Reading José Martí From the Margins

Reading José Martí from the Margins explores the construction of Cuban homophobia, racism, sexism, sinophobia and ethnic discrimination which continues unabetted today on both sides of the Florida Straits.

The apotheosis of Martí and the falsification of his thoughts have made it difficult to provide a critical assessment of his contributions to the cause of political and social liberation. In his writings and in his declaration (Montecristo Manifesto), he is among the first Latin Americanists to envision the future of Cuba and the rest of Latin America with the full and equal inclusion of Indian and Black people. However, he also unwillingly created the foundation for a paternalistic, colorblind social order which contributed to the marginalization of those who fell short of the cis-gendered male Eurocuban ideal. Relying primarily on Martí’s own writings, some of which has yet to be translated into English, Miguel De La Torre provides a critical assessment of Martí and shows how some of his work contributes to the construction of intra-Cuban oppression.



Miguel De La Torre’s excavation of the authentic Martí is piercing and raw, highlighting all ways Martí perpetuated the status quo. Yet, it is by way of this rigorous deconstruction that De La Torre unearths, rather brilliantly, the more revolutionary and liberative qualities of Martí’s thought. As a result, he gives us a Martí for our time—a compelling Martí we should not ignore.

— José Francisco Morales Torres, Assistant Professor of Latinx Studies and Religion, Chicago Theological Seminary

“De La Torre embarks on the daring journey of challenging the colonial heteronormative apparatus in prevailing portrayals of José Martí. Readers will find a refreshing new depiction of this historical figure in which the insidious ideological structures behind the othering of racialized and gendered peoples are also uncovered. De La Torre’s analysis embodies what it means to engage the painstaking processes of revisiting authorized accounts of historical figures.”

— Néstor Medina, Associate Professor of Religious Ethics and Culture, Emmanuel College, Victoria University in the University of Toronto

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