Brenda Coromina (SFS‘21) graduated from the School of Foreign Service, majoring in international history with a certificate in religion, ethics, and world affairs. During her undergraduate studies, Coromina interned for the U.S. House of Representatives, the International Rescue Committee, and the American Center at the U.S. Embassy in Tunis. At the Berkley Center, Brenda worked as a front desk clerical assistant.
My paper will examine the historic role of Our Lady of Charity in Cuba across different populations, including those of Afro-Cuban, mixed-race, and white descent—as well as revolutionaries and more recently, exiles. The central question explored by my paper is whether any specific sub-national group owns the story of Our Lady of Charity. The tentative thesis that my paper will propose is that Our Lady of Charity’s political and social significance exists in her symbolic power to inspire marginalized groups to exercise agency against oppression and maintain hope. This phenomenon has transcended Cuba’s borders, as evidenced by today’s diaspora community.
De La Torre, Miguel A. "Ochún: (N)either the (M)other of All Cubans (n)or the Bleached Virgin." Journal of the American Academy of Religion 69, no. 4 (2001): 837–861.
Díaz, María Elena. The Virgin, the King, and the Royal Slaves of El Cobre: Negotiating Freedom in Colonial Cuba, 1670–1780. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000.
Hart, Stephen M. “The ‘Event’ of Nationalism.” Bulletin of Spanish Studies 92, no. 7 (2015): 1113–1127.
Portuondo Zúñiga, Olga Sarina. "La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre." In Cuba: Versión en Español, edited by Alan West-Durán, vol. 2, 1078–1082. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2015.
Schmidt, Jalane D. Cachita's Streets: The Virgin of Charity, Race, and Revolution in Cuba. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015.