By Michelle A. Gonzalez
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Extra info for Afro-Cuban Theology: Religion, Race, Culture, and Identity
Slave narratives play a fundamental role as a historical source for black theology. Cut Loose Your Stammering Tongue: Black Theology in the Slave Narrative is a foundational text that highlights the significance of slave narratives for contemporary black theologians. Will Coleman, in his introduction to the text, explains that its purpose is to introduce slave narratives as a resource for understanding the experience of slavery from slaves’ perspectives; show the con- Are Afro-Latins Black? 8 Cut Loose Your Stammering Tongue makes slave narratives the foundation for a black theology of liberation in contrast to reliance on European sources and norms.
His book opens with the story of Esteban, reinforcing the idea that the history of blacks in the Americas begins with a Spanish-speaking man. Davis also notes the significance of cofradías (religious brotherhoods) and calls for further study of this dimension of black culture and religiosity. “The presence of blacks, Spanish-speaking and Catholic, is rarely noted, which is perhaps one of the most glaring omissions in the story of Catholicism in the United States.
Catholicism, ignoring the black presence completely. Davis’ book thus broadens both of these fields by incorporating traditionally marginalized voices. Davis’ study is also significant for its inclusion of Latin American experience, even though that presence is passing and curtailed. Two individuals figure prominently in Davis’ account of Latin American black Catholicism. The first is Esteban, otherwise known as Estevanico. With three white men, Esteban, a slave, crossed the United States and arrived in Mexico on 1536.