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Sociedad la Unión Martí-Maceo records

Identifier: MS-1983-02
  • No requestable containers

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

Primarily consists of organizational documents, including financial and membership records and the minutes of committee meetings.  Also includes Spanish and English language books, with works by Cuban poet Jose Martí, narratives of Cuba, and scholarly publications from the early to mid 1900s.


  • Created: 1853 - 2000
  • Other: 1983

Conditions Governing Access

None.  The contents of this collection may be subject to copyright.  Visit the United States Copyright Office's website at for more information.

Biographical or Historical Information

La Unión Martí-Maceo was established near the turn of the 20th century as Los Libres Pensadores Marti-Maceo. Named for Cuban heroes Jose Martí and General Antonio Maceo, the organization functioned as a social and recreational society for members of Tampa’s Afro-Cuban community of cigar workers. Although the organization originally served both Black and white Cubans as the Club Nacional Cubano, Octubre 10, an era of segregation forced the group to split into two separate societies- the Círculo Cubano and Los Libres Pensadores Martí-Maceo. The first official meeting of Los Libres Pensadores (“the freethinkers”) took place October 26, 1900 at the home of Cuban immigrants Ruperto and Paulina Pedroso. The organization eventually merged with La Unión, an Afro-Cuban society in West Tampa, to form La Sociedad la Unión Martí- Maceo. Like many mutual aid societies of the time, La Unión Martí-Maceo provided complete medical care for members and benefits for sickness and death, in addition to a variety of social and cultural activities. In 1908, the society built a two-story brick headquarters at 11th Street and 6th Avenue in Ybor City that contained an auditorium, dance hall and club rooms. This structure served as a center for the Afro-Cuban community of Tampa until it was raised in 1965 for Urban Renewal. In 1989, House Bill 889 (Florida State Statute Chapter 89-382), entitled "An act relating to historic preservation; formally recognizing the cultural role of certain Latin societies in the historical development of Ybor City and specifically recognizing the accomplishments of La Unión Martí-Maceo," passed the state house of representatives and was signed into law by then Florida Governor Robert Martinez.  The bill gives protection to La Sociedad la Unión Martí-Maceo, in recognition of the historical loss of their original building and states that the "City of Tampa and Ybor City are requested to take any and all steps necessary to preserve the headquarters of La Unión Martí-Maceo and protect it from the consequences of the urban renewal process" (Florida House of Representatives 1989, 158-64-1-9). The society is now located at 1226 E. 7th Avenue in Ybor City, Tampa, FL and continues to sponsor social activities for its members. The organization’s contemporary goals include preserving the history and heritage of Tampa's Cuban community and helping protect the multicultural resources of Ybor City.


10.32 Linear Feet

19 boxes

Language of Materials



The records of Sociedad la Unión Martí-Maceo include organizational documents and published works from the society's library.

Arrangement Note


Method of Acquisition

Deposited on indefinite loan, circa 1983, by La Unión Martí-Maceo.

Processing Information


Sociedad la Unión Martí-Maceo records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the USF Libraries - Special Collections Repository

4202 East Fowler Ave.
Tampa FL 33620-5400 US