Published: Friday 24 September 2021 | 12:31:59 am.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Cuban activist Magali Llort, a reference in the struggle on the island for the return of the five heroes who were imprisoned in the United States due to their anti-terrorist activities, died Thursday, reports Prensa Latina.
The Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) paid tribute to the mother of one of these young Cubans, who spent more than 15 years in prison for alerting her country about Washington’s violent plans.
Through its website Siempre con Cuba (Always with Cuba), the institution also recalled Llort’s trajectory as a revolutionary and congresswoman who deserved different recognitions.
“Magali, a loving mother, did not like the media to talk about her, preferring instead to denounce the injustice committed against the Five, of whom she said that they were all her children,” the website says.
Recently, the president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, recalled the 23rd anniversary of the imprisonment of the five anti-terrorists in the United States and pointed out that the struggle for their liberation revealed to the world the aggressions against the Antillean country.
Published: Thursday 29 July 2021 | 08:17:21 pm.
Author: Santiago Jerez Mustelier
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
When he arrived at 20 de Mayo Avenue, in Havana, the first thing he did was to join the formation of the cordon. He did not expect a disproportionate reaction from some of the provocateurs, who sought to advance towards the Plaza de la Revolución.
It would never cross the mind of Lieutenant Luis Angel Rosales, of the National Special Brigade of the Ministry of the Interior (Minint) that he and his comrades would be attacked with stones, sticks and Molotov cocktails. In his 11 years of experience in this agency, he says he has never witnessed such strong events.
“What gave us joy was to see the response of a great majority of the people: they chanted slogans together with us, raised flags, wielded posters and photos of Fidel, Raul and President Diaz-Canel. I reaffirmed that Cuba is one people, a cohesive nation”, says the 29-year-old agent, and in contrast recalls that they had to endure insults, threats of lynching and open provocations.
Now that the riots of last July 11 are rough memories lodged in his head, he says that “that day there were stones thrown from the crowds that affected agents of the brigade. I belong to the canine unit and one of our dogs was also hit, so he was off duty days ago, but he has recovered”.
Lieutenant Rosales explains that the “Gallos Finos” (as they are also known) are not trained to hit or kill. Their limits of action are in strict respect to the Constitution of the Republic, to the legal order and to the rational use of force.
“Those arrested in that area of the actions were instigators of attempted vandalism and criminal attack. They were in contempt of court or made attempts against officers. Most of them had criminal records. The rest of those who were there were neither arrested for demonstrating in a civic manner nor for filming at the site,” he says.
A lot is posted on social networks. Much is said in conferences and statements by foreign politicians. The headlines and front pages of the main and most influential media have twisted almost all the truth and placed manipulated photos and videos to absolutely accuse the forces of order of lack of restraint and create an opinion matrix of chaos and disorder in Cuba.
The backing of the White House did not take long to arrive: [accusations of] coercive measures by the Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and Hero of the Republic of Cuba, Army Corps General Alvaro Lopez Miera and the members of the National Special Brigade of the Ministry of the Interior.
“Joseph Biden is categorically wrong -assures the young lieutenant-. Our main mission is the defense of the people, so that citizens can walk and perceive tranquility and security in the streets. We cannot allow the imposition of the terror that the Miami mafia and the anti-Cuban congressmen want for our land.
“This is the first time, since I have been here, that such a complex event has taken place. If it were to happen again, we would be there to safeguard and protect the people, of which we are proudly a part,” Rosales asserts, while emphasizing the participation of rescue and salvage groups of troops in localities devastated by natural disasters, as they were in those that occurred in Ecuador and Dominica.
“In the face of any meteorological phenomenon, we will also go out to support people, as we did when the tornado demolished Diez de Octubre or in situations of flooding in the capital’s coast”.
A dozen publications on social networks have made false reports of protests in recent days, which Rosales denies. He shares his certainties: “Here there is a Revolution that stands firm, calling for unity, peace and love among all, trying to solve the problems of vulnerable communities and families; a country in total calm, dealing with a blockade proud to destroy us, working with will and dedication to contain the pandemic and move forward”.
“What do I take away from what happened on July 11? The respect and gratitude of the people, the applause they gave us on our arrival, the signs of support they showed us by approaching us and talking to us”, says Yan Carlos Boza (22 years old), an agent of the National Special Brigade, in a conversation with this newspaper.
The Santiago native has been a member of the troops for ten months. The events he witnessed marked him. He was first in San Antonio de los Baños. Then, he was incorporated into positions before the Plaza de la Revolución.
“When we arrived in San Antonio there was a lot of commotion, people were restless, nervous, confused by what was happening. Sometime later, calm ensued. The appearance of our President was a great encouragement for those present and a demonstration that the Revolution is always at the side of the people, listening, dialoguing, clarifying and rectifying when necessary.
“We saw signs of affection for the dignitary, of confidence that everything was going to be solved. The people’s opinion of our presence was very positive. It gave us strength and impetus to continue defending the conquests that cost so many young lives.
“At no time was anyone repressed. There we reaffirmed patriotism, the moral and ethical values instilled in us by our relatives and the training as part of the special brigade,” Boza narrates with emotion.
“Our participation together with the people was decisive. We have a high responsibility in guaranteeing the security of the country and its citizens. On that occasion, difficult to forget, I truly understood the essence of the National Special Brigade: to defend, from our condition of humble people, with courage and determination, the future of the Homeland”.
Yan Carlos Boza Castillo.
Mileyda Menéndez Dávila |firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday 03 August 2021 | 07:22:38 pm
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.
If there’s one thing that distinguishes Olympic competitions, it’s their exhibitionist nature. More than to beat their rivals, whatever the sport, each athlete goes out to demonstrate how far we can go in life when we set out to break the limits that someone else set before and seemed immovable.
In that spirit, records are also broken from the stands, as evidenced by the photo of British diver Tom Daley, the new Olympic champion, kintting in concentration as his teammates compete in the Aquatics Center.
The image is iconic because it confirms another challenge overcome in these Games, historic since their inception for many reasons: Tokyo 2020 is the first Olympics in which at least 130 people with homosexual or bisexual erotic orientation, or non-binary identity, and one trans person will openly compete.
Daley declared, “I am gay and an Olympic champion,” to show that these are not incompatible qualities, as has been taboo for too long in modern sport. And the knitting thing is not just a hobby: his fame and activism on Instagram allows him to sell those pieces and donate resources to shelters for gay boys with no family of their own to give them love and respect. The gold didn’t go to his head because he already had it in his heart.
