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date: 24 April 2018

Grillo, Evelio

Summary and Keywords

Evelio Grillo, the son of black Cuban cigar makers in Tampa, Florida, was born in 1919, in Ybor City, an immigrant enclave whose population was predominantly Cuban, Spanish, and Sicilian. When the Cuban population, which was the largest of the three primary ethnic cohorts, had started arriving, in 1885, from Key West and Cuba, its members were approximately 15 percent Afro-Cuban, or darker skinned, and 75 percent white, or lighter-skinned. The number of black Cubans later dwindled significantly, in the 1930s and 1940s, because of the Depression and drastically reduced employment opportunities. Many Cuban immigrants headed North to New York City and other urban centers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic searching for and finding better work, more educational opportunities, and more Afro-Latin people and communities to mingle and join forces with, which led to their major involvement in Northern civil rights efforts.

Grillo grew up on the “unofficial” border between Ybor City proper and a small, marginalized, African American area between Ybor City and downtown Tampa known as the Scrub. Early on, he came to feel somewhat alienated from his white Cuban counterparts, despite the fact he and they shared a great deal in common—language, history, culture, and religion. The idea of racial unity that had been promoted by José Martí and other Cuban leaders and intellectuals in the years leading up to and during the 1895 Cuban War of Independence, and which had never really totally existed, was quickly abandoned.

Eventually, thanks to an extraordinary school experience that took him out of Tampa and to Washington, DC, he became more comfortable and functional in the African American world of Tampa and elsewhere. Grillo ended up receiving a first-rate education at Dunbar High School in the Capitol; earned a bachelor of arts degree at Xavier University, in New Orleans, Louisiana; took three years of courses in Latin American history at Columbia University, in New York City, after the war; and then moved to Oakland, California, to work and earn a master’s degree in social welfare at the University of California, Berkeley.

After completing his undergraduate degree at Xavier, Grillo had been drafted into the US Army—the segregated army—and was shipped to India with the 853rd Engineering Battalion to build roads. While there, the developed many talents that he would later synthesize and that served him well later on in life, for example, community organizing, administration, research and writing, communications, and dealing with institutionalized racism and discrimination.

Upon moving to Oakland, he took a position in a community center, and after earning his master’s degree from Berkeley, he continued to be involved in community, social, and political organizing. He was active in in local politics and black, Mexican, and Latina/o affairs and initiatives at the national, governmental, and nonprofit levels, working, for example, for the City of Oakland, in the administration of President Jimmy Carter, the War on Poverty, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Community Service Organization, and had the opportunity to work with the likes of Herman Gallegos, César Chávez, Dolores Huerta, Fred Ross, and Saul Alinsky.

Keywords: Latina/o literature, Latina/o history, race relations, Cubans, Afro-Cubans, African Americans, Tampa, cigar industry, World War II, civil rights

Early Cuban Immigrants in Tampa, Florida, 1886–1930

To suggest that there were significant numbers of Cubans in the United States prior to 1959 period challenges all popular notions of US history vis-à-vis Cuba over the past 150 years, particularly in the post-1959, Cuban American exile community. Both post-1868 and post-1959, Cubans came to the United States for political and then economic reasons, and both groups, initially having somewhat different demographics, intentionally tried to influence politics back in Cuba in the name of independence and democracy, but in somewhat different ways.

In 1886, shortly after Cuba’s failed Ten Years’ War for independence from Spain (1868–1878), which ended with the Pacto de Zanjón and the Protesta de Baraguá, thousands of Cuban and Spanish immigrants seeking to escape difficult economic and political circumstances in their homelands, especially Cuba, took up residence in Florida, first in Key West, and shortly after in what became known as Ybor City, a small “company town” in Tampa that became a major Cuban and Spanish enclave. Several cigar-making communities soon developed in the environs, among them Palmetto Beach, Port Tampa, and West Tampa. Motivated by investment opportunities and production problems, a select number of Spanish and Cuban businessmen had brought to Tampa the manufacturing industry that almost single-handedly fueled the city’s economic boom—the hand-rolled cigar business.1 The relocation of this industry from Cuba to Key West and then from Key West to Tampa (and, to a lesser degree, other Florida or southern cities or towns), fueled immigration of highly skilled Cuban workers, Spaniards, and, later, Sicilians (who redefined themselves as Italians, to distance themselves from the Mafia), to Tampa, Florida, a small town of under eight hundred people. In just fifteen years, this immigrant cadre turned the small town into a real city with a population of ten thousand, and by 1930, that number had grown to 101,000, of which Tampa Latins represented a full 25 percent.2 Moreover, prior to 1930 and the Great Depression, thanks to the incipient mechanization of the industry, the rise in popularity of cigarettes, and a few other factors, they had transformed Tampa into the world’s largest producer of “clear” cigars (cigars made with light brown tobacco both inside and out), surpassing even Havana in production. They were, helped, in part, by a favorable tariff situation that made it more expensive to produce the cigars in Cuba than to bring the leaf to Tampa and produce them there.3

The Cubans among these craftspeople—black and white—brought with them their island racial attitudes and practices, predicated on a centuried, stratified coexistence that involved simultaneous miscegenation and rejection. Even so, though it was nothing like the virulent, historical, and legal segregation and discrimination found in the United States, white Cubans still espoused and applied a differential treatment to black Cubans that when brought to south Florida was not in any way in keeping with the norm there.

The Cuban Color Line in Tampa: How a Brown Paper Bag Became the Litmus Test for Whiteness or Blackness

Shortly after Ybor City’s founding, time and history soon revealed the fissures in the everyday application of José Martí’s strategic mantra that being Cuban was more than being black, white, or mulatto, a philosophy of life he had tried to model in the early 1890s, when trying to unite Cubans on the island and in exile in the cause of independence, visiting Tampa twenty-four times between 1891 and 1895. He even ended up seeking shelter and protection from Spanish assassins in the boarding house of black Cubans Ruperto and Paulina Pedroso, and he intentionally strolled along Broadway, or Seventh Avenue, the main thoroughfare of Ybor, City arm in arm with Paulina Pedroso, a performance through which he was trying to prove his point that racial solidarity could trump and vanquish Spanish colonialism and produce an independent republic.4 Any vestige of this idealistic notion was shattered in 1900. The local Cuban community had turned the Liceo Cubano into a full-fledged mutual-aid society, El Club National 10 de Octubre, whose only requirement for membership was being Cuban, regardless of race. That changed in 1900, when white Cubans in Tampa pushed darker ones out of their mutual aid society, after only one year. The creation of the new Círculo Cubano, with its membership restrictions, prompted black Cubans to create their own, officially “raceless” but nevertheless almost entirely black organization, Sociedad de Libre Pensadores de Tampa “Martí Maceo.”5

