Susan D. Greenbaum of University of South Florida reviews Suspect Freedoms: The Racial and Sexual Politics of Cubanidad in New York, 1823– 1957, by Nancy Raquel Mirabal. Nancy Raquel Mirabal explores Cuban racial and sexual politics in New York during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She delves into the rich cache of primary sources, archival documents, literary texts, club records, newspapers, photographs, and oral histories to write what Michel Rolph Trouillot has termed an “unthinkable history.” Situating this pivotal era within larger theoretical discussions of potential, future, visibility, and belonging, Mirabal shows how these transformations complicated meanings of territoriality, gender, race, power, and labor. She argues that slavery, nation, and the fear that Cuba would become “another Haiti” were critical in the making of early diasporic Cubanidades, and documents how, by the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Afro-Cubans were authors of their own experiences; organizing movements, publishing texts, and establishing important political, revolutionary, and social clubs. Meticulously documented and deftly crafted, Suspect Freedoms unravels a nuanced and vital history.
Read the book review at https://doi.org/10.1111/imre.12366