This is his third Olympics and the second time he has come openly gay, an attitude that inspires more athletes to shed the fear of showing who they are in front of the world’s cameras. One less element of stress for their competing bodies and their minds, pending also pandemic.
“When I was younger I always felt like the one who was alone and different and didn’t fit in. There was something in me that was never going to be as good as society wanted me to be,” he told the Guardian. “I hope that any young LGBT person can see that no matter how alone you feel now. You are not alone. You can achieve anything.”
Tokyo 2020 is not the first step, but it is the most forceful in bringing sport out of the closet of sexual prejudice. The sports magazine Outsports states that in the London 2012 Games, 23 self-declared athletes participated outside the heteronormative canons; and in Rio 2016 there were 56.
The Japanese event almost triples the number with athletes from 25 countries. To mention the most significant: from the United States there are 30 and from the United Kingdom 15. There are 12 from the Netherlands and 11 from Canada. New Zealand and Australia had nine each, and Brazil seven. And these figures do not include the technical staff and Paralympic athletes who will come later.
They are in sports as varied as swimming, basketball, canoeing, horseback riding, field hockey, golf, fencing, judo, handball, rowing, rugby, cycling, diving, boxing, BMX freestyle, soccer, softball, tennis, athletics, taekwondo, wrestling and volleyball. At first glance, we can see figures with non-binary identities, that is, that break the typical culturally constructed expectation of feminine and masculine.
And if we are talking about challenging stereotypes, one who does so in a forceful way is New Zealand’s Laurel Hubbard, 43, the first trans woman to compete in weightlifting. Registered as a male at birth, in 2013 she completed her physical and legal transition process. Her case has raised strong controversy, but her hormone levels meet the international requirements to compete with women in this sport, which is controversial for gender reasons.
Hubbard did not win a medal, but she was still happy to be in competition, and before the press she thanked the International Olympic Committee for reaffirming its commitment to the principles of Olympianism and making it clear “that sports is something for everyone, that it is inclusive and accessible”.
For now, trans people who take up sports competitively face complaints from those who believe that genes, bone weight or pubertal development give them certain biological advantages, especially if they compete with women. The curious thing is that many of these sportswomen or their predecessors faced similar resistance to breakthrough in sports that were considered very masculine, and proved that they could give an equally honorable and exciting show for the public, something that could also be said of Paralympic competitions.
As we have already said: if in any area society quickly applauds those who leave behind obsolete marks, it is in sports. The new generations are born with the physical and mental disposition to excel in an admirable way, and it is good that the fire of Olympus burns, without discrimination, in all hearts.
Author: Web Editor
Digital | email@example.com
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
At the close of yesterday, July 24, a total of 60,467 patients were admitted for clinical epidemiological surveillance, 14,864 were suspected, 3,546 were under surveillance, and 42,147 were confirmed active.
For COVID-19, 56,424 samples were studied, resulting in 8853 positive samples. The country accumulates 6 million 208 thousand 857 samples taken and 332 thousand 968 positive.
Of the total number of cases (8853): 8787 were contacts of confirmed cases, 16 with the source of infection abroad and 50 without a source of infection. There were 6147 medical discharges, for a total of 288,414 in the country.
Of the 8853 cases diagnosed, 4747 were female and 4106 were male. The 8853 diagnosed cases belonged to the following age groups: 1632 under 20 years of age, 20 to 39 years 2609, 40 to 59 years 2983, 60 and over 1629.
Of the 8853 positive cases, 5.0% (441) were asymptomatic, for a total of 103,353 cases, representing 31.1% of those confirmed to date.
Distribution of cases by provinces: 8853 cases
Pinar del Río (149)
Villa Clara (383)
Sancti Spíritus (190)
Ciego de Avila (427)
Las Tunas (300)
Santiago de Cuba (735)
Of the 332,968 patients diagnosed with the disease, 42,147 remain hospitalized, 41,788 of them with stable clinical evolution. A total of 2351 patients died (80 during the day), two were evacuated, 54 were returned to their countries, 6147 were discharged during the day, and 288,414 patients have recovered. 359 confirmed patients are being treated in intensive care, including 153 critically ill and 206 seriously ill.
María Esther Ortiz Quesada |firstname.lastname@example.orgPosted: Saturday 26 June 2021 | 01:24:10 pm.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
This time drugs will not be at the center of attention, neither them nor their effects on the central nervous system. While it is true that they are among the great protagonists of the drama, I prefer to focus on the real protagonist: the person.
It all started just when drugs stopped being only in nature, stopped being collected by a hand and stopped being used only in ritual sessions under previously established guidelines. When the collecting hand was replaced by a hand that cultivates, harvests, processes and generates substances that alter the state of consciousness and that hand offers those products to other hands in exchange for lucrative goods, then drugs changed the nature of their relationship with people, or rather, people changed the nature of their relationship with natural psychoactive substances and drug trafficking appeared.
This commercial activity, as lucrative as it is destructive, forced the creation of regulations, prohibitions and agreements that sometimes create disagreements, interpretations and misinterpretations. The old legal maxim warns that ignorance of the law does not exempt from compliance and responsibility.
Although the value of knowledge of laws and regulations, agreements and disagreements goes far beyond the warning about compliance, it is the knowledge of the history and evolution of the laws governing the issue of drug trafficking, both for the confrontation and for the understanding of people’s beliefs about drugs and their use, for the design of prevention or treatment programs.
From this perspective, knowledge of the history of drugs in humanity has an effect on the fight against drug trafficking and an indisputable value for the socio-psychological and medical approach to drug abuse, in the same way that laws and agreements nurture history and provide guidelines for treatment approaches and have a preventive effect for many; Prevention and treatment, on the other hand, remove many people from the drug trafficking networks, weaken them and form informal armies of people who, after recovery, pass on their experiences to others with the explicit or not message of BETTER NOT STARTING.
Turning to individuals
There are non-consuming individuals and they are much more frequent than you can imagine, who never established a relationship with any psychoactive substance, including legal ones. There are others who, at the time broke their relationships with any psychoactive substance. Rejecting this reality means looking at it with a narrow, reduced, tunnel vision.