Despite this shattered myth, as far as Tampa was concerned, the original plans for the company town areas of Ybor City and, later, West Tampa did not follow segregationist patterns and did not include separate neighborhoods in which black Cubans had to reside.6 That does not mean, however, that there was no racism in the Latin enclaves, as some published accounts—scholarly and anecdotal—have repeatedly asserted, and is the received wisdom that many lighter skinned tampeños still promote.7 Ironically, both white and black Cubans, Spaniards, and, later, Sicilians, the very people responsible for Tampa’s growth, began their new lives in enclaves that would ultimately remain segregated from the rest of the city that had benefited so immensely from the presence and hard work of all of Tampa’s Latin cigar makers. With the continued decline of the cigar industry, and after World War II, the GI Bill made it possible for some of them to escape from their enclaves thanks to education and light skin. This benefit disproportionately benefited the Spanish and Cuban business class, as well as the Sicilian one. The constant flow of Cubans to and from the island in response to the ups and downs of the cigar industry on either side of the Florida Straits, which resulted in a weaker sense of having to establish roots in Florida because they could so easily move back and forth, can explain their relatively low rate of home or business ownership.

In addition, white Cubans did not fit US notions of the typical European immigrant, as did the Spaniards and the Sicilians. Many Cubans had European antecedents, but they also came from an island society in which whites and blacks had intermingled biologically, culturally, and philosophically for nearly five hundred years. Suspicion about the “racial purity” of both black and white Cubans, their reputation for being politically problematic (the political climate in Cuba in the first three decades after independence was anything but stable), and the fact that a good number of Cubans were indeed black or racially mixed, was used as an excuse by the other immigrants and the greater Anglo society to deploy discriminatory practices against them, even into the 1950s and 1960s. In Tampa, epithets such as “Cuban nigger” (which referred to white Cubans) and “tally wop,” from “Italian without papers” (which was used to refer to black Cubans), were added to existing expressions of Anglo racial and ethnic intolerance. In popular swimming spots, such as Clearwater Beach, one could find posted warnings—NO CUBANS OR DOGS ALLOWED was one variant—through the early 1960s.8 This is glaring evidence of the racial and ethnic anxiety and confusion that Cubans—white and black—caused the area’s white residents, who by the 1950s and 1960s, would have included not only Anglos, but many Cubans, Spaniards, and Italians who were able to cross the color line without being questioned. Other evidence of the anxiety the lighter-skinned descendants of Cubans, Spaniards, and Italians (Sicilians) felt about being in any way associated the race and culture of darker-skinned Cubans is the fact that tourism advertising to attract visitors to Tampa overemphasized and actually distorted the Latin enclave’s cultural offerings, employing myriad representations of Spanish women dressed in flamenco attire, demurely deploying fans or vivaciously dancing Peninsular dances in Spanish-style cafés and restaurants. This propagandistic “whitening” of the Ybor City and area residents, cultures, and traditions by Latin and American businesspeople, airlines and steamship companies, and the railroads strategically obfuscated the fact that the majority culture was Cuban. Interestingly enough, Cuban propaganda on the island during the same time period did much the same.

Conversely, many of the Spaniards and Sicilians, European groups who had come Tampa to escape terrible poverty at home and to find opportunities in the United States, as had so many other immigrants, found, if not the immediate full approval of Anglo society, then at least tolerance and, eventually, acceptance, particularly of the higher economic classes because of shared business interests. Black or darker-skinned Cubans, on the other hand, faced a different dilemma. As Cubans in Tampa, they had “access to privileges and resources not available to African Americans” and “shared a strong bond of nationhood with white Cubans,” as anthropologist Susan Greenbaum tells us. Co-nationalism in many instances allowed black Cubans in Tampa to somewhat “neutralize their blackness . . . by deliberately avoiding contact with African Americans” and by mimicking the aspersions cast by the white population on this community’s cultural and moral values. This was particularly true during the early decades of Tampa’s immigrant surge. However, the very segregation and concomitant restrictions of Jim Crow put the two communities—the Afro-Cuban and African American—in close contact—in schools, on buses and streetcars, and in other public spaces—and subsequent generations saw more intermarriage between second- and third-generation black Cubans and African Americans.9 Black Cubans also saw that that they would be unable to achieve upward social or economic mobility by staying loyal to their co-nationals and their descendants, who had not only officially segregated themselves by creating a Cuban “whites-only” club in 1900, but who also had clearly understood early on that its own upward mobility depended in great measure on being able to distance itself socially and politically from the black Cubans in their midst. This would help them dispel the concerns among Spaniards, Sicilians, and Anglos about Cubans’ perceived racial “impurity.” For example, after the racial split in the original Cuban mutual-aid society brought about by the white Cuban members, colorism was enforced at the new white club by administering what became known as the “paper bag test” to prospective members or simply to visitors (the comparing of a piece of brown paper bag with someone’s skin, to see if the persons was lighter, darker, or just that color).10 It should also be noted that these sorts of clubs in Cuba were always segregated along color lines.11

Evelio Grillo: An Afro-Cuban-American Border Crosser

This is the Ybor City into which Afro-Cuban-American Evelio Grillo (June 4, 1919–December 28, 2008), the author of Black Cuban, Black American: A Memoir, was born.12 Grillo penned this, his first and only book, after age eighty, in part to shed light on a topic that was infrequently acknowledged or discussed in the United States or even in Latina/o discussions on race and ethnicity—that is, the experiences of US-born or immigrant Afro-Latina/os, not only within their own multiracial ethnic communities but, especially, in the context of the larger African American community. For black Cubans, it must have been extremely irksome to have to hear the shattered local myth of unity continuously propagated by their lighter-skinned neighbors, which ignored the alternative reality they were living. Grillo had gradually become aware of this at a very early age. His childhood was marked by hardship, as well. He lost his father to tuberculosis, and though he did not witness the actual demise, he was present in the horrific hours just before it. He also experienced difficulties at home with an extremely stern mother, and when a sister, Sylvia, became almost entirely responsible for him and the household, and emulated her mother’s strict style. School, not because he’d had any bad teachers, but because he did not find himself or black people represented in the history, culture, civics, and literature that he was being taught, created in him a hunger for knowledge and self-realization that he would not be able to attain in Ybor City. Neither would he have found it in the official discourse of the lighter-skinned Cuban cigar workers, who beyond extolling the heroic contributions of a few black Cuban heroes—General Antonio Maceo foremost among them—could not and did not know much about or even acknowledge that blacks in Cuba had been fundamental in creating the Cuban national, cultural, religious, and political identity from the very earliest days, right after the Spanish began importing captured Africans in 1512.

