Reyita Book Review Essay

1155 WordsFeb 1, 20145 Pages
Reyita Book Review Part I: Summary Reyita tells the story of Maria de los Reyes Castillo Bueno, a black Cuban woman living through several pivotal moments in Cuban history as a member of perhaps the most disenfranchised group of people in Cuban society; Reyita was poor, she was black, and she was a woman. The story begins with a recounting of the story of Tatica, Reyita’s grandmother, and her trial of being abducted from her native Africa and brought to Cuba to be sold into slavery. Tatica’s story sets a precedent that is upheld by the next generations of her family of racial discrimination, struggle for survival and equality, and political activism. Reyita explains that her grandmother’s love of Africa instilled in Reyita a…show more content…
Reyita’s next exposure to political activism and its potential power of destruction came when she was living with her aunt, Mangá, who was the president of the Committee of Ladies for the Independent Coloured Party. Mangá participates and helps with the movement, only to have her shop burned to the ground, her life threatened, and then after she flees, she is found and arrested and sent to prison. Reyita is exposed to this sort of injustice throughout her entire life, due to her repeated close proximity to political leaders and activists. Reyita also faces race-based injustice and discrimination in her social life. This comes primarily in the form of her marriage. Reyita marries a white man, named Rubiera, which is seems was always an aspiration or plan of hers. She says "I didn't want a black husband, not out of contempt for my race, but because black men had almost no possibilities of getting ahead and the certainty of facing lots of discrimination" (p. 166). Unfortunately, Reyita’s marriage to Rubiera did not help her much in her struggle for survival and equality. Although Rubiera always had a job, the family still had to move around frequently, and Reyita often had to find ways to make extra money. Reyita’s main goal throughout her life is to make a better life for her children, which is why she resigns hersels to being “just a mother”. All of her children survive, except for her sons who are killed in conflicts, and although Rubiera was sometimes cold

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