Consumers are divided into two groups: those who consume responsibly. In this group are all those who are medicated with psychotropic drugs, neuroleptics and other substances necessary to reduce discomfort or control illnesses. Although the fact that the substances consumed are prescribed by a physician is not enough to be considered responsible consumption. To do so, consumption must be limited to the substance, dosage, frequency and time indicated by the physician. This is the only way to be responsible.
The essence of the concept lies precisely in the fact that the substance that is introduced into the organism does not cause damage. This is either because the quantity does not exceed the levels that the organism can tolerate, or because the frequency does not interfere with the harmonious functioning of physiological and psychological processes. In other words, both quantity and frequency must be tolerable by the organism. In still other words, both quantity and frequency must be tolerable for the organism. I say this because of my work experience, practically all consumers say that they consume in a controlled manner.
The big problem is that the consumer generally loses or does not have the notion of self-care while the exercise of their critical judgment is diminished, so they cannot evaluate what is tolerable for their organism and what is not.
It is true that not all consumers are classified as addicts, but it is also true that all addicts, before becoming addicts, have been simply responsible consumers or not, but “uncomplicated” consumers.
I consider it important to be able to identify which people, and under what circumstances, become irresponsible consumers, also called abusive consumers. It classifies as irresponsible and abusive consumption, any amount of drugs, legal or not, by pregnant or breastfeeding women, by minors, by people who drive vehicles or handle precision equipment and instruments, people who are on medication, who suffer from mental illnesses, among others.
An overdose occurs as a consequence of irresponsible, abusive consumption by someone who may not even be a frequent user. It is someone who, in a certain place and occasion, in search of enhancing something he/she believes he/she lacks or with the intention of attenuating an uncomfortable or painful emotion or feeling, for which he/she is not able to solve with help and confused or gullible by what he/she has heard in the promotion of drug consumption, comes to believe that drugs are the solution. This type of irresponsible consumption, which leads to acute intoxication, generally occurs in situations of celebration, loss, grief and anger, causing unfortunate situations for others and for the consumer.
The consequences will always be in correspondence with the amount consumed, the type of drugs, the general state of the person, the circumstances in which the consumption occurred and of course, with the personality of the consumer.
Finally, although the subject of irresponsible consumption is much broader, I will refer to addiction, the last stop for the consumer, which in itself, has several substations and none can be described as pleasant, comfortable or successful. To illustrate a little: the consumption of drugs makes the organism work at the mercy of the substance and when this practice becomes frequent, when the doses increase, then the organism is left without possibilities to defend itself. This generates mediate and immediate damages that make the consumer suffer from certain disorders or illnesses that force they to visit hospitals (first substation). On the other hand, drugs make the person not always able to control their impulses, behavior and language, so it is not surprising that sometimes he becomes a victimizer or a victim, with possible legal consequences that sometimes go from court, to the penitentiary systems (second sub-station). Both sub-stations may be creating the basic conditions for the person with abusive or irresponsible consumption, turned the addict to endanger his life either by disease, violence, accidents or suicide (cemetery, third station).
The addicted person does not always present symptoms so spectacular and is not always easily identifiable, some manage to maintain a certain degree of functionality, although he/she is not exempt from going through the same substations as any other addict.
If someone were to ask me what are, from my point of view, the most significant signs that distinguish an addicted person from a non-addict, I could make a long list of indicators ranging from damage to health, to cognitive processes, to the economy, to the family, to social relations, in short, the list would be quite extensive. But I prefer to think of the non-addicted person, the person who lives according to his or her own mandates and not according to the impulses generated by a substance.
Functional non-addicted people prioritize objectives that facilitate them to achieve greater harmony and comfort in their lives and do not subordinate them to obtaining, buying and consuming substances.
The central objectives of functional non-addicted persons can be found focused on the family as a network of support, responsibility and affection; on friends, as that chosen family, with whom they have encounters and misunderstandings and with whom friendship always survives; on functional leisure, that which distracts, recreates and cultivates mind and body; on economic security for oneself, that which distracts, recreates and cultivates mind and body; in the economic security for oneself, for the family and to be able to dedicate time to the spiritual economy and one more objective, that although it is not the last one, it is very important as a social entity and is referred to the certainty of remaining an active and respected social entity.
Unfortunately, although to external eyes this does not occur with some addicts, most of these objectives are not prioritized by the addicted person and are subordinated to the places, situations and people that facilitate the obtaining of drugs and their consumption.
At this point a question may arise, why worry about responsible or low-risk users, if for them this is not the reality?
Let us return to an earlier statement: all addicts are users, although not all users are addicts. Anyone who uses drugs is much more likely than anyone else to go through the addictive process to addiction.
It is not about going to the place of the fire, it is about creating the conditions so that the fire does not occur; it is not only about having care services for addicts, it is about prevention where apparently there are no risks either, in order to enhance the strengths.
It is a matter of knowing the laws and agreements on the subject and making appropriate interpretations, always placing the person at the center of attention. I speak in the singular, because from this singularity arises the plural, the collective, the society, not as a numerical sum. It arises instead as a dynamic interaction of personal, family, local, national histories, of these cultural interactions and of the convictions and beliefs that these dynamics generate, convictions and beliefs that protect or unprotect. I insist, it is the person at the center of attention because any addiction is an affront to human dignity.
Marina Menéndez Quintero | email@example.com
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
It could be said that, as Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and Nayib Bukele in El Salvador were in their time, he is also an outsider: a man outside politics who is said to have formulated his candidacy as a presidential candidate on the same day that the registration period closed. On that date, he was accepted by Peru Libre. Today, Pedro Castillo has real possibilities of being elected president and of bringing about changes.
But only the primordial character in these matters relates him to those other candidates who, like him, came to the elections virtually outside the parties, when in the formal political sphere they were still little known: the distances between Castillo and those other outsiders of the region are enormous.
His formation as a very humble rural teacher in a remote locality of Puña, in Cajamarca, where he still lives and, recently, a social activism that placed him as leader of two popular mobilizations let him be seen -of course, from a distance- as a man with bullet-proof authenticity that he proclaims wearing the native hat of his homeland, and that he has shielded with his speech. It is the same hat he wore as a “comunero” and “rondero”, as they call in his country the peasants who stand guard to protect their region from the violent ones.
He speaks simply because he is simple; also, perhaps, because of that gift of explaining clearly that a teacher always has and, surely, so that those from below understand. And he “speaks well”, because in academic matters he is not an improvised: he studied Pedagogy at the University and also has a master’s degree in Educational Psychology.