Born in the predominantly Spanish-speaking, cigar-making enclave of Tampa’s Ybor City, Grillo gained firsthand knowledge of what it was like to be black and Latina/o in a small place demarcated by divisions of race, ethnicity, and national origin existing within a larger space shaped by legal and social segregation—white and African American Tampa. There was even segregation between Afro-Cubans and African Americans, and he is careful to clarify that he and his family did not live where there were black folks.

Tampa in 1919 was an up and coming city in the “New South”; but it was also an urban center marked by Jim Crow laws and white nationalism, notwithstanding that it was the Cuban, Spanish, and Sicilian immigrants who had contributed to the city’s economic development and growth, beginning from the moment the cigar industry started relocating to Tampa from Key West (especially after 1886), and then other factories were established there directly. In the first chapters of his memoir, Grillo recounts his realization as a child and adolescent that the narrative of racial harmony so often repeated by the lighter skinned tampeños and their descendants was another “myth” in the making. And much like Martí’s version of that myth, it had a strategic, though different, purpose. It was certainly the case that color lines between lighter-skinned Cubans and their darker-skinned co-nationals or co-cultural cohort were not as firmly drawn as they were outside the cigar-making enclave, where Anglo-Americans and African Americans lived dramatically segregated lives and coexisted in an extremely vertical reality in which whites were at the top and blacks down at the bottom. Decisions by federal and state courts (Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896, and Pace v. Alabama, 1883), tradition, institutionalized racism, and discrimination made sure that the hierarchy remained inviolate. Even so, the presence of black, Spanish-speaking “foreigners” (Cubans) disrupted this dichotomy with some frequency, though not enough to overturn the system in any meaningful or lasting way.

Despite the neighborhood segregation of Cuban and American blacks that Grillo mentions, when it came time to attend public school, all black children attended Colored School 2, including Grillo. But he was soon enrolled in St. Peter Claver School, a Catholic school for black children on Nebraska Avenue, which served as a sort of unofficial demarcation line between Latin Ybor City and the African American area known as the Scrub, between Ybor City and downtown Tampa.

Evelio explained in an interview, in August 1999, that his teachers, Belgian nuns who were brought in and taken out of the borderline area where St. Peter Claver was (and is) located by car every day, were kind and excellent teachers. He expressed profound gratitude for the quality of the classical education and the respect he had received from the nuns, acknowledging that he owed his love of history, civics, literature, and theater to their influence and the curriculum. However, he had realized early on that there was one thing the nuns could not offer him, not because they didn’t want to, but because they lacked the wherewithal, “They couldn’t teach me how to be black,” he expressed. It was not until he moved to Dunbar High School that, as he put it, he “learned to be unambiguously black”:13

[The] American pattern of rigid segregation of blacks and whites asserted itself with unrestrained, brutal vigor. For all of our sharing of language, culture, and religion with white Cubans, we black Cubans were black. When the school bell rang, we joined the streams of children headed toward the “colored” schools. School resolved all of my confusion about my color, my Spanish tongue, and my culture. I was a black boy. That is what was important!14

Evelio Grillo had been fortunate; he stood out as a dedicated, curious, and critically observant student at the early age of fourteen, and was noticed by several very solid members of Tampa’s African American middle class, who convinced his extremely strict mother, Amparo, to let them take his future into their hands. They saw in him great potential, and virtually plucked him out of Ybor City, so that he could attend an all-black high school in Washington, DC. The renowned Dunbar High School was considered the country’s best black high school in the first quarter of the 20th century. Many of its professors were black and had earned master’s degrees and doctorates from prominent white schools, such as Harvard College, to which African Americans had only very recently gained extremely limited access. Ironically, Grillo himself experienced colorism at Dunbar.15 After graduating from Dunbar, Grillo went on to Xavier University, a historically black university in New Orleans. During those years, most black Cubans in Tampa were migrating north to industrial cities, such as New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia, to continue a strictly working-class existence. Most of them left because they were the first to be fired at the cigar factories in Tampa after the start of the Depression. And when mechanization began to reduce the number of workers needed to produce the formerly completely handmade cigars, women were often hired to work with the machines because of their smaller hands.16 In cities like New York, where they joined communities of other Hispanics, some former tampeños did finally make it into the middle class and beyond through hard work and, sometimes, higher education. They also created and got involved in several pan-American activities with other dark-skinned Latina/os in New York, and became quite active in civil rights activities.

It was at Dunbar that Grillo had eventually, but fully, realized that political empowerment and upward mobility would only available to him if he actively transitioned from being Afro- Cuban to being Afro-Cuban-American, not necessarily at the complete expense of his birth identity, but by enthusiastically embracing both the history of and the contemporary black struggle in American history, the preeminence of its leaders—male and female—and their outstanding contributions to the place of black people in the United States during a period approximately fifty years after Reconstruction and twenty-five years before the civil rights movement of the 1960s (also a time of ethnic and minority civil rights movements, including the Chicano, Puerto Rican, Native American, and women’s movements; it was a dramatic, effervescent moment in 20th-century US social history). As Grillo wrote, “Our choices became clear: to swim in black American society or drown in the Latin ghettoes of New York City, never to be an integral part of American life.”17

Although had Grillo had planned to attend Howard University in Washington after Dunbar, he was persuaded, with coaxing from Dr. Howard Thurman, dean of the Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel at Howard, to attend Xavier University instead, which, “Dr. T” pointed out, he could afford to attend and which had promised him financial aid. In fact, Sister Madeleine Sophie, the dean of Xavier, awarded him a full four-year scholarship, and so he ended up only having to work to cover the costs of his room and board. His time at Xavier was filled with myriad experiences—good and bad—that lead to his political maturation (so much so that his overtly socially progressive political leanings were questioned when the Soviets were entering World War II), and involving not only his increasing hatred of the racist system in which his people were ensconced, but also his feeling that “improving oneself” seemed to be a rigid process of what he called “de-Negrofication,” something to which he would be a party.18 Grillo admitted that he knew the Xavier nuns, who had put everything they had into him, were disappointed with the young man from Tampa who graduated because they believed that his desire to be politically and socially involved had muddied the clear path to success leading out of Xavier and into the real world, and because they realized he was no longer practicing his Catholic faith.

World War II and the Segregated Army

After graduating from Xavier four years later, Grillo was drafted into the army during World War II before he was done. His memoir describes the less-than-optimal conditions to which he and his black cohort were subject, compared to those of whites.19 He recounts an experience that began on his transport ship, the USS Santa Paula, when the white soldiers were given fresh water with which to conduct their ablutions, and blacks were given salt water. In addition, the white soldiers could use the top deck during off time, whereas the black soldiers had to stay in the crowded quarters below. The black soldiers even wrote and signed a petition to the commanding officer decrying the blatant discrimination to which they were being subjected, a charge the CO unashamedly denied.

