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Roanne Edwards

Born in Camagüey, Cuba, Nicolás Guillén is widely considered Cuba's preeminent poet, on a par with such Latin American literary masters as Jorge Luis Borges, Pablo Neruda, and César Vallejo. According to literary scholar Josaphat B. Kubayanda, “Guillén's poetry was the first successful development in Cuba of a vital and original aesthetic based upon the black and African elements on Caribbean soil.” He was also a committed communist and his poems and journalism powerfully reflect his political and national concerns. Like the black American singer and activist Paul Robeson, Guillén devoted much of his life to the pursuit of peace, both in racially torn prerevolutionary Cuba and abroad. He traveled extensively throughout the world and in 1954 received the Lenin International Peace Prize.

Guillén is equally a part of the community of black poets exemplified by Harlem Renaissance writers Claude McKay, Sterling Brown ...

Article

Raymond Suttner

leading South African communist and antiapartheid activist, was treated by the apartheid regime as its key enemy. At the same time he had a heroic image among the oppressed black majority as a white person totally dedicated to liberation.

Slovo, whose birth name was Yossel Mashel, was born into poverty in Obel, a village in Lithuania, the son of Yiddish-speaking parents, who were isolated from the Lithuanian community by their language and by anti-Semitism. His father left Obel when Joe was two years old to find a better environment. Settling in Johannesburg, South Africa, as a fruit hawker, it was six years before the father could send for his family. Joe arrived in 1936 then ten years old According to his daughter Gillian the Slovo family were on the lowest rung of the newly arrived Jewish community but the color of their skin opened a world of opportunity denied ...