Sandra Abd’Allah-Alvarez Ramirez, The Journalist who started ‘The Directory of Afro-Cuban Women’

Her remarkable compilation is called “sus negras” (her black woman” and comprises of profiles of Afro-Cuban women who have contributed significantly to the creation of Cuba.

The Directory of Afro-Cuban Women, which is currently still in Spanish, is a digital tool that compiles the profiles of those Afro-Cuban women, beyond skin colour, who have contributed significantly in the creation of the island nation we all know as Cuba through intellectual, scientific and overall cultural contributions; these women have made and still provide to Cuba’s national history. In each file, you will be able to find downloadable information and contacts in several formats: PDF, video, audio, and images.

Ramirez was born in Havana in 1973 and is a graduate of Psychology from the University of Havana, with a Master’s Degree in Gender Studies in 2008. She also possesses another postgraduate degree in Gender and Communication.

The Directory of Afro-Cuban Women project has been on five years and is Ramirez’s attempt to give visibility to the lives and work of Cuban Afro-Descendant women through a digital tool that is accessible online. Usually, these women are excluded from literary anthologies, compilations, and encyclopedias; which is what sparked her interest in concentrating all that information in a single place. It has been long sessions of data management, compiling, editing, and other challenges, all for the sake that those who out of love are called ‘my black women’ can achieve visibility on the internet.

A very important aspect about the Directory is that the files can be found about some of these women that are based on requests for information that she received on her blog. Usually, these requests come from people who need specific data or need to contact them for research purposes. Ramirez said she received several requests for information on Soleida Rios. In pursuance of the project, a surprisingly interesting twist has been the number of CVs and bios she has received from Afro-Cuban women who have decided that they want to be included in the Directory. Ramirez is particularly excited and hopes that the very polemic term ‘Afro-Cubana’ is turning into something less frightening.

The Directory was created precisely for those who have irregular access to the internet in Cuba; especially, for the group Afrocubanas. It also exists in an offline version. What is most crucial about it is the circulation of updated, reliable information about these women, and that those who may need that type of information know where to find it.

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