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Photo via Dr_SarahMac/Twitter
(L-R) Dolores Ibárruri who rallied against Franco, Guatemalan labor organizer Luisa Moreno, and Margot Falcón Blanco who was born in Ybor City.
The Cuban ambassador’s recent trip to Tampa has made headlines over the last few weeks, but Sarah McNamara’s new book, “Ybor City: Crucible of the Latina South”
looks even further back than the Castro-era to chronicle a wave of leftist, radical antifascist women from pre-revolutionary Cuba who fought for their lives—and the well being of future generations—in the reconstructionist South.
To start the release cycle, McNamara will be in Ybor City tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, March 30 to help unveil a new mural painted by Tampa artist Michelle Sawyer
who commemorated the district’s 1937 antifascist women’s march.
A free, evening Women's History Month celebration featuring the author
, artist and Florida historian Gary Mormino happens at the Cuban Club that night.
The mural is on the western wall of the Ybor City Development Corporation building near the corner of Seventh Avenue and 20th Street, a block away from Dirty Shame dive bar and 7th+Grove. From left to right, it features three women: Dolores Ibárruri who rallied against Franco, Guatemalan labor organizer Luisa Moreno, and McNamara’s great aunt, Margot Falcón Blanco who was born in Ybor City.
“On the day of the 1937 Antifascist Women’s March, my Aunt Margot marched with her mother, Amelia Blanco Alvarez,” McNamara wrote to Creative Loafing Tampa. On that day in May, approximately 5,000 women marched from Seventh Avenue to Tampa City Hall where they read a letter of protest to the mayor.
The idea to include “Aunt Margot” came from Sawyer, who shocked McNamara when the draft of the mural was presented.
“To me, her inclusion represents the everyday political lives of Latinas in Ybor as well as the memories and histories that live in Tampa,” McNamara added. “History, we often assume, is made by big names. But, the reality is that great movements, and great historical moments, are made and shaped by everyday people, including those as common as my Aunt Margot.”
Featured speakers set to appear at the Cuban Club on Thursday night include McNamara, Sawyer, historian and author Gary Mormino, plus emcee Manny Leto.