Barbadians were among the thousands of British West Indians who migrated to Cuba in the early twentieth century in search of work. They were drawn there by employment opportunities fueled largely by US investment in Cuban sugar plantations. Tell My Mother I Gone to Cuba: Stories of Early Twentieth-century Migration from Barbados (U West Indies Press, 2016) is their story. The migrants were citizens of the British Empire, and their ill-treatment in Cuba led to a diplomatic tiff between British and Cuban authorities. The author draws from contemporary newspaper articles, official records, journals and books to set the historical contexts which initiated this intra-Caribbean migratory wave. Through oral histories, it also gives voice to the migrants' compelling narratives of their experience in Cuba. One of the oral histories recorded in the book is that of the author's mother, who was born in Cuba of Barbadian parents.
Dr. Sharon Milagro Marshall is an award-winning journalist and corporate communication professional from Barbados.
Carmen Gomez-Galisteo, Ph.D. is a lecturer at Centro de Educación Superior de Enseñanza e Investigación Educativa (CEIE).
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