Luso-Tropicalism and Its Discontents: The Making and Unmaking of Racial Exceptionalism

Posted in Africa, Anthologies, Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, History, Media Archive, Social Science on 2019-05-01 22:11Z by Steven

Luso-Tropicalism and Its Discontents: The Making and Unmaking of Racial Exceptionalism

Berghahn Books
April 2019
346 pages
15 illus., bibliog., index
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78920-113-0
eBook ISBN: 978-1-78920-114-7

Edited by:

Warwick Anderson, Janet Dora Hine Professor of Politics, Governance and Ethics
Department of History; Charles Perkins Centre
University of Sydney

Ricardo Roque, Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences
University of Lisbon

Ricardo Ventura Santos, Senior Researcher at Fundação Oswaldo Cruz; Professor
Department of Anthropology
National Museum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Luso-Tropicalism and Its Discontents: The Making and Unmaking of Racial Exceptionalism

Modern perceptions of race across much of the Global South are indebted to the Brazilian social scientist Gilberto Freyre, who in works such as The Masters and the Slaves claimed that Portuguese colonialism produced exceptionally benign and tolerant race relations. This volume radically reinterprets Freyre’s Luso-tropicalist arguments and critically engages with the historical complexity of racial concepts and practices in the Portuguese-speaking world. Encompassing Brazil as well as Portuguese-speaking societies in Africa, Asia, and even Portugal itself, it places an interdisciplinary group of scholars in conversation to challenge the conventional understanding of twentieth-century racialization, proffering new insights into such controversial topics as human plasticity, racial amalgamation, and the tropes and proxies of whiteness.

Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Luso-tropicalism and Its Discontents / Warwick Anderson, Ricardo Roque and Ricardo Ventura Santos
  • PART I: PICTURING AND READING FREYRE
    • Chapter 1. Gilberto Freyre’s view of miscegenation and its circulation in the Portuguese Empire (1930s-1960s) / Cláudia Castelo
    • Chapter 2. Gilberto Freyre: Racial Populism and Ethnic Nationalism / Jerry Dávila
    • Chapter 3. Anthropology and Pan-Africanism at the Margins of the Portuguese Empire: Trajectories of Kamba Simango / Lorenzo Macagno
  • PART II: IMAGINING A MIXED-RACE NATION
    • Chapter 4. Eugenics, Genetics and Anthropology in Brazil: The Masters and the Slaves, Racial Miscegenation and its Discontents / Robert Wegner and Vanderlei Sebastião de Souza
    • Chapter 5. Gilberto Freyre and the UNESCO Research Project on Race Relations in Brazil / Marcos Chor Maio
    • Chapter 6. An Immense Mosaic”: Race-Mixing and the Creation of the Genetic Nation in 1960s Brazil / Rosanna Dent and Ricardo Ventura Santos
  • PART III: THE COLONIAL SCIENCES OF RACE
    • Chapter 7. The Racial Science of Patriotic Primitives: Mendes Correia in ‘Portuguese Timor’ / Ricardo Roque
    • Chapter 8. Re-Assessing Portuguese Exceptionalism: Racial Concepts and Colonial Policies toward the Bushmen in Southern Angola, 1880s-1970s / Samuël Coghe
    • Chapter 9. “Anthropo-Biology”, Racial Miscegenation and Body Normality: Comparing Bio-Typological Studies in Brazil and Portugal, 1930-1940 / Ana Carolina Vimieiro Gomes
  • PART IV: PORTUGUESENESS IN THE TROPICS
    • Chapter 10. Luso-Tropicalism Debunked, Again: Race, Racism, and Racialism in Three Portuguese-Speaking Societies / Cristiana Bastos
    • Chapter 11. Being (Goan) Modern in Zanzibar: Mobility, Relationality and the Stitching of Race / Pamila Gupta
  • Afterword I / Nélia Dias
  • Afterword II / Peter Wade
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Eugenics in Brazil: In the early 20th century, elites believed racial improvement was only possible with a project favoring predominance of the white race

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive on 2018-04-01 01:38Z by Steven

Eugenics in Brazil: In the early 20th century, elites believed racial improvement was only possible with a project favoring predominance of the white race

Black Women of Brazil: The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent
2018-02-27

Tiago Ferreira, Staff
Vix

What was the eugenics movement in Brazil: so absurd that it is difficult to believe

Eugenia is a term that came from the Greek and means ‘well born’. “Eugenics emerged to validate hierarchical segregation,” Pietro Diwan, author of the book Raça Pura: uma história da eugenia no Brasil e no mundo (Pure Race: A History of Eugenics in Brazil and the World), explains to VIX.