Later, in Asia, the “colored” troops had to sleep on the ground in tents, a terrible situation when the monsoon rains came and inundated everything. The white troops, however, slept on raised pallets. Grillo ended up serving thirty-two months (1941–1945) as a staff sergeant (the Recreation and Moral Sergeant for the whole battalion) in a segregated “colored” unit, of the 823rd Engineering Battalion during World War II, in Assam, India, in the China-India-Burma Theater, building roads.20 He also wrote and printed a daily newspaper, the Hairy Ears Herald, which carefully published “only facts” and carefully crafted summaries of Armed Forces Radio broadcasts about US military combat operations all over the world, and built a stage upon which all the United Service Organizations (USO) shows that visited performed.21 In fact, his daily newsletter rivaled the official military newspaper and, more importantly, offered detailed descriptions of the lives of black servicemen in a segregated army, which shed light on yet another chapter of the history of US race relations that has long begged attention.22 In India, he also built a lighted basketball court so that soldiers could play at night, as well as other facilities, such as a movie theater and a baseball diamond, and did all manner of social organizing, developing skills that would serve him very well in the future.23

Grillo’s memoir describes in exquisite detail the day-to-day struggles of the black men stationed in India who were building the Ledo and other roads, and discusses everything from blatantly racist language used to address and describe them and overtly discriminatory practices as seen in the food the black troops were served and their sleeping conditions. Of his feelings after the war had ended in both Europe and the Pacific and he was home in the United States but eschewing victory celebrations because of his emotionally drained state, he made this shocking, revelatory statement, “I had earned my little victory in India, in the jungle, where I won one small battle (the newspaper) in our private war against the most immediate enemy black soldiers faced in World War II, the status quo in the United States Army.”24 In an interview conducted by Eileen Brooks of the Veterans History Project (which is housed in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress), during the National World War II Reunion, between May 24–30, 2004, Grillo, with great difficulty, because by then he had trouble speaking and a somewhat faulty memory, emotionally explained not only that it was painful for him to talk about these experiences, but also how much he had hated and resisted the segregated army but knew he had to be useful and reliable to the collective effort.25

The Postwar Period: More Education and Work

When he was discharged from the army after the war, in 1945, Grillo moved to New York City, and studied Latin American history at Columbia University. It was here that he sharpened his already keen understanding that white Spaniards had been equally if not more responsible for creating the painful situation of blacks in this hemisphere than the other European and American whites were, something he talked about quite often because he knew that blacks in the United States were not taught the history of Spanish slavery prior to the establishment of the institution in the colonies, how American slavery compared and contrasted with Caribbean and Latin American slavery, or its magnitude, in terms of the sheer numbers of the African diaspora outside the United States, especially in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking America and in the French-, English-, and Dutch-speaking areas, as well.

After three years at Columbia, he moved to Oakland, California, in 1949, where he took a position as director of the Alexander Community Center, a facility for Mexicans and blacks. There, he fomented interaction between these two communities, which were relatively unwitting neighbors in a burgeoning urban area. He enlisted the help of school administrators, police and parole officers, and others to try to coordinate these efforts. Grillo also established the “Rogues,” an Oakland City Recreation Department youth group modeled on the St. Mary’s Boys Club founded by Father John Duggan, with whom Grillo shared a mutual anxiety about the plight of Latino boys in Oakland. Grillo and formed a long-lasting relationship with Father Duggan, as he did with Duggan’s replacement, Jerry Cox.26 However, with an eye on graduate school, he also began to attend lectures offered by Gertrude Wilson, a pioneer in the field of group social work, from the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. Two years later, he was named a fellow at the John Hay Whitney Foundation and was able to enroll at UC Berkeley, where he completed a master’s degree in social welfare, in 1953.

After a short time working at a juvenile facility in Contra Costa County, he returned to Oakland, by then a center of black and Latina/o political organizing, as a community relations’ consultant. Shortly after, he became the first black employee in the City Manager’s Office. In 1961, thanks to Grillo’s efforts, the City of Oakland received a Great Cities grant for community development that he had crafted to include a thirteen-agency alliance that included, among other institutions, city and county offices, the Urban League and the Community Welfare Office. In the 1960s, under the mentorship of Saul Alinsky, he had an important role in creating the Oakland chapter of the Community Service Organization, the Mexican American Political Organization, and the Spanish-Speaking Unity Council, in Oakland. Under the mentorship of people like Fred Ross, he worked to organize Mexicans (and blacks) who were being displaced, pushed into East Oakland and Fruitvale as a result of the building of a highway through West Oakland. Among his fellow organizers were César Chávez, Dolores Huerta, and Herman Gallegos. It was because experiences such as these, and many others, such as a “Get Out the Vote” campaign in Oakland that targeted Latina/os, that Grillo truly cut his political teeth. He honed his skills in bridge building across ethnic and racial lines; in social, community, and political organizing; and in administration, talents that would serve him well for the decades to come. As he explains at the end of his memoir, even while he was actively working in Oakland politics, he also worked in leadership with nonpartisan organizations such as the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Oakland Men of Tomorrow, and Bay Area Black United Fund, and he founded the Negro Political Action Association of California.27

Yet even with his excellent Spanish, social-work expertise, and community-building experience, Grillo often felt rejected and mistrusted by members of the Mexican community. Because of his blackness, he did not fit their image of a Spanish speaker. So, ironically, colorism, this time in a very different context, once again affected his ability to work and to accomplish to his full capacity, although from the record it seems as though he was relatively successful despite this setback. Toward the end of the next decade, Grillo also eventually ended up working in the administration of President Jimmy Carter for nearly two years, between 1977 and 1979, as an executive assistant for policy development in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.28

His Memoir: Only Half the Story

Thoroughly engaging and elegantly written, Black Cuban, Black American nonetheless leaves the reader with a lot of questions about the life of Evelio Grillo after World War II; although he touches upon a third period in his life, his time in Oakland, he does not include the wealth of detail found in the first two sections of the book. This “partial” memoir can in reality be considered to have three foci, two major, and one minor. It starts as a coming-of-age story with a twist, the tale of a boy, adolescent, and young man caught between the persona he was born to be and the new identity he would forge for himself, both identities being fettered by the rigid confines of a larger dominant group’s discriminatory practices, many of which were socially and legally codified. It mattered not whether the group was white Cuban or white American: Evelio Grillo had battles to fight in either case. The second section of his “partial” memoir reads like a wartime diary, ending when he is only twenty-six years old, when he is discharged from the army. The third part deals with his public service in Oakland in the sixties After reading about his intrepid and successful exploits “up North,” in school, serving in the army, and working to organize exploited and displaced youth and adults in Oakland, many may say that his life already seemed quite full, but one is left with the distinct feeling that there much more he needs to tell us, either in a fourth section, or perhaps in another book to come, one that might complete the narration of the life of this extraordinary man who overcame a history and legacy of racism and discrimination in two spheres and worked to earn the tools with which to help others fight them. He was eighty-one when the memoir was published, and at the time, had every intention of writing another book, this time, about the other part of his life. Yet, the man lived until 2008, dying at the age of eighty-nine. Even though he embraced African Americanness to accomplish this, he never left his Afro-Cuban self behind, “I have a hybrid identity that can’t be torn apart . . . It’s not his, that, or that. I can’t be [just] Afro-Cuban. I have to be both at the same time all the time.”29 We can be thankful for the numerous, personal interviews conducted with him for various oral history projects, for it is through them that we learn a great deal about his public life after World War II.