By antagonism, these qualities gain weight when Pedro Castillo has in front of him, for the second electoral round that will decide the presidency of Peru this Sunday, a precocious candidate worn out as a political figure from so much climbing to the proscenium, on whom weighs repeated accusations of corruption and the 25-year prison sentence that her father Alberto Fujimori is serving for those and other sins. A candidate with a portfolio full of the same empty promises that only portend more of the same.
In spite of this, Keiko Fujimori is running for the third time for the first magistracy, and the polls say that she finished the campaign on the heels of her rival, although better positioned than when she started.
Keiko, the political heir of her father, Alberto Fujimori, would keep the neoliberal model intact. Hers could be a term of social and legal instability because there are legal cases against her. Photo: Reuters.
In the face of the right-wing candidate of Fuerza Peru and her deceitful speech, political “virginity” and, at the same time, the will for change of “the Professor” stands out, as Castillo is known with the respect that the teaching profession awakens, especially among the poor, because for them education is almost always something foreign.
When one examines his program, it may be thought that he gathers the sentiments of the dispossessed and, therefore, that he has been able to overcome the skepticism created by the accusations of corruption that persecuted six former presidents in the last 20 years, and for some of whom exercising the Government turned out to be a form of profit.
The disbelief that this provoked was visible in the almost 30 percent abstention rate and the 17 percent of invalid votes in the first round: altogether, a figure that placed these indices as real winners.
Previously, in November, non-conformity exploded through the resounding demonstrations provoked by the deposition in Congress of the penultimate former president, Martin Vizcarra, because the legislature had once again disregarded the laws and the people.
A cardinal aspect is that the aspirant of Peru Libre has included among his proposals the installation of a Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitution, a demand to which the radicalized demands of the street protests were directed.
Pedro Castillo has said that he will sponsor foreign investment, but “with order”, and has criticized that they take the money out of the country, for which he speaks of nationalizing the wealth, as well as the renegotiation of the tax stability contracts with the big companies. He has promised what he calls a “second agrarian reform”.
In addition, he proposes the universalization of the health system, the creation of the Ministry of Science and Technology “because Peru cannot be only a primary exporting country”, he has said on Twitter. He also proposes an increase of the budget for research in development and free entrance to higher education, as well as decentralizing public universities.
However, the first focus of his eventual government would be aimed at combating the pandemic, for which he has proposed, among other measures, the creation of a council composed of scientists, public health technicians and researchers, in order to design effective measures against Covid-19.
He was a man virtually unknown in Peru two months ago, until he was the most voted candidate in the other round with only 19 percent of the ballots. A surprise.
Now he seems a step away from victory. But the margins of difference with Keiko are so close that it is difficult to predict.
It could be said that the flood of endorsements has come to Castillo in a “natural” way if one takes into account the scarcity of resources of his campaign and the same austerity and relative youth of the party that welcomed him and launched him into the arena, and against the backdrop of dirty campaigns.
Peru Libre was founded in 2007 under the slogan “Force born of the people!”, with the declared purpose in its statutes of “the search for social justice expressed in the welfare of man as the highest aspiration, making Peruvian society more equitable, less exclusive and that all Peruvians have equal opportunities formerly denied, striving for development from each of the angles in which they act and develop”.
The right-wing insists on branding Castillo as a communist in order to close the way to him, re-editing an old fear that seemed to be buried with the era of McCarthyism.
As expected, the conservative media campaign has been furious against him and includes other accusations against the candidate and the leaders of Peru Libre, without discarding the lawfare chapter that could be the accusations of money laundering that are once again waved against the general secretary of the group, Vladimir Cerron, wielded this week in a hurry in the clear desire to disqualify the leftist candidate until the last minute, as in a final sprint.
Thus, the voting intention has been “polarized”. The candidates represent antagonistic programs and, therefore, very different social classes.
Everything could be seen, a little superficially, in this way: those who want the status quo have closed ranks behind Keiko, even valuing that of “the lesser evil”, just to stop the opponent. The poor and those who want change are rallying behind Castillo.
Opinion polls show that she is stronger in the northern departments and cities; he has preeminence in the countryside and the central and southern regions.
Seven days ago, the latest polls showed the aspirant of Peru Libre in the lead, but only two points and tenths ahead of his rival, whom three weeks ago he was leading, however, by up to ten percentage points.
The resounding 51 percent that opinion polls showed for “the Professor” last Sunday, and the 48.8 percent registered by Fujimori, suggested a technical tie.
Whatever the result, the “news” was already carried by the surprising emergence of Pedro Castillo into political life. Even if he did not win, this could be his start as leader of the sectors that bet on a different Peru.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Is America a racist society? Yes. Absolutely and categorically so. Facts abound to exemplify the assertion. A review of some of the incidents of more immediate times reaffirms it.
However, it is not only the acts of violence, of police brutality, especially against Blacks and Latinos, nor the rise of extreme right-wing, xenophobic and fascistic groups and organizations, that show this visible trace. Neither do the economic and educational inequalities that undermine development opportunities.
In the first days of May, the governor of the state of Idaho, Republican Bradley Jay Little, signed a bill whose purpose is supposedly not controversial: to prohibit public schools and colleges from teaching that “any sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color or national origin is inherently superior or inferior”.
It might seem positive; however, this sidesteps, indeed, eradicates, conversations about race and equity, as if they have no relevance in a society where they remain one of the biggest and most divisive problems, rooted in a historical development that had as its roots the near annihilation and dispossession of native peoples and the enslavement of men and women forcibly brought from faraway Africa.
Idaho is not unique in the trend, as a dozen states, including Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and West Virginia, have also introduced bills that would prohibit schools from teaching “divisive,” “racist” or “sexist” concepts.
According to a paper published by USA Today, such legislation attacks “critical race theory,” a movement of scholars and civil rights activists, which questions and critically examines how the legacy of slavery (in August 1619 the first cargo of enslaved Africans arrived on the shores of present-day U.S. territory) and systemic racism still affects American society today and are everyday experiences for people of African descent.
Thus, this legislative pattern – especially in Southern and Republican-dominated states – is seen as a backlash against teaching anti-racist lessons in schools, a barrier to learning true and hidden histories in order to entrench the racism against African descendants in the U.S. society.
