Dr. Clealand is an associate professor of Political Science at Florida International University. Her research examines comparative racial politics, group consciousness, black public opinion and racial inequality with a focus on the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and the United States. Dr. Clealand’s book, The Power of Race in Cuba: Racial Ideology and Black Consciousness during the Revolution, (winner of the 2018 Best Book Award from the Race, Ethnicity and Poltiics Section of the American Political Science Association and the W.E.B. Du Bois Distinguished Book Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists) examines racial ideology and the institutional mechanisms that support racial inequality in Cuba. The book outlines structural racism the island and the experiences of discrimination that create a foundation for black solidarity.
Through survey, ethnographic, and interview data, The Power of Race in Cuba draws from the many black spaces on the island, both formal and informal, to highlight what constitutes black consciousness in Cuba. Her current project, Black Migration Into a White City (co-authored with Devyn Spence Benson), is an oral and political history of black Cubans in the United States. The project uncovers the black experience to fill gaps in the existing literature about Cubans and Cuban-Americans in the United States where stories of political and economic success dominate the scholarship and dilute stories of black exclusion. Through the use of oral history, the project analyzes housing discrimination, residential segregation, educational opportunities, intra-Latino racism, community building, and voting behavior, particularly in Miami. Dr. Clealand’s work can be found in Ethnic and Racial Studies, Politics, Groups and Identities, Journal of Latin American Studies and SOULS. She will be the director of the first Afro-Caribbean sample of the Collaborative Multi-Racial Post Election Survey in 2020 and serves on the editorial board for the journal of Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies and the advisory board for National Review of Black Politics. Dr. Clealand received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Political Science in 2011.