Speaker to describe Afro-Cubans’ quest for cultural identity


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Author and literary scholar Antonio Lopez will discuss the cultures of Afro-Cuban America during a March 25 lecture at the University of Louisville.His free, public talk about “Finding ‘Ofa’: Cuban Identity and the O’Farrills of Havana, Harlem — and Louisville” will begin at 7 p.m. in W104 Ekstrom Library on the Belknap Campus.

    Ofa is a nickname for Alberto O’Farrill, who came to the United States from Cuba in 1925. He was a theater performer in New York City and an editor, writer and cartoonist for the illustrated weekly tabloid newspaper Grafico in the late 1920s; later, he worked in film in California and as a traveling performer with his wife in several Latin American countries. O’Farrill’s wife later moved to her native Louisville to raise their family.

    Lopez, associate professor of English at George Washington University, wrote about O’Farrill, racial identities and the scattering of Cubans to the United States in his 2012 book “Unbecoming Blackness: The Diaspora Cultures of Afro-Cuban America.” The book received an honorable mention in the Modern Language Association’s 2013 publication competition. Lopez earned his doctorate from Rutgers University.

    Sponsors are the vice provost for diversity and international affairs, Liberal Studies Project, Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society and Pan-African studies department.

    For more information, contact Manuel Medina at 502-419-6114 or manuel.medina@louisville.edu.

    Judy Hughes
    Judy Hughes is a senior communications and marketing coordinator for UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing and associate editor of UofL Magazine. She previously worked in news as a writer and editor for a daily newspaper and The Associated Press.