The pattern is seen as a backlash against the teaching of anti-racist lessons in schools, a barrier to the learning of true and hidden histories to enthrone the socio-economic dominance of white elites, who also cover up class-based profiteering, whatever the skin color of the exploited.
Two key events
These final days of May mark two dates a century apart, the first anniversary of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, when the relentless knee of policeman Dereck Chauvin squeezed his neck for more than eight minutes and prevented him from breathing. It was a crime that shook America and continues to shake it, and outraged the world. Then there is the centennial of a massacre of which very few in the northern nation are aware: the Tulsa massacre.
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, dozens of Black citizens were murdered -some estimates reach more than 300 victims of the racist barbarism of white mobs, joined by the police and the National Guard-, between the night of May 31 and June 1, 1921, in the Greenwood area, which was known as the Black Wall Street, due to the economic prosperity and intellectual development achieved by its inhabitants, and which was reduced to ruins and ashes in the fires.
Baptist minister and civil rights activist Jesse Jackson wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times: “Few even know about the massacre. It has not even been taught in Tulsa public schools until this year. Though a hundred years old, the massacre raises questions of justice and decency that
of justice and decency that America cannot avoid.”
Yet a significant part in size and power of the United States avoids it and does its best to sidestep it.
The detractors of critical race theory, the conservative elements that deny the existence of systemic racism in America, hoist its eradication and not only try to “discredit” it by calling it “Marxist”, above all they impute it to be a plan to “teach children to hate their country”, therefore, they are a threat to American society and the nation.
The Trump administration opposed the teaching of that history in public schools, asserting that it was “divisive and un-American propaganda.” Trump said, “Students in our universities are inundated with critical race theory. This is a Marxist doctrine that holds that America is an evil, racist nation, that even young children are complicit in oppression, and that our entire society must be radically transformed.”
A recent study by Reflective Democracy, a group working to build a democracy in America that works for everyone “because it reflects who we are and how we live in the 21st century,” found that white men hold 62 percent of all elected offices despite being only 30 percent of the nation’s population, exercising minority rule over 42 state legislatures, the House of Representatives, the Senate and state offices from coast to coast.
The analysis added that women hold only 31 percent of the offices despite being 51 percent of the population and “people of color” hold only 13 percent despite constituting 40 percent of the population. It also recalled that 43 states in the Union are considering or have already passed laws that would allow them to apply voter suppression, which targets precisely those vulnerable segments – Blacks, Latinos, native Americans and women.
Some analysts recall that this wave against critical race theory only “crystallized” with Trump, but was awakened when Barack Obama came to the White House, which “was shocking and traumatic for people who had always imagined the United States as a white nation,” according to Adrienne Dixson, a professor at the University of Illinois and author of the book Critical Race Theory in Education.
On both sides, the debate has grown over the past year with the nationwide, ethnically diverse, age-group-wide activism of Black Lives Matter which burst onto the social scene of the national conservative organization Parents Defending Education, whose purpose is to confront what they consider “divisive and polarizing ideas in the classroom,” as Critical Race Theory sees it.
On their website Parents Defending Education released a study in which they claim that 70 percent of respondents said it is not important for schools to “teach students that their race is the most important thing about them.” that 74 percent opposed teaching students that whites are inherently privileged and that Blacks and other people of color are inherently oppressed. They also say that 69 percent opposed teaching in schools that America was founded on racism and is structurally racist. Likewise, they say and that 80 percent oppose the use of classrooms to promote student political activism.
Is American society polarized? Undoubtedly, and in my opinion, this is an extremely dangerous element, a boiling cauldron with no safety valve.
Liudmila Peña Herrera,
Lisandra Gómez Guerra,
Dorelys Canivell CanaL
Published: Thursday 13 May 2021 | 10:30:46 pm. Updated: Friday 14 May 2021 | 03:55:27 pm.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Every time María Alejandra’s menstruation is late, she and her husband’s pulse quickens. The 35-year-old woman jokes that surely the female is coming, behind her boys, and he makes a face like he wants to pull his hair out, because “two are more than enough”. Then she returns to the subject that was almost forbidden that afternoon when he told her that he agreed to opt for male sterilization (vasectomy). However, it all remained a fleeting phrase.
“We had that conversation in front of my mother-in-law, who, upon hearing my proposal, screamed her head off,” says this Havana native, who currently uses condoms as the only contraceptive method, which was difficult to obtain more than a year ago.
There are many people who face the dilemma of finding the best way to control birth control or to put an end to their fertility. Ideally, the decision should be made in a consensual manner with the couple, but this is not always what prevails.
The 48th edition of Cuba’s Health Statistical Yearbook -which contains updated information up to 2019- states that intrauterine devices (IUDs) had the highest percentage (52.2 percent in that year) of contraceptive coverage, followed by female sterilization (tubal ligation), which reached 22.6 percent in 2019.
According to that document, this last value is the highest recorded since 1995 (the date from which the comparisons start). Other contraceptive methods referred to were pills, injectables and condoms. It is worth noting that male sterilization was not included among the options, at least not reported.
So common, it seems natural to many people that birth control is mostly a female concern, even if there are men who are willing to take a leading role.
A survey conducted in the streets of Sancti Spiritus shows the prevailing patriarchal ideology that affects these decisions. Among the opinions identified with this type of concepts, those that stand out are those that maintain that women should worry more because men have children, but if they want to, they do not raise them; if they change their mind after tubal ligation, they can go to the doctor and he will always know what to do.
The “discomfort” involved in the use of condoms and the discomfort associated with IUDs were also mentioned. Another of the ideas naturalized by popular opinion is that “if a woman has a cesarean section, she takes advantage of it and gets her tubes tied”.
This is confirmed by Claudia Bernal Castillo, who opted for tubal ligation surgery. We didn’t even talk about it at home,” explains the 32-year-old. If we only wanted two children, and we already had them, why let that moment go by”.
This is one of the reasons that move patients to request the surgical procedure to the Sancti Spíritus doctors Omar Rangel and Miguel González Bellón, specialists in Gynecology and Obstetrics, who assure that it happens “as a consequence of machismo”.
“This is a definitive and irreversible method of family planning. Although the application of methods to reverse it has been registered, the predominant thing is the appearance of ectopic pregnancies, which are a danger for the woman”, says Bellón.
Dr. Rangel adds: “It is always explained that it is not necessary to perform the procedure during the cesarean section, because it is more invasive and can generate a greater number of maternal deaths, since it involves a surgical intervention. It can be performed laparoscopically -which is less invasive and less risky- 48 hours postpartum”.