However, most of his private life after the sixties and seventies, however, he wanted to and did manage to keep private and off limits, as he reiterated very in a 1999 interview. In Oakland, he eventually married Catherine Patalano, with whom he had and raised four children, one of whom went on to become a prominent Superior Court judge in Alameda County, California. Yet, the fact that a second installment of this important memoir never came to pass makes it necessary to seek out other sources—articles, testimonies, and even government documents—to piece together the rest of this extraordinary man’s equally extraordinary life.

Discussion of the Literature

A thorough examination of Evelio Grillo’s life, work and memoir, requires a multifaceted approach, including readings in fields such as history: for example, Cuban, Cuban American, Caribbean, Latin American, African and African American, and of the Spanish-Cuban-American War, Tampa, US immigration, Cuban and US cigar manufacturing, Latina/o history, Afro-Latina/o, labor, migration, and others. It would also demand a review of ethnographic, sociological, and anthropological texts in fields such as urban studies, critical race studies, sociology, cultural studies, and others.

There are a good many texts written by professional historians on the early Cuban presence in Key West and Tampa prior to and during the ultimate War of Independence from Spain, 1891–1895. Gerald Poyo’s work on early Cuban exiles in Key West, their political activism on behalf of Cuba Libre and how their work connected to and carried over into Tampa, is the most well researched and thorough. His works include Exile and Revolution: José Dolores Poyo, Key West, and Cuban Independence; “Cuban Patriots in Key West, 1878–86: Guardians of the Separatist Ideal”; With All, and for the Good of All: The Emergence of Popular Nationalism in the Cuban Communities of the United States, 1848–1898, and “Tampa Cigarworkers and the Struggle for Cuban Independence.”30 Other texts dealing with this area include Evelro Tellerias Toca’s “Los Tabaqueros Cubanos y Sus Luchas en Cayo Hueso y Tampa”; Marshall MacDonald True’s Revolutionaries in Exile: The Cuban Revolutionary Party, 1891–1898; and Barbara Ruth Johnson’s “Origin of the P.R.C. in Tampa: Marti and the Tobacco Workers.”31

On the founding of Ybor City and other Latin areas in Tampa by the Cubans and Spaniards, among the most dispassionate, well-researched, and reliable accounts can be found in the work of historian Louis A. Pérez Jr., a universally acknowledged scholar of Cuban history and the history of United States–Cuba relations. His work on Cubans in Tampa, which is soundly informed by a thorough background on Cuba vis-à-vis the United States, includes “Cubans in Tampa: From Exiles to Immigrants, 1892–1901” and “Ybor City Remembered.”32 Work by other historians who have diligently researched Tampa and the Cubans in Tampa and Ybor City in a less Cuba-centric way and with more focus on relevant minutia include Florida historian Durwood Long’s “The Making of Modern Tampa” and “The Historical Beginnings of Ybor City and Modern Tampa”; José Rivero Muñiz’s “Tampa at the Close of the Nineteenth Century” (translated by Charles Kolinski); Joan M. Steffy’s Cuban Immigrants of Tampa, Florida, 1886–1898; Gary Mormino and George Pozzetta’s The Immigrant World of Ybor City: Italians and Their Neighbors in Tampa, 1885–1985; and Glenn L Westfall’s “Latin Entrepeneurs and the Birth of Ybor City.”33 Mormino and Pozzetta’s book is one of the best known and most cited studies of Ybor City and its immigration history, but it focuses quite specifically on the arrival and settlement of the Sicilians in Tampa. Although it is efficiently and thoroughly documented, it presents a somewhat microview of a much greater picture made complex by the larger presence and impact of immigrants, first from Cuba, and then from Spain and elsewhere.

Books and articles that document the history of the cigar industry, labor issues, and the effects of labor strife, the Red Scare, the Depression, and the mechanization and subsequent decline of the industry abound. Once again, there are a number of exemplary texts from historians whose focus is sometimes broader than Latin Tampa but who nonetheless include detailed and well-analyzed work on the city’s immigrant enclave and industry. Among these are Robert Kerstein’s Politics and Growth in Twentieth-Century Tampa, which sheds much-needed light on the gritty underside of politics and corruption in the Latin enclaves and in greater Tampa. Historian Patricia Ann Cooper’s Once a Cigar Maker: Men, Women, Work Culture in American Cigar Factories, 1900–1919 and “The Traveling Fraternity: Union Cigarmakers and Geographic Mobility 1900–19” meticulously chart the often trying and always complicated relationship between members of the segregated International Cigar Makers Union and the unsegregated Cuban alternative to it in Tampa, La Resistencia. In Urban Vigilantes in the New South: Tampa, 1882–1936 and “Radicals and Vigilantes: The 1931 Strike of the Tampa Cigarworkers,” Robert P. Ingalls, a Tampa-area historian, offers detailed analysis of Tampa’s labor history and culture, and includes a major discussion of the role of Latin cigar workers in them.34 Durwood Long also provides detailed accounts of specific moments in Tampa’s labor history in “The Open-Closed Shop Battle in Tampa’s Cigar Industry, 1919–21” and “Labor Relations in the Tampa Cigar Industry, 1885–1911.” Florida historians Gary F. Mormino, in “Tampa and the New Urban South: The Weight Strike of 1899,” and George E. Pozzetta, in “Alerta Tabaqueros! Tampa’s Striking Cigarworkers” and “Immigrants and Radicals in Tampa, Florida,” both make valuable, well-documented contributions to our understanding of how cigar makers wielded their power to try avoid changes they considered detrimental to their control of their labor conditions and cigar making culture, in general.35 Other historians, Florida based or not, who have addressed Tampa’s labor history from useful multiple perspectives include well-known British historian Jean Stubbs’s Tobacco on the Periphery: A Case Study in Cuban Labour History, 1860–1958.36 A native Spanish Cuban son of Ybor City, José Yglesias, a prolific writer on the Ybor City experience who also chronicled, in nonfiction and fiction, Spain under Franco, the Cuban Revolution, and other historical chapters that had a direct impact on Tampa, penned the very lucid “The Radical Latino Island in the Deep South.” Finally, A. Stuart Campbell’s The Cigar Industry of Tampa, Florida, and Wayne Flynt’s “Florida Labor and Political Radicalism, 1919–20,” respectively, give a good, general and more circumscribed overview of Tampa labor politics.37

