Black Cuban, Black American: A Memoir by Evelio Grillo

By Evelio Grillo

Ybor urban, Florida, used to be a thriving manufacturing unit city populated by way of cigar-makers, usually emigrants from Cuba and Spain. starting to be up in Ybor urban (now Tampa) within the early 20th century, the younger Evelio Grillo skilled the complexities of existence in a horse-and-buggy society demarcated via either racial and linguistic traces: lifestyles used to be diverse counting on even if one used to be Spanish- or English-speaking, a white or black Cuban, a Cuban American or a native-born U.S. citizen, well-off or bad. (Even American-born blacks didn't constantly get in addition to their Hispanic counterparts.)

Grillo recaptures in prose this designated global that slowly pale away as he grew to maturity throughout the melancholy. He relates his expanding assimilation into black American society, after which tells of his adventures as a soldier in an all-black unit in the course of global conflict II. Booklovers could have learn of Ybor urban within the novels of Jose Yglesias, yet by no means earlier than has it been portrayed from this exact and very important point of view.

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Extra resources for Black Cuban, Black American: A Memoir

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If there was ever a time in my life when I felt sublimely happy, this was it. Home, family, community, school, and church all played their roles with maximum effectiveness. They were all exquisitely happy places to be, and I was the fortunate beneficiary of all this love. P A R T T W O Going Up North CHAPTER 7 Tally Wop THE AMERICAN PATTERN of rigid segregation of blacks and whites asserted itself in the schools with unrestrained, brutal vigor. For all of our sharing of language, culture, and religion with white Cubans, we black Cubans were black.

Going beyond, to Fourteenth and Fifteenth streets, the dry-goods stores, the furniture store and the fine men’s wear store huddled together as though they found comfort in each other. Mother bought me my first suit with long pants in the men’s wear store. With the Depression in full swing, she could not afford it, as the sad look and deep sigh with which she accepted the salesman’s final offer clearly showed. Nearby, and on the same side of the street stood S. H. , the “expensive” five- and ten-cent store.

Chosen by the workers, he received his pay individually from the workers themselves. At fifteen cents per worker per week, that came to more than thirty dollars a week—handsome pay indeed. The black Cuban community was very proud of the only black lector, Facundo Accion, who carried himself with great dignity. He was, without question, the black Cuban community’s recognized leading intellectual. Perched on a platform above the tables where the cigar makers worked, the lector read the newspaper from cover to cover in the morning: news, features, sports, business.

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