Magazine article New Internationalist

[Reyita: The Life of Black Cuban Woman in the 20th Century]

Magazine article New Internationalist

[Reyita: The Life of Black Cuban Woman in the 20th Century]

Article excerpt

as told to Daisy Rubiera Castillo.

Translated by Anne McLean (Latin America Bureau, ISBN 1 899365 34 6)

Autobiographies are often publicized with the claim that this person is 'extraordinary'; that they showed great courage in a crisis or extreme fortitude in suffering. The assumption is that the 'ordinary' life, the everyday existence is inferior and unworthy of our perusal. What, then, are we to make of the diffident opening of the story of Maria de los Reyes Castillo Bueno, as she quietly begins to tell us of her life? 'I am Reyita, a regular, ordinary person. A natural person, respectful, helpful, decent, affectionate and very independent.' As Marx remarked, people make their own history, but they do so under circumstances not of their own choosing. Reyita, this ordinary person, can tell a tale that not only spans the 20th century but also encompasses both the domestic and the grandly public. …

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