The possibility of complications was what made Yaritza Cabrera, 36 years old and a resident of the capital, desist from this procedure, minutes before the cesarean section. “When they were preparing me for the operation, including the oxygen mask, I vomited and almost choked. I was afraid that my blood pressure would rise, because I became tachycardic, so I told the doctor: ‘Forget about the ligature,'” she recalls.
Although both physicians from Sancti Spiritus agree that requesting this procedure is a woman’s right, they recommend it, especially under certain circumstances. Dr. Rangel explains that it is done up to the age of 39 and 40, and never before the age of 24. He also states that it is sometimes necessary to perform it on multiparous patients, those with serious psychiatric problems, decompensated diabetics and those with renal insufficiency.
Both consider that there is an urgent need to improve the culture regarding the use of multiple contraceptive methods: mechanical, endocrine, implants, tablets, etc., so that surgical intervention is not recurrent. “In the family planning consultation, which should be attended as a couple, providers should be trained to provide guidance, according to all the possibilities, so that the best option is chosen,” concluded Dr. Bellón.
Among the techniques used to write this report was a qualitative survey carried out in a private group created by this team for journalistic purposes (Experimento para textos periodísticos) on the social network Facebook, which is made up of 900 users residing in the country.
Most of the women acknowledged that when they decided to end their fertility through surgery, they made the decision alone, without consulting their partner. Some responded that they never thought of proposing to him to have a vasectomy, and it is noteworthy that several of them tried to negotiate to see which one would work best for them.
Several tried to negotiate to see which of the two would undergo the surgery, but it was not possible to reach an agreement. Two girls even proposed to their husbands to have it done and they were offended.
This is still a taboo subject,” says Yinet Córdova, from Holguín. I used condoms for many years because I couldn’t use other methods, and I gave them up when I was sterilized endoscopically, because my husband refused to have a vasectomy”.
For Rouslyn Navia, a resident of Havana, the story has not been much different. At 37 years old and with two children, she does not intend to get pregnant again. She did not opt for ligation during the cesarean section “for fear that the recovery would be more painful. Then I tried to negotiate with my husband to have the vasectomy, since he has several children. He did not agree.
Vasectomy is a surgical technique whose purpose is male sterilization, when the man has decided to put a definitive end to his fertility. However, urologist and andrologist Ramiro Fragas Valdés, specialist in Urology and master in Sexuality at the Cira García Central Clinic, in Havana, warns that, although it can be performed since the 1970s, “it is not practiced as much as it could be because, when couples are referred, they think more about tubal ligation, and because it is the woman who generally opts for sterilization. The idea is to change that, especially because vasectomy is a much simpler and less risky procedure for a man than tubal ligation is for a woman”.
One of the issues that prevent men from opting for this technique, in addition to prejudice, is misinformation. In the survey, most of the participants assured that they would not dare to have it done, and considered that the subject should have a greater presence in the media.
Although some said that “it is not a necessary method if the woman can get pregnant” and that “they say it is very painful”, it is striking that more than half of the men said that “it should be a more accessible option” and “information should be offered in family planning consultations and in sex education in schools”.
These opinions coincide with the opinion of Dr. Fragas, who believes that “if we break the taboo of machismo, if we make the method more widely known, and if we get family planning programs to offer it as an option to couples, vasectomy would be practiced much more than female sterilization, we would save resources, and we would save money. With female sterilization, we would save resources and take better care of women”.
T is a middle-aged man, a doctor, from Havana and childless. He does not want to mention his name, but agrees to share his experience because, despite wanting to undergo the surgery for many years, it has not been possible for him to do so. For years, it has not been possible for him. He says that he never wanted to have offspring, which is why, since he was a medical student, he asked about that possibility.
“First, it was not feasible because I was very young,” he recalls. Then, because I had no children. Later, I was frightened by the unwillingness I found to receive help with postoperative pain management. When I told myself I could handle it, the childlessness story came back.
T’s doubts and concerns may be those of other men. That is why we asked Dr. Fragas, also a member of the board of directors of the Cuban Urology Society, about these issues. The specialist explains that “vasectomy is a very simple surgery that is performed in 15 minutes. The rest period is two or three days, and sexual activity can be resumed after a week”.
However, he believes it is necessary to be clear that “the reversal -in case the patient wants to have children later- takes at least two hours because it is done through microsurgery, and the results are not always favorable. Therefore, it is generally recommended for couples in which the man and the woman are over 35 years old. It cannot be a hasty decision and should be promoted among stable unions, with two children or more”.
Dr. Fragas has extensive experience in this type of surgery, and between the incisional method and the one that does not require a scalpel (Li technique), he prefers the latter, although in his opinion both are equally effective.
“There are patients who feel safer with the traditional technique, with a scalpel,” explains the doctor, who in 2009 presented in Barcelona a casuistry of approximately 400 patients who had undergone surgery, together with other experts. It is also very simple, and one or two small incisions are made. Li’s technique does not change much, but the fact that it does not use a scalpel, that it is performed through a single incision in the median raphe under local anesthesia, makes it more attractive”.
The urologist assures us that the experience of these men, when the doctor makes an appointment to see them to see how it went, is very favorable. “They are very happy with the method and recommend it as something safe and simple,” he says.
Dr. Iliana Armas Ampudia, First Degree Urology and MGI specialist, and member of the Provincial Infertility Consultation in Pinar del Río, corroborates her colleague’s explanation and adds:
“The patient walks in and out of the consultation and should not have any complications. However, it is a very unusual practice. In more than ten years in the specialty, I have barely performed four, and I have colleagues who have performed one or two. Society still has many taboos about these issues. Men should know that it does not affect virility: their erections will remain the same, as will their ejaculation, only free of spermatozoa”.
He also points out that “the couple should continue to take care of themselves for up to three months after the surgery to completely avoid any risk of pregnancy”.
At the age of 67, Georgina Venegas, from Pinar del Río, remembers with gratitude the decision of her husband, journalist Rafael Cao, now deceased. He decided to have a vasectomy so that she would not have to undergo a ligation. It was the early 1990s, and Georgina had undergone two back-to-back terminations.
“We had one child together, and he had another from a first marriage. I had already turned 39, and I told him, ‘I’m going to have to tie the knot, unless you do.’ I just had to ask,” she says.
