Slavery was abolished from Cuba on October 7, 1886 when a royal decree was issued by the Spanish government. Under the agreement pact of Zanjon, which finally ended the Ten Year War in 1878, the Cuban as well as African slaves who fought on either side of the war were set free. Those slaves who did not fight had to go through another decade of slavery.
According to the Spanish law in 1880, that issued a sentence about an eight-year period of patron to or tutelage for all slaves who were liberated according to the law. This only amounted to more of torture, as the slaves were required to spend those 8 years toiling for their masters at no cost at all. However when the slavery was abolished, it did not bring an end to the racial harmony in Cuba, and Spanish “thinkers”, proceeded to warn against the potential “evils” of a racially varied society.
At the time of the Spanish rule, most of these slaves were employed on plantations, and almost all the women slaves who lived in the city were never welcomed by the Cuban society. The black Africans, who were brought into Cuba by the British rulers, were not a homogenous group. These people were from many tribes and communities who existed along the length of the West African coastline. With them, they brought different languages, different beliefs, different customs, and different music, and through most of the nineteenth century, they conserved these differences in the new Cuban abode to which they had been transported.
For the upliftment of the slave society, many schools were opened up and a law declared that every community of more than 500 had to build one school for boys and one for girls, and that racial division would be covered up. It was anticipated that the various schools and organizations would pay for the basic education themselves. In spite of obvious executive persistence, many schools denied accepting black children, and some towns began to run separate schools for blacks. Others just refused to enroll blacks, or forced a special fee that most could not pay.
As soon as the black community started attending schools, the higher class started leaving out the schools and slowly new schools for these richer families began to appear. An article in the Gaceta de La Habana on May 1, 1889 stated that this number has tripled within a decade.
In the year 1883, Francisco Bonet and Antonio Rojas who appealed to Governor General Emilio Calleja to allow Afro-Cuban children to attend municipal-run schools all over the island led the whole lot of black community who were residing in the city of Havana. However, the response of the Governor General was not a positive one and never in favor of the black community. This prevented the full integration of Cuban society for many years.