Maria Cristina Fragas

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Maria Cristina Fragas (July 24, 1856 – April 20, 1936) was a Cuban writer of African origin. She wrote under the name Cristina Ayala.

The daughter of a Creole mother who was a slave and an unknown father, she was born free in Güines.[1] Her work was published in various newspapers and journals including El Pueblo Libre and El Sufragista, as well as in Minerva, a magazine dedicated to black women for which she was a founding editor. She is believed to be the first Afro-Hispanic writer to talk about race in her poetry. In her work, she opposed slavery and racial inequality and supported national independence for all Cubans.[2][3]

In 1912, she married Cecilio Larrondo.[1]

Fragas died in Güines at the age of 79.[1]

A collection of her work Ofrendas Mayabequinas was published in 1926 with a foreword by Valentin Cuesta Jimenez.[4]

After her death, the town council for Güines named a street in her honour. The street was renamed after the Cuban Revolution and no longer exists.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Cristina Ayala". Círculo Güinero de Los Ángeles.
  2. ^ Callahan, Monique-Adelle (2011). Between the Lines: Literary Transnationalism and African American Poetics. pp. 25–32. ISBN 019987669X.
  3. ^ Sanmartin, Paula (2014). Black Women as Custodians of History: Unsung Rebel (M)Others in African American and Afro-Cuban Women's Writing. p. 240. ISBN 1604978694.
  4. ^ DeCosta-Willis, Miriam (2003). Daughters of the Diaspora: Afra-Hispanic Writers. pp. xxx–xxxi. ISBN 976637077X.