Regarding the Afro-Cuban experience in Tampa, there are only a handful of texts specifically on the subject. And there is much less material on Evelio Grillo. In his case, the lack of attention is glaring, but it is also true that he published his memoir, Black Cuban, Black American: A Memoir very late in his life.38 He even toured quite a bit with the book during his last decade, and had considerable impact wherever he went, often inspiring students and scholars to delve further into the world he describes in the early part of the memoir, or into his account of segregated army life. However, it was relatively too little, too late. There is one definitive book, Susan Greenbaum’s More Than Black: Afro-Cubans in Tampa, about the Afro-Cuban experience in Tampa, and their experience with African Americans there, too, and a handful of other articles and books by her, “Afro Cubans in Exile: Tampa, Florida, 1886–1984”; “Afro-Cubans in Tampa”; Afro Cubans in Ybor City: A Centennial History; and Afro Cubans in Ybor City: A Centennial History.39 Other well-researched books, book sections, articles, master’s theses, and doctoral dissertations on aspects of this subject include historian Winston James’s “From a Class for Itself to a Race on Its Own: The Strange Case of Afro-Cuban Radicalism and Afro-Cubans in Florida, 1870–1949,” which focuses on the difficulties black Cubans faced in Tampa maintaining their engagement in the larger radical movement of Afro-Cubans and other Afro-Caribbeans. Historian Nancy R. Mirabal’s “Telling Silences and Making Community: Afro-Cubans and African Americans in Ybor City and Tampa, 1899–1915” is an excellent account of relations between two unwittingly neighboring communities that had to eventually come together, however limitedly, because of segregation, racism, discrimination, and common goals.40 Finally, Elizabeth Becker’s master’s thesis, “From Cuba to Ybor City: Race, Revolution, Nationalism and Afro-Cuban Identity,” and Enrique A. Cordero’s unpublished manuscript from 1982, “The Afro-Cuban Community in Tampa, Florida” both offer efficient reviews of the existing scholarship on the subject and some personal insights, as well.41

Historically, and even today, the Latin community in Tampa has been blessed with an abundance of local historians, memoirists, and fiction and nonfiction writers who, despite limited or no training, have left a rich legacy of personal views and accounts of life, work, and culture in Ybor City and in greater Latin Tampa. Those who have been published provide rich insight into how individual members of specific ethnic and racial communities saw the immigrant experience; their group’s contribution to their enclave’s building and flourishing; interethnic and interracial relations; relations with the larger Anglo society; and the advantages and disadvantages they, their group, or members of other groups had, and so forth. Among the most engaging and useful of these are early texts, such as Cuban Wenceslao Galvez’s Impresiones de Emigrado and Cuban Emilio del Rio’s and Antonio del Río’s Yo fui uno de los fundadores de Ybor City.42 This is because of the authors’ personal experience of life in the immigrant enclave. Jose Rivero Muñiz’s Los Cubanos en Tampa and Eustasio Fernández and Henry Beltran’s translation of the same, The Ybor City Story, also offer an insider’s view of what essentially amounts to a white Cuban version of Cuban life in Tampa.43 Local historian Armando Méndez’s Ciudad de Cigars is a carefully researched text that focuses a great deal on Ybor City but, more importantly, also on West Tampa, another Latin enclave that has received minimal scholarly attention or preservation and restoration efforts. Ramon Tapia’s “Diary of a Tampa Man in a Cigar Factory” and Angelo Massari’s The Wonderful Life of Angelo Massari: An Autobiography provide readers with very personal, entertaining, and informative accounts of immigrant life, work, and culture, according to their author’s ethnic affiliations.44 Dr. Ferdie Pacheco’s Ybor City Chronicles: A Memoir offers yet another fascinating personal, inside view into a world well known to the author, who grew up in Ybor City and was privileged enough to experience multiples sides—some positive and some not so positive—of the enclave’s ins and outs with respect to interethnic relations, crime, and the like.45 Native sons José Yglesias, in The Truth about Them and A Wake in Ybor City; Jack Fernández, in Café con Leche: A Novel and Viva Matilde; Jack Espinosa, in Cuban Bread and Sacafiesta!; and Frank Lastra in Ybor City: The Making of a Landmark Town all put forth engaging, very personal accounts of growing up in Latin Tampa, negotiating the Latin (Cuban, Spanish, Sicilian, US American identities), integrating into greater Tampa, all extremely valuable when read in conjunction with other scholarship on the subjects.46

Further Reading

Busy, Christopher L., and Barbara C. Cruz. “A Shared Heritage: Afro-Latin@s and Black History.” Journal of Social Studies 106.6 (2015): 293–300.Find this resource:

Dworkin y Méndez, Kenya C. Introduction to Black Cuban, Black American: A Memoir. By Evelio Grillo, vii–xiv. Houston: Arte Público, 2000.Find this resource:

Dworkin y Méndez, Kenya C. “La patria que nace de lejos: Cuba y lo cubano en la vanguardia de Martí.” Cuban Studies/Estudios Cubanos 36 (2005): 1–22.Find this resource:

Greenbaum, Susan D. Afro-Cubans in Ybor City: A Centennial History. Tampa: La Unión Martí-Maceo, 1986.Find this resource:

Greenbaum, Susan D. More Than Black: Afro-Cubans in Tampa. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2002.Find this resource:

Grillo, Evelio. Black Cuban, Black American: A Memoir. Houston: Arte Público, 2000.Find this resource:

Hewitt, Nancy. “Paulina Pedroso and Las Patriotas of Tampa.” In Spanish Pathways in Florida, 1492–1992. Edited by Ann Henderson and Gary Mormino, 258–279. Sarasota, FL: Pineapple Press, 1991.Find this resource:

Ingalls, Robert. Urban Vigilantes in the New South: Tampa, 1882–1936. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1998.Find this resource:

Jiménez Román, Miriam, and Juan Flores, eds. The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010.Find this resource:

Kerstein, Robert. Politics and Growth in Twentieth-Century Tampa. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2001.Find this resource:

Long, Durwood. “The Historical Beginnings of Ybor City and Modern Tampa.” Florida Historical Quarterly 45.1 (1966): 31–44.Find this resource:

