Marial Iglesias Utset

Visiting Research Scholar at the Afro-Latin American Research Institute

Biography

Fellow: 2012-2016

A Creole Family and Its Slaves in Saint-Domingue and Cuba: A Narrative of a Trans-Atlantic Experience

Project Description

A Creole Family and Its Slaves in Saint-Domingue and Cuba: A Narrative of a Trans-Atlantic Experience

A family of French planters in Jérémie, in southern Saint-Domingue, whose world falls apart due to the revolution in Haiti, recreates the economy (material and moral) of the coffee plantation in Cuba. The lives of the Despaignes, both masters and slaves, descendants of Europeans and the offspring of Africans, were tied for three generations to a piece of land in the mountains of el Cobre, near Santiago de Cuba, whose exploitation resulted in a bonanza for the white owners and in physical violence and dehumanization for its victims. Half a century later, the outbreak of the Cuban wars of independence from Spain emancipated the numerous slaves from the plantation. Their citizen status, in the Cuban Republic of the twentieth century, was put to the test as the 1912 uprising of the Independent Party of Color traumatically brought back the memory of Haiti to Cuba.

You are here