How eugenics was born

The idea was disseminated by Francis Galton, responsible for creating the term, in 1883. He imagined that the concept of natural selection of Charles Darwin—who, by the way, was his cousin—also applied to humans.

His project was intended to prove that the intellectual capacity was hereditary, that is, it passed from member to member of the family and, thus, to justify the exclusion of the blacks, Asian immigrants and disabled of all the types…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Early Afro-Brazilian Soccer Stars and the Myth of Racial Democracy

Posted in Articles, Biography, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2017-04-11 01:38Z by Steven

Early Afro-Brazilian Soccer Stars and the Myth of Racial Democracy

Sport In American History
2017-03-23

Zachary R. Bigalke
Department of History
University of Oregon


Carlos Molinari, “Time do Bangu em 1905,” Bangu.net, via Ludopédio, Francisco Carregal is pictured seated front row and center in the photo.

The ideology of racial democracy cast a long shadow over twentieth-century race relations in Brazil. First popularized by influential Brazilian scholar Gilberto Freyre, this theory presumed a level racial playing field that was paradoxically dependent on the whitening of the populace. Rather than helping to drive the country toward a multiracial future, racial democracy shrouded the structural issues that remained as a legacy of Brazilian slavery.

Throughout his corpus of writings, Freyre portrayed Afro-Brazilians as sexualized Dionysian figures with a florid talent for bodily movement, expressed not only through capoeira and samba but also on the soccer pitch. Freyre used soccer as a foil for his theories of racial democracy throughout the course of his career, assigning certain attributes such as surprise, skill, cleverness, speed, and spontaneity on a racialized basis even as he tried to claim racial syncretism both in soccer and in broader society. Journalist Mario Filho furthered this discourse in his 1947 book O Negro no Futebol Brasileiro, for which Freyre wrote the introduction. Freyre and later Filho lionized certain players while glossing over others to create the myth that soccer exemplified multiracial harmony within Brazil’s racial democracy.

The career arcs of two key soccer players—Francisco Carregal in Rio de Janeiro and Arthur Friedenreich in São Paulo—offer a lens to evaluate the extent of Afro-Brazilian agency during the early decades of soccer’s growth in Brazil. The stories of their respective careers and historical representations illustrate the extent to which the myth of racial democracy was contingent on the process of whitening, in soccer’s case less through manipulation of behavioral traits and physical appearance.

To better understand these individuals and their status in Brazilian soccer as vanguards for future generations of Afro-Brazilian players, let’s look at both men through the context of their careers as well as their portrayals by Filho in his landmark text…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Slavery’s legacies

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Slavery, Social Science on 2016-10-04 00:30Z by Steven

Slavery’s legacies

The Economist
2016-09-10

SÃO PAULO

American thinking about race is starting to influence Brazil, the country whose population was shaped more than any other’s by the Atlantic slave trade

ALEXANDRA LORAS has lived in eight countries and visited 50-odd more. In most, any racism she might have experienced because of her black skin was deflected by her status as a diplomat’s wife. Not in Brazil, where her white husband acted as French consul in São Paulo for four years. At consular events, Ms Loras would be handed coats by guests who mistook her for a maid. She was often taken for a nanny to her fair-haired son. “Brazil is the most racist country I know,” she says.

