices through socio-cultural processes that are often covert.
“I tried to understand why, despite the social transformation process of the Cuban Revolution, lower stereotypes still remain. I think the systematization of our experiences through social sciences will benefit all Latin American and Caribbean countries,” the researcher stated.
This is not an autobiographical book, it tells personal stories to support her thesis: “I think that about those issues, in which society seeks responses to its more complex problems, exchange is essential,” said Romay, current president of the Cuban Book Institute.
She noted that in order to write the book, she had to collect the largest quantity of possible systematizations: History of Cuba and the classics of Cuba’s social thought, especially anthropologist Fernando Ortiz, but also reflections from Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, and reports from international news agencies. The academic, who described the special Casa Award as the most relevant prize in her short literary career, told the press about her interest to unravel the common denominators that determine prejudice and racial discrimination in Latin America and the Caribbean.