Mirabal, Nancy R. “‘Más que negro’: José Martí and the Politics of Unity.” In José Martí in the United States: The Florida Experience. Edited by Louis A. Pérez Jr., 57–69. Special Studies 28. Tempe: Arizona State University Center for Latin American Studies, 1995.Find this resource:

Mirabal, Nancy R. “Scripting Race, Finding Place: African Americans, Afro-Cubans, and the Diasporic Imaginary in the United States.” In Neither Enemies nor Friends: Latinos, Blacks, and Afro-Latinos. Edited by Anani Dzidzienyo and Suzanne Oboler, 189–207. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.Find this resource:

Mirabal, Nancy R. “Telling Silences and Making Community: Afro-Cubans and African Americans in Ybor City and Tampa, 1899–1915.” In Between Race and Empire: African Americans and Cubans before the Cuban Revolution. Edited by Lisa Brock and Digna Castañeda Fuertes, 49–69. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998.Find this resource:

Mormino, Gary, and George Pozzetta. The Immigrant World of Ybor City: Italians and Their Neighbors in Tampa, 1885–1985. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987.Find this resource:

Pérez, Louis A., Jr. “Cubans in Tampa: From Exiles to Immigrants, 1892–1901.” In Tampa Bay History 7.2 (1985): 22–35.Find this resource:

Poyo, Gerald. “The Cuban Experience in the United States, 1865–1940: Migration, Community, and Identity.” Cuban Studies/Estudios Cubanos 21 (1991): 19–36.Find this resource:

Poyo, Gerald. With All and for the Good of All: The Emergence of Popular Nationalism in the Cuban Communities of the United States, 1848–1898. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1989.Find this resource:

Rivas-Rodríguez, Maggie, and B. V. Olguín, eds. Latina/os and World War II: Mobility, Agency, and Ideology. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2014.Find this resource:


(1.) Although their book focuses on the Italian (Sicilian) cohort that settled in Ybor City, which though significant in the city’s overall development over time, was by far the smallest of the three “Latin” groups, Gary Mormino and George Pozzetta provide reliable documentation on the founding and early development of Ybor City and its environs in The Immigrant World of Ybor City: Italians and Their Neighbors in Tampa, 1885–1985 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987).

(2.) “Latin” is an in-group and out-group English-language term created and used by the descendants of Cuban, Spanish, and Italian (Sicilian) immigrants to Tampa. In their view, it is the correct English-language rendition of the Spanish-language word latinos, which refers to all people native to or descended from countries whose national languages are Romance languages and thus derived from Latin. Unlike latino, the English word “Latino” has a whole different set of meanings not associated with the criterium that makes Romance-language speakers latinos in Spanish. To read about the early population of Ybor City and its eventual growth, see Susan Greenbaum, More Than Black: Afro-Cubans in Tampa (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2002), 103–104; Durwood Long, “The Historical Beginnings of Ybor City and Modern Tampa,” Florida Historical Quarterly 45.1 (1966): 31–44; and Mormino and Pozzetta, Immigrant World.

(3.) For a thorough review of the situation from early 1900 and into the 1920s regarding the cost of imported cigars versus importing tobacco leaf from Cuba to the United States for the production of “Cuban” cigars on US soil, see Harpers Weekly, January 1, 1909, 12–13.

(4.) Greenbaum, More Than Black, 72.

(5.) Greenbaum, More Than Black, 118–122.

(6.) Greenbaum, More Than Black, 63.

(7.) Tampeña/o is the Spanish-language term for residents of Tampa, Florida; in that context, it is understood to refer to a member or descendant of the three original “Latin” (Cuban, Spanish, Italian) immigrant cohorts.

(8.) A reference to this phenomenon appears in the introduction to Evelio Grillo, Black Cuban, Black American: A Memoir (Houston: Arte Público, 2000), x. See also Elliot Robert Barkan, Immigrants in American History: Arrival, Adaptation, and Integration (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2013), 1:308; Wes Singletary, Al Lopez: The Life of Baseball’s El Señor (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1999), 14; and Maura Barrio, “José Martí Meets Jim Crow: Cubans in the Deep South: Tampa, Florida,” Fall 2005.

(9.) Greenbaum, More Than Black, 8, 21, 26.

(10.) Evelio Grillo, interview with Kenya Dworkin, in Tampa, FL, on August 11th, 1999.

(11.) Greenbaum, More Than Black, 109.

(12.) Grillo, Black Cuban, Black American.

(13.) Grillo interview, August 1999.

(14.) Grillo, Black Cuban, Black American.

(15.) Grillo, Black Cuban, Black American, 112.

(16.) Mormina and Pozzetta, Immigrant World, 289.

(17.) Grillo, Black Cuban, Black American, 12.

(18.) Grillo, Black Cuban, Black American, 88.

(19.) Ulysses Lee, in his book The Employment of Negro Troops (Washington, DC: Center of Military History, 2001), 610–614, neatly summarizes the myriad work done by “colored” troops in this area.

(20.) Grillo, Black Cuban, Black American, 102, 109–111.

(21.) Grillo, Black Cuban, Black American, 121–122.

(22.) Grillo, Black Cuban, Black American, viii.

(23.) Evelio Grillo, interview by Mario Barrera, January 26, 2003, Oakland, CA, for the VOCES Oral History Project, University of Texas at Austin. U.S. Latino and Latina World War II Oral History Project.

(24.) Grillo, Black Cuban, Black American, 129.

(25.) Evelio Grillo, recorded interview, Evelio Grillo Collection, #AFC/2001/001/13404, Veterans History Project, Library of Congress.

(26.) Kenneth Burt, “Evelio Grillo, Activist and Author.” Kenneth Burt’s Blog, January 16, 2010.

(27.) Oakland City Council Resolution No. 82369, “Recognizing and Honoring the Life of Evelio Grillo, Sr.,” Office of the City Clerk, Oakland, CA, November 17, 2009.

(28.) Grillo interview, August 1999.

(29.) Frank André Guridy, “Pvt. Evelio Grillo and Sgt. Norberto González: Afro-Latino Experiences of War and Segregation,” in Latina/os and World War II: Mobility, Agency, and Ideology, ed. Maggie Rivas-Rodríguez and B. V. Olguín (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2014), 43–58.

(30.) Gerald Poyo, Exile and Revolution: José Dolores Poyo, Key West, and Cuban Independence (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2014); Gerald Poyo, “Cuban Patriots in Key West, 1878–86: Guardians of the Separatist Ideal,” Florida Historical Quarterly 61 (July 1982): 20–36; Gerald Poyo, With All, and for the Good of All; and Gerald Poyo, “Tampa Cigarworkers and the Struggle for Cuban Independence,” Tampa Bay History 7 (Fall–Winter 1985): 94–105.

