Embracing Cuba

Byron Motley

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"Words alone do not do Cuba justice. They depict only fragments of her mystery and beauty, her strength and fragility, her spirit and song. And so I turn to my cameras . . ."--from the introduction, Embracing Cuba

"Motley's images of Cuba's people, arts, design, and public life are remarkable."--Ellen M. Harrington, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

"One can immediately look at Motley's photographs and feel the spirit of the Cuban people."--Gil Garcetti, UNESCO-IHE cultural ambassador

"These beautiful photographs bring back many memories of Cuba--my people, my childhood, and so many beautiful moments that passed growing up in my beloved land."--Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers all-star outfielder

"A work of heart and soul."--Richard Schweid, author of Che's Chevrolet, Fidel's Oldsmobile

"The powerful photographs give wonderful insight into the lives of everyday people on the island with rich colors, abstract and complex scenes, humor, and energy."--Ilene Perlman, photographer

Intrigued by tales of his parents' long-ago journey to the pre-revolutionary "Pearl of the Antilles," award-winning photographer Byron Motley traveled to Cuba more than a decade ago and instantly fell in love. Year after year he has returned with his camera to explore its vistas, its people, and its spirit.


Forgoing the political imagery that has dominated American media, Motley highlights the many ways in which Cubans retain and nourish their zest for life despite the scarcity of every day. Through his vivid photographs, readers discover the real Cuba: its heart-stopping architecture and infectious energy, its cars seemingly teleported from the past, its love of baseball so fierce as to be nearly religious, the joy of community, and the unexpected juxtapositions of life in the last bastion of communism in the Western world.


Even before the easing of travel restrictions, Motley's personal relationships with key dignitaries provided him with unprecedented access in Havana, allowing him to capture the allure, the mystique, and the vibrant essence of Cuba.



Byron Motley is coauthor of Ruling Over Monarchs, Giants, and Stars: True Tales of Breaking Barriers, Umpiring Baseball Legends, and Wild Adventures in the Negro Leagues. His photographs have been published in the Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, Vanity Fair, and the Advocate.
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Press Kit

Anyone who has the pleasure of perusing the arresting pages in this right-on-time photograph album will see the source of our enthusiasm. . . View and enjoy these sensitive photos, and bon voyage.-- Booklist

Motley’s combined photographic and narrative skills create a succinct and evocative journey that transports the reader into those sides of island life and legacy that engage him most powerfully. . . . The result is this stunning visual and heart-felt narrative of Cuba in all its major dimensions.-- INsights

Certainly gives the country a loving hug.-- Visit Cuba

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