Many Brazilians would bristle at this characterisation—and not just whites. Plenty of preto (black) and pardo (mixed-race) Brazilians, who together make up just over half of the country’s 208m people, proudly contrast its cordial race relations with America’s interracial strife. They see Brazil as a “racial democracy”, following the ideas of Gilberto Freyre, a Brazilian sociologist who argued in the 1930s that race did not divide Brazil as it did other post-slavery societies. Yet the gulf between white Brazilians and their black and mixed-race compatriots is huge…

…Of the 12.5m Africans trafficked across the Atlantic between 1501 and 1866, only 300,000-400,000 disembarked in what is now the United States. They were quickly outnumbered by European settlers. Most whites arrived in families, so interracial relationships were rare. Though white masters fathered many slave children, miscegenation was frowned upon, and later criminalised in most American states.

As black Americans entered the labour market after emancipation, they threatened white incomes, says Avidit Acharya of Stanford University. “One drop” of black blood came to be seen as polluting; laws were passed defining mixed-race children as black and cutting them out of inheritance (though the palest sometimes “passed” as white). Racial resentment, as measured by negative feelings towards blacks, is still greater in areas where slavery was more common. After abolition, violence and racist legislation, such as segregation laws and literacy tests for voters, kept black Americans down.

But these also fostered solidarity among blacks, and mobilisation during the civil-rights era. The black middle class is now quite large. Ms Loras would not seem anomalous in any American city, as she did in São Paulo…

…Both black and white Brazilians have long considered “whiteness” something that can be striven towards. In 1912 João Baptista de Lacerda, a medic and advocate of “whitening” Brazil by encouraging European immigration, predicted that by 2012 the country would be 80% white, 3% mixed and 17% Amerindian; there would be no blacks. As Luciana Alves, who has researched race at the University of São Paulo, explains, an individual could “whiten his soul” by working hard or getting rich. Tomás Santa Rosa, a successful mid-20th-century painter, consoled a dark-skinned peer griping about discrimination, saying that he too “used to be black”.

Though only a few black and mixed-race Brazilians ever succeeded in “becoming white”, their existence, and the non-binary conception of race, allowed politicians to hold up Brazil as an exemplar of post-colonial harmony. It also made it harder to rally black Brazilians round a hyphenated identity of the sort that unites African-Americans. Brazil’s Unified Black Movement, founded in 1978 and inspired by militant American outfits such as the Black Panthers, failed to gain traction. Racism was left not only unchallenged but largely unarticulated.

Now Brazil’s racial boundaries are shifting—and in the opposite direction to that predicted by Baptista de Lacerda. After falling from 20% to 5% between 1872 and 1990, the share of self-described pretos edged up in the past quarter-century, to 8%. The share of pardos jumped from 39% in 2000 to 43% in 2010. These increases are bigger than can be explained by births, deaths and immigration, suggesting that some Brazilians who used to see themselves as white or pardo are shifting to pardo or preto. This “chromatographic convergence”, as Marcelo Paixão of the University of Texas, in Austin, dubs it, owes a lot to policy choices…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Specter of Races: Latin American Anthropology and Literature between the Wars

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs on 2016-04-14 02:16Z by Steven

The Specter of Races: Latin American Anthropology and Literature between the Wars

University of Virginia Press
April 2016
224 pages
6 x 9
Paper ISBN: 9780813938790
Cloth ISBN: 9780813938783
Ebook ISBN: 9780813938806

Anke Birkenmaier, Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese
Indiana University, Bloomington

Arguing that race has been the specter that has haunted many of the discussions about Latin American regional and national cultures today, Anke Birkenmaier shows how theories of race and culture in Latin America evolved dramatically in the period between the two world wars. In response to the rise of scientific racism in Europe and the American hemisphere in the early twentieth century, anthropologists joined numerous writers and artists in founding institutions, journals, and museums that actively pushed for an antiracist science of culture, questioning pseudoscientific theories of race and moving toward more broadly conceived notions of ethnicity and culture.