(31.) Evelro Tellerias Toca, “Los Tabaqueros Cubanos y Sus Luchas en Cayo Hueso y Tampa,” Bohemia, April 28, 1967, 13–23; Marshall MacDonald True, Revolutionaries in Exile: The Cuban Revolutionary Party, 1891–1898 (PhD diss., University of Virginia, 1965); and Barbara Ruth Johnson “Origin of the P.R.C. in Tampa: Marti and the Tobacco Workers” (master’s thesis, University of Florida, 1968).

(32.) Louis A. Pérez Jr., “Cubans in Tampa: From Exiles to Immigrants, 1892–1901,” Florida Historical Quarterly 57 (October 1978): 129–141; and Louis A. Pérez Jr., “Ybor City Remembered,” Tampa Bay History 7 (Fall–Winter 1985).

(33.) See Durwood Long, “The Making of Modern Tampa,” Florida Historical Quarterly 49 (April 1971): 333–345; Long, “Historical Beginnings”; José Rivero Muñiz, “Tampa at the Close of the Nineteenth Century,” Florida Historical Quarterly 41 (April 1963): 332–342; Joan M. Steffy, Cuban Immigrants of Tampa, Florida, 1886–1898 (master’s thesis, University of South Florida, 1975); Mormino and Pozzetta, Immigrant World; and Glenn L. Westfall, “Latin Entrepeneurs and the Birth of Ybor City,” Tampa Bay History 7 (Fall–Winter 1985): 5–21.

(34.) Robert Kerstein, Politics and Growth in Twentieth-Century Tampa (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2001); Patricia Ann Cooper, Once a Cigar Maker: Men, Women Work Culture in American Cigar Factories, 1900–1919 (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1992); Patricia Ann Cooper, “The Traveling Fraternity: Union Cigarmakers and Geographic Mobility 1900–19,” Journal of Social History 17 (Fall 1983): 127–138; Robert P. Ingalls, Urban Vigilantes in the New South: Tampa, 1882–1936 (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1988); Robert P. Ingalls, “Radicals and Vigilantes: The 1931 Strike of the Tampa Cigarworkers,” in Southern Workers and Their Unions, 1880–1975, ed. Merle E. Reed, Leslie S. Hough, and Gary M. Fink (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1981), 44–57.

(35.) Durwood Long, “The Open-Closed Shop Battle in Tampa’s Cigar Industry, 1919–21,” Florida Historical Quarterly 47 (October 1968): 101–121; Durwood Long, “Labor Relations in the Tampa Cigar Industry, 1885–1911,” Labor History 8 (Fall 1971): 551–559; Gary F. Mormino, “Tampa and the New Urban South: The Weight Strike of 1899,” Florida Historical Quarterly 60 (January 1982): 337–356; and George E. Pozzetta, “Alerta Tabaqueros! Tampa’s Striking Cigarworkers,” Tampa Bay History 3.2 (Fall–Winter 1981); and George E. Pozzetta, “Immigrants and Radicals in Tampa, Florida,” Florida Historical Quarterly 57 (January 1979): 337–348.

(36.) Jean Stubbs, Tobacco on the Periphery: A Case Study in Cuban Labour History, 1860–1958 (New York: Cambridge University Press,1985).

(37.) José Yglesias, “The Radical Latino Island in the Deep South,” Tampa Bay History 7 (Fall–Winter 1985): 166–169; A. Stuart Campbell, The Cigar Industry of Tampa, Florida (Gainesville: n.p., 1939); and Wayne Flynt’s “Florida Labor and Political Radicalism, 1919–20,” Labor History 9 (Winter 1968)

(38.) Grillo, Black Cuban, Black American.

(39.) Susan Greenbaum, More Than Black: Afro-Cubans in Tampa (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2002); Susan Greenbaum, “Afro Cubans in Exile: Tampa, Florida, 1886–1984,” Cuban Studies 5 (Winter 1985): 59–73; Susan Greenbaum, “Afro-Cubans in Tampa,” Tampa Bay History (Winter 1985); and Susan Greenbaum, Afro Cubans in Ybor City: A Centennial History (Tampa: University of South Florida Press, 1986.

(40.) Winston James, “From a Class for Itself to a Race on Its Own: The Strange Case of Afro-Cuban Radicalism and Afro-Cubans in Florida, 1870–1949,” in Holding Aloft the Banner of Ethiopia: Caribbean Radicalism in Early Twentieth Century America, by William James (London: Verso, 1998); Nancy R. Mirabal, “Telling Silences and Making Community: Afro-Cubans and African Americans in Ybor City and Tampa, 1899–1915,” in Between Race and Empire: African Americans and Cubans before the Cuban Revolution, ed. Lisa Brock and Digna Castañeda Fuertes (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998), 49–69.

(41.) Elizabeth Becker, “From Cuba to Ybor City: Race, Revolution, Nationalism and Afro-Cuban Identity” (master’s thesis, University of Toledo, 2013); and Enrique A. Cordero, “The Afro-Cuban Community in Tampa, Florida” (unpublished manuscript, University of South Florida, 1982).

(42.) Wenceslao Galvez, Impresiones de Emigrado (Havana: Establecimiento Tipográfico Cuba, 1897); Emilio del Rio and Antonio del Río, Yo fui uno de los Fundadores de Ybor City (Tampa: n.p., 1950).

(43.) Jose Rivero Muñiz, Los Cubanos en Tampa (Havana: Revista Bimestre Cubana LXXIV [primer semestre], 1958), 5–140; and Eustasio Fernández and Henry Beltran’s translation of the same, The Ybor City Story (Tampa: n.p., 1976).

(44.) Armando Méndez, Ciudad de Cigars (Cocoa: Florida Historical Society, 1994); Ramon Tapia, “Diary of a Tampa Man in a Cigar Factory” (unpublished manuscript, University of South Florida Special Collections, n.d.); and Angelo Massari, The Wonderful Life of Angelo Massari: An Autobiography (Hicksville, NY: Exposition Press, 1965)

(45.) Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, Ybor City Chronicles: A Memoir (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1994).

(46.) José Yglesias, The Truth about Them (New York: World Pub, 1998): José Yglesias, A Wake in Ybor City (New York: Holt, Rinehart, 1998); Jack Fernández, Café con Leche: A Novel (Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2005) and Viva Matilde! (Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2007); Jack Espinosa, Cuban Bread Crumbs (Bloomington, IN: Xlibris, 2008); Jack Espinosa, Sacafiesta! (Raleigh, NC: Lulu, 2015); and Frank Lastra, Ybor City: The Making of a Landmark Town (Tampa: University of Tampa Press, 2005).