After a tenacious search in surgical records and operative reports by the nurses of the Urology service in Pinar del Río, this team managed to talk to Alfredo Miló, who underwent a vasectomy in 2019 to prevent his wife, already with two very complex pregnancies due to preeclampsia, from having to enter a salon again.
“Before deciding on a vasectomy, we looked at other alternative methods, but none of them satisfied us. I would tell her, ‘I don’t want you to go to the operating room,’ and she would say, ‘I do want you to go, but to have a vasectomy. Not knowing what it was like and with my machismo in front of me, I did not agree, and so we worked for several years, until I was convinced.
“During the operation I felt no pain. The recovery was perfect. I can tell those who doubt that vasectomy transports you to a world where worries are over.”
His wife, Yamilka Rodriguez, confesses that it was not at all easy to convince him, because “there was a lot of pressure from society and even from the family; even when he entered the salon they told him not to do it”.
Today, Yamilka says, not many people are surprised:
“Women ask me how I got her to have it done and men tell her: ‘You’re crazy, no woman deserves to have that done for them’. It is a deep-rooted machismo. In the face of that, I say that we are happy”.
As this is an issue that is discussed (when dialogue is achieved) within the couple, in the Family Planning Consultation of the municipality of Pinar del Río, each of the options available to avoid pregnancy is explained. In this regard, Dr. Lázara Medina Martínez, who has a diploma in Comprehensive Care for Women and a master’s degree in Communicable Diseases, points out that “vasectomy, in particular, is almost never accepted”.
From 2012 to date, during the time she has been working in this practice, only two couples have opted for this method, in both cases because the women had pathologies that prevented them from undergoing ligation.
In sexual and coupled life, as in social life, everyone has their own contexts, realities and determinants. It is true that as a country we are gaining more and more information and debate on topics that have traditionally been considered off-limits, or only of interest to sectors such as women, in the case of birth control and the end of fertility; but as long as there are options that have not been taken advantage of because of macho cultural patterns, there is still much to communicate and discuss.
On this path, there is nothing better than to seek guidance from specialists and positive experiences. Fortunately, when one looks to the horizon, one finds examples such as those of Ernesto Herrera, from Holguín, who has just become a father. He is sure that, “when the time comes, vasectomy will be the option I will take. It is safer and less traumatic than a ligation for my wife. It is also an act of love.
Author: Aracelys Bedevia
March 9, 2021
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The enigma of femininity has made men of all times cavillers. [quibblers] —Sigmund Freud
One more step forward in the effort to build a more humane society, a victory for those of us who work and dream for a better world, represents the program Cosas de hombres [Men’s Things] which has been broadcast every Monday for the past two weeks at 10:15 p.m. on Cubavisión channel.
Masterfully conducted by Doctor in Historical Sciences Julio César González Pagés and directed by Yolanda Cabrales, the new proposal has already put on the table two topics that generate plurality of criteria: machismo and feminism. What is it? Are we or are we not?
The guests represent a wide range of professions and activities that relate male behaviors in different social spheres. Víctor Fowler (writer), Rochy Ameneiro (singer), Omar Franco (actor), David Blanco (singer), Norma Vasallo (university professor), Andrea Doimeadiós (actress) and Marilyn Solaya (filmmaker) have spoken with Pagés so far; all of them very committed to the struggle for egalitarian spaces where men and women have the same opportunities and are valued as human beings, regardless of sex.
In Men’s Things there will be, from the scientific area, research, communication and teaching, Félix Julio Alfonso, Patricia Arés, Clotilde Proveyer, Yulexis Almeida, Tania de Armas, Yonnier Angulo, Jesús Muñoz Machín, Andrei Hernández and Francisco Cruz. Alberto Roque, Lisandra Chaveco, Yohanka Rodney, Yosvel Hernández, Oni Acosta, Enmanuel George, Arlin Rodríguez and Neida Peñalver will also be present, said Julio César González Pagés to Sexo Sentido.
Edesio Alejandro, Cristian Alejandro, Maykel Blanco, Israel Rojas, Jan Cruz, Luis Franco, Jorge Luis Robaina (Karamba), Juan Carlos Rivero (Moncada), Ernesto Blanco, Adrián Berazaín and Raúl Torres will accompany the debate with music, acting and direction. The list includes Rodrigo García, Tony Ávila, Alberto Corona, Denis Ramos, Jorge Martínez, Maysel Bello, Lizette Vila, Marcos Herrera and Sebastián Milo. Representing the athletes will be multi medalist Victor Moya, in the high jump.
Dr. Pagés, leader of the Ibero-American and African Network of Masculinities (RIAM) and author of more than a dozen titles (Macho, varón, masculino and Por andar vestida de hombre, among others), says that “the idea came up in 2013 during a visit of director Yolanda Cabrales to my house.
“She had directed Ecos de mujer and wanted to create a space where men were the protagonists. In 2020 Rafael Pérez Insua, director of Cubavisión, called on us to rethink the project. With COVID-19 we had to look for alternatives. The original idea underwent changes, but gained nuances for discussion.”
-How much time will you be on screen and what other topics will you be discussing?
-We will discuss health, paternity, sexuality, violence… There will be 13 segments with a duration of 27 minutes, divided into four parts , with three guests and a section called Tangled Men, which is coordinated by Yonnier Angulo and addresses the impact of social networks on contemporary life and masculinities.
-We talk a lot about violence against women and very little about violence against men. Don’t you think that machismo is one of the reasons why this violence is invisible?
-One of the big obstacles is that women’s demands have been resisted by men who do not see them as a priority. A change of vision from hegemonic masculinities is to give them the prominent place in the effort to end inequalities in order to achieve a more equitable society.
“Revolutionary experiences have taught us that the inequalities suffered by women do not end with the end of capitalism, because there are men who are still interested in maintaining the subordination of women.
“Understanding the issue is complicated when a sector suggests that these demands can divert us from more urgent or important objectives at the national level or consider them sectoral demands, and believe that we can create the bonds of solidarity necessary to transform society without questioning male supremacy.
“More than defending men, it is about knowing [mens’] vulnerabilities and prioritizing an agenda that deconstructs the myths of [male] supremacy. We must first and foremost learn to be full humans in order to live in harmony and not be the source of so much violence and destruction.”
-Is it a good time for a program of this kind?