Birkenmaier surveys the work of key figures such as Cuban historian and anthropologist Fernando Ortiz, Haitian scholar and novelist Jacques Roumain, French anthropologist and museum director Paul Rivet, and Brazilian sociologist Gilberto Freyre, focusing on the transnational networks of scholars in France, Spain, and the United States to which they were connected. Reviewing their essays, scientific publications, dictionaries, novels, poetry, and visual arts, the author traces the cultural study of Latin America back to these interdisciplinary discussions about the meaning of race and culture in Latin America, discussions that continue to provoke us today.

Tags: , , , , ,

Tais Araujo: Fighting Brazil’s Racism Takes More Than A Hashtag

Posted in Articles, Arts, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive on 2015-11-29 21:42Z by Steven

Tais Araujo: Fighting Brazil’s Racism Takes More Than A Hashtag

teleSUR
2015-11-18

Leopoldo Duarte


Taís Araújo‬’s profile picture on her Twitter account. | Photo: Twitter, @taisdeverdade

Most Brazilians take pride in living in a “racial democracy.” According to them Brazil is supposedly a country that evaded racism through the amicable blending of its native, African and European inhabitants. But an event earlier this month is once again challenging this myth, when popular Black Brazilian actress Taís Araujo gained media coverage because of a series of racist comments made on her Facebook page.

Twitter user @LeonaDivaa shares screenshots of the racist commentary on Tais’ fanpage. Dozens of social media users compared the actress to a “monkey” and a zoo animal, while making sexually derogatory comments and taunting her for her skin color and natural hair.

Tais left the highly offensive comments on her Facebook account, deciding to publicize and take legal actions against the racist insults rather than erase them. In Brazil, for the last 20 years racism has been a non-bailable offense, however most offenders rarely face punishment.

Brazilians, in response, seemed to be taken aback by the rampant and open attacks against the actress, who has been called “Brazil’s Beyonce.” What followed evidently was an outpouring of solidarity on social media, using the hashtag #SomosTodosTais (or #WeAreAllTais) Brazilians started an online campaign, which was widely reported in the Brazilian and international press.

“I still can’t handle the fact that racism is still alive in such a mixed country such as ours. #SomosTodosTaís” 

…But while, hashtags like (#WeAreAllAFamousWrongedBlackPerson) have become popular recently, many Black activists in Brazil have voiced their discontent with these campaigns.

Most Afro-Brazilian social activists were thrilled Taís decided to publicize every step of her legal process—images of her leaving a precinct after making a testimony made headlines and stirred emotions—but activists are also at odds with how most (white) Brazilians only address racism when a celebrity is involved.

Famous Afro-Brazilian activist and blogger, Stephanie Ribeiro, went as far as writing an article entitled: “Please Stop Individualizing Racism.“…

…Brazilians have been taught that we live in “racial democracy”. According to this belief, Brazil evaded racism through amicable blending of its three primary peoples, Africans, Europeans, and Indigenous Americans. This myth is rooted in the book, The Masters and the Slaves, by sociologist Gilberto Freyre in 1933. Freyre argued that racial hierarchy was abolished with slavery, despite the fact that Brazil was the last colony to formerly free its slaves…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

Historian Broadens Narrative of Slavery in the Americas

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2015-10-17 01:48Z by Steven

Historian Broadens Narrative of Slavery in the Americas

Fordham News: The Latest From Fordham University
2015-10-16

Patrick Verel


Photograph by Patrick Verel

In the United States, the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Underground Railroad loom so large in the understandings of slavery that most Americans can almost be excused for thinking it’s a phenomenon unique to us.

Yuko Miki, PhD, assistant professor of history, wants to vastly expand that understanding of the system—particularly its role in the South American nation of Brazil, which had the distinction of being the last country in the Americas to outlaw slavery in 1888.

An expert in Iberian Atlantic history, Miki has looked at Brazil’s connection to slave trading firms in the United States, to slave traders in West Central Africa, and to British abolitionists.

The picture of slavery as a national institution has been too small, she said. “It’s very exciting to be able to look at the history of slavery in a more transnational way.”…

…“I began to realize that in fact, the history of indigenous people in Brazil is very much a missing piece of history,” she said. “They were enslaved and lived and worked alongside slaves of African descent until the eve of the 20th century. For too long we had presumed that African slavery had expanded into ‘empty’ lands, which in fact were indigenous territories.” These histories, long separated, are in fact deeply connected.

