The Coolie Speaks: Chinese Indentured Laborers and African Slaves in Cuba

Synopsis

The Coolie Speaksoffers the first critical reading ofThe Cuba Commission Report, a massive testimony case that investigated the conditions of Chinese contract laborers in Cuba in 1874. From this case, Yun traces the emergence of a "coolie narrative" that forms a counterpart to the "slave narrative." The nearly 3,000 written and oral testimonies of Chinese laborers in Cuba, who toiled alongside African slaves, offer a rare glimpse into the nature of bondage and the tortuous transition to freedom.