RACE IN CUBA: 50 YEARS AFTER THE REVOLUTION – EBCCI Lecture by Carlos Moore; 18 March 2009

An ethnologist and political scientist with two doctorates from the prestigious University of Paris-7, France, CARLOS MOORE was banished for three decades from his native Cuba as a result of his opposition to the racial policies of the Castro regime.

Fluent in five languages, he lived and worked in many lands throughout his 34-year exile, and traveled extensively on ethnological research projects in South-east Asia, Africa and the South Pacific. His political and professional career began in 1962 when, aged nineteen, he was recruited into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a translator in the Asian Division.

In late 1963, he fled Cuba, with the assistance of the embassy of Guinea, where he took refuge. He went on to specialize in African, Latin-American and Caribbean affairs, and while residing in France developed a prolific career in journalism, serving as in-house journalist for France’s national news agency, Agence France-Presse, and as a specialist on West African affairs for the international weekly Jeune Afrique.

Most of his academic life has been devoted to research on the impact of race and ethnicity on domestic politics and inter-state affairs.

He was Senior Lecturer at the Institute of International Relations of the University of the West Indies, at St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, for six years; Visiting Professor at Florida international University, in Miami, for two; and Associate Professor at the University of the French West Indies (UAG).

The confluence between his academic and political life occurred in 1975 when the distinguished African scholar, Cheikh Anta Diop, invited him to take up residence in Senegal and assist with several political projects. One of these involved the setting up of a World Black Researchers Association (WBRA), in 1976. He remained in Senegal until 1980.

In 1982-1983 he was personal consultant to the Secretary General of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) currently African Union). Moore was involved with the initial phase of the Festival of Black & African Arts and Culture of 1977 (FESTAC), working in Lagos, Nigeria, where he came into contact with legendary pan-Africanist and musical genius, Fela Kuti, whose biography (This Bitch of a Life) he wrote in 1982. While teaching at Florida International University, he organized in 1987 an international three-day conference in homage to Aim? C?saire, one of the chief founders of the Black consciousness movement known as N?gritude. In 2000, he resigned his post at the University of the West Indies, where he continues to be Honorary Research Fellow in the School for Graduate Studies and Research, in Kingston Jamaica, and retired to Brazil with his family to write his memoirs and continue his research work on race in Latin America.

His books are: Pich?n – Race and Revolution in Castro?s Cuba (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 2008); A ?frica que Incomoda (Belo Horizonte: Nandyala Editora, 2008); Racismo e Sociedade (Belo Horizonte: Mazza Edi??es, 2007); African Presence in the Americas (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1995), principal editor; Castro, the Blacks, and Africa (Los Angeles: CAAS/UCLA, 1989); Fela: This Bitch of a Life (London: Allison & Busby, 1982); Cette Putain de Vie (Paris: Karthala, 1982).

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