-Yes, it comes at an excellent time of changes in Cuban society. Laws related to our masculinities are being passed and it is important to be prepared for this. There is a great need to educate the population on the various questions related to masculinities and to offer ways to unlearn toxic macho values.
José Luis Estrada Betancourt |firstname.lastname@example.org
March 8, 2021
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
I couldn’t help but think of my mother as soon as I started watching Madam C. J. Walker: Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker, the miniseries released by Netflix in 2020 and now broadcast by Cubavisión on Saturdays at around 9:15 p.m. And not only because the extraordinary actress Octavia Spencer brings my Juana to mind, but because the story she stars in and for which she was nominated for Emmy awards, brought me back to those years of my childhood in which so many times I found the mistress of my days girdled with a hot comb to smooth her hair soaked in fat smelly grease.
It frightened me that I had to try, by fire, to make them find her beautiful, sliding that red-hot iron through the bundle of strong and unruly hair that she inherited from our ancestors, to leave them shiny and straight. I preferred to leave so as not to witness a possible accident, an alternative that did not disappear when it was the turn of the curling iron and the curl began to bend in a more permanent way with a chemical treatment that does not even spare the scalp.
I didn’t even wonder then what would be wrong with natural hair. It seemed to me the most common thing in the world that some people wanted to “advance the breed”, or that, before inquiring about their health, they were concerned with finding out how the newborn had turned out: It is evident that I was not ready to understand then that the centuries of slavery, of colonialism, imposed a Eurocentrism that later capitalism and imperialism were in charge of accentuating, to the point that this racist concept, which is so discriminatory, is so impregnated in my mind, that I was not ready to understand then that the centuries of slavery, of colonialism, imposed a Eurocentrism that later capitalism and imperialism were in charge of accentuating, to the point that this racist concept, discriminatory, is so impregnated in us (still today) that it can be common that in many spaces what does not comply with the “white beauty” is taken as dirty, unkempt, inappropriate, unprofessional, and is associated with poverty and marginality.
Undoubtedly, the theory of the existence of human races (over time up to 63 were classified, although Cuba must have surpassed that figure with so many mulattoes, mulatos blanconazos, jabaos, capirros, Indians…) was a great “invention” for those who sought to establish their social and cultural supremacy. The truth is that, although scientifically it has been destroyed, the direct derivative of this concept: racism, has not disappeared at all.
Madam C. J. Walker: A Self-Made Woman, a story that aims to bring us closer to the life of Sarah Breedlove (who later became C.J. Walker when she remarried publicist Charles Walker and took his name for her business), the first African-American woman to achieve the status of millionaire in the United States, could speak more forcefully about all of this, but does not.
However, viewers should not think that they will get to know much about this revered figure by African Americans with the four 45-minute chapters that Netflix offers us, because suddenly we will find her as a notable businesswoman and philanthropist when in a scene filmed in broad daylight, we discover her dressed in beautiful blue, as if she were dressed for an Oscar award ceremony, protecting herself from the sun, strolling outside her mansion where she will be noticed by her neighbor Rockefeller.
“To whom God gave it…”, those who think I’m envious are probably thinking right now. It’s just that no divine force must have given her anything, but she certainly had to fight very hard to be able to create an empire in the cosmetics industry with hair products. How did a black woman, who came into the world in 1867, on a cotton plantation in Louisiana, orphaned at the age of seven, more than poor, without any education, a domestic servant who lost her knuckles washing, manage to impose herself in a United States living in full racial segregation, in that lamentable period (1877-1950) when more than 4,400 African-Americans were victims of terrible lynchings? How was she able to achieve this, subjected to men, as women were in the early years of the 20th century, and despised for her sex and her skin?
We will not know it from the series Madam C. J. Walker... It will remain as a pending task to approach in depth the existence of this totally unknown woman (at least for me). In this production, such historical context is just a postcard in the background. Of course, we will be moved by the image of some being hanging in a tree, but the story of the protagonist played by Spencer will move along other paths.
It begins when the beautiful Addie Munroe (Carmen Ejogo), a mulatto whose white genes gave her a long and abundant mane, is shown before Sarah with the “crecepelo”, a product that will not only solve her hair loss problems, but will also give her back, above all, her self-esteem. Seeing that it works, the future tycoon, excited, will propose to her savior to let her participate in the sale, but the first one, who in a “rapture of kindness” provided it, was not willing to give that miracle to darker people with bad hair. Just what writer Alice Walker (The Color Purple) calls “colorism” to describe that other expression of “internal” racism.
You don’t have to be too imaginative to know how the script will develop in the future: Sarah and Addie, who will give her one setback after another, will become bitter enemies, although those who are familiar with Madam C. J. Walker’s biography assure that this is one of the many licenses taken by the authors of the scripts, in order to provide the ingredients that would make the melodrama move forward in the right direction.
In fact, if one is to go by the events presented to us from the novel On Her Own Ground, by A’Lelia Bundles, on which this biopic is based, Madam C. J. Walker, rather than the enormous injustices that African-Americans had to face in the early 20th century, was made more difficult by Addie (who, let’s face it, ended up stealing her invention, which she miraculously copied and obtained) and the men around her – such as Charles Walker (Blair Underwood), the husband jealous of his wife’s success; and John (J. Alphonse Nicholson), the ungrateful husband of her daughter, Leila Walker (Tiffany Haddish). She becomes betrayed, even by some of the very women to whom she gave support and work…. Nothing, the series seems to reinforce the popular saying that there is no worse wedge than the wedge of one’s own stick.
In any case, the undeniable fact is that with her efforts Madam C. J. Walker overcame poverty, humiliation, discrimination, classist and sexist prejudices… to rise as a true exponent of the American dream and to honor the title of this dramatization that was released in March, just two months before George Floyd ended up dead under the knee of ex-cop Derek Chauvin.
For me, Madam C. J. Walker: A Self-Made Woman stands out, above all, for the superb performance of Octavia Spencer (who also serves as executive producer), ever so believable, ever so convincing. Yes, Spencer is an actress of the highest caliber. She reminded us again this Sunday thanks to the film Hidden Figures, which was put on by Arte 7. We saw her, as splendid as her two other co-stars (Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monáe), also with her hair ironed, chemically straightened or in wigs, because that’s what is generally expected of black actresses and models on TV or in the movies. As beautiful as diversity is! But it is difficult to overthrow what has been coined for so many years in the sociocultural field.