Cuba / 2002
Born in Cuba in 1944, Nancy Morejón is an Afro-Cuban scholar, poet and essayist. "Negro" is a poem from her collection: Mirar Adentro: Selected Poems. Morejón makes it a point to celebrate blackness in her work, especially as it relates to the Afro-Latino and Afro-Caribbean experience. She was fond of establishing a unique national Cuban identity that could evenly merge Spanish and African cultures.
Her poem, "Negro" accompanies her poem "Mujer Negra." Both poems operate as elegies to Black men and women. In "Negro," specifically, Morejón explores the paradox between racist ideals about Black men and their actual, inherent value. Interestingly, only a non-human entity—an animal unfamiliar with the fallacy of anti-blackness—is able to see the value in the Black man's coarse hair. This poem is translated from Spanish. Read the full Spanish version here.