---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 06:35:54 -0500 (EST)
Subject: AfroCuban filmmaker premieres "Roots of My Heart" on 1912 Massacre
AfroCubaWeb Newsletter #9, 1/22/01
AfroCuban filmmaker Gloria Rolando will be touring the US from March 15th through May 2001 to premiere
the Spanish language version of her latest film, "Raices de Mi Corazon" ("Roots of My Heart"). This video
deals for the first time ever with the 1912 massacre of over 6,000 members of the Independents of Color,
a black political party formed by the veterans of the Cuban Wars of Independence. The tour starts on
March 15th in Dallas, Texas. Dates are available starting March 20th.
Gloria Rolando will also bring her other videos: Oggun, Eyes of the Rainbow (with Assata Shakur), My
Foosteps in Baragua, and el Alacran (descriptions at http://afrocubaweb.net/gloriarolando.htm)
Summary of "Las Races de mi Corazn" - "Roots of my Heart"
presented by Images of the Caribean, a video group
(video color, in Spanish, 50 minutes)
English subtitles are forthcoming but may not be ready for the tour.
Merecedes, a Cuban woman from Havana, begins to decipher her family secrets through the photo of her
great-grandparents, Mara Victoria y Jos Julin. Between reality and the world of her dreams, she will
learn about the ties this couple -- especially her great-grandfather -- had with the Independents of Color, a
political party formed in 1908. The struggle of these black men and women to create a space for
themselves in Cuban society at the beginning of the 20th century had a tragic outcome: the massacre of
1912. Many families suffered, but history imposed a silence, the same silence that surrounds Mercedes'
The Independents of Color was the first black political party in the hemisphere outside Haiti. Formed in
1908, it was made up largely of veterans of the Mambi Army, the Cuban Army of Liberation that defeated
the Spanish in two Wars of Liberation (1868-1878 and 1895 - 1898). Recent research in Cuba has
established that this army was overwhelmingly made up of Cubans of African descent: it was one of the
largest slave revolts in the hemisphere. When the Mambises had all but ejected the Spaniards from Cuba in
1898, the plantocracy allied themselves with the US to bring about the Spanish American War and gain
back control of the island. The Mambi veterans responded by forming the Independents of Color to obtain
their rightful share.
"Raices de mi corazon" ("Roots of my heart") is the first treatment on film of a history that has largely been
ignored ever since 1912 imposed its realities.See our web site for more information and for photos that
are part of the rarely seen historical stock used in the film: http://afrocubaweb.net/gloriarolando.htm
Anyone interested in having Gloria give a talk and show her films, please contact
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