Bringing these stories to light now is important, she said, because they challenge enduring popular narratives in Brazil. In The Masters and the Slaves (1946), for instance, sociologist/anthropologist Gilberto Freyre argued that the country is a “racial democracy”—composed of the race mixture between black, Portuguese, and indigenous people—and because of that, there is no racial tension in Brazil.

But just because people are of mixed race doesn’t mean there was or is no conflict, Miki said.

“It’s still important to look at the actual history of Brazil’s black and indigenous peoples. You don’t want to just look at the end result of a mixed society and celebrate it; but also look at how such race mixture might have occurred,” she said…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

White woman for marriage, mulatto woman for fucking, Negro woman for work.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2015-02-16 23:41Z by Steven

With reference to Brazil, as an old saying has it: “White woman for marriage, mulatto woman for fucking, Negro woman for work,” a saying in which, alongside the social convention of the superiority of the white woman and the inferiority of the black, is to be discerned a sexual preference for the mulatto.

Com relação ao Brasil, que o diga o ditado: “Branca para casar, mulata para foder, negra para trabalhar”; ditado em que se sente, ao lado do convencionalismo social da superioridade da mulher branca e da inferioridade da preta, a preferência sexual pela mulata.

Gilberto Freyre, The Masters and the Slaves: A Study in the Development of Brazilian Civilization, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987). 13-14. http://www.ucpress.edu/op.php?isbn=9780520056657.

Tags:

The “Return” of Race in Brazil

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science on 2015-01-09 21:32Z by Steven

The “Return” of Race in Brazil

Japan Sociology
2014-12-16

Chloe Lyu

This blog explores life in Japan from a sociological perspective. It is produced by Robert Moorehead and his students at Ritsumeikan University‘s College of International Relations, in Kyoto, Japan.

Different from the American white or black model of racial classification, there is a large range of choices between black and white for Brazilians to identify themselves, since Brazil applies skin colour as criteria for classifying one’s race. However, skin colour is more than skin tones in Brazil, as it also relates to the texture of hair, the shape of nose, lips and cultural background.

Moreno (brown) is the most popular term, which is used by nearly 44% of the population when people describe their skin colour. Its ambiguity allows a wide range of people with different skin tones to fit in the same box. In addition, brown is celebrated as a national symbol of mixed raced Brazilians. The founder of Brazil’s national identity, Gilberto Freyre, declared that the skin colour of brown was a great combination of Black, Indian and European, thus it symbolized mixed races of Brazilians’ commonness. Freyre’s work created an image that Brazil was a racial democracy without discrimination, due to everyone’s mixed background, thus everyone was the same.

Nevertheless, the reality tells a different story…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , ,

New Man in the Tropics: The Nietzschean Roots of Gilberto Freyre’s Multiracial Identity Concept

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2014-06-04 18:10Z by Steven

New Man in the Tropics: The Nietzschean Roots of Gilberto Freyre’s Multiracial Identity Concept

Luso-Brazilian Review
Volume 51, Number 1, 2014
pages 93-111
DOI: 10.1353/lbr.2014.0005

Jeroen Dewulf, Associate Professor of German
University of California, Berkeley

Casa-grande & Senzala (1933), a obra secular de Gilberto Freyre, foi traditionalmente interpretado de um ponto de vista sociólogo e histórico. Esta interpretação deixou duas questões essenciais em aberto: 1) Como se pode explicar que Freyre interpretou a noção de miscegenação de uma forma (muito) mais positiva do que sociólogos anteriores e 2) Como se pode explicar as tendências elitistas e aristocráticas na sua obra? Este artigo explore estas duas perguntas analisando a influência em Freyre da filosofia de Friedrich Nietzsche através da interpretação de Henry L. Mencken. Argumenta que a influência de Mencken foi maior do que tradicionalmente tem sido admitido e que na obra de Mencken sobre Nietzsche se pode encontrar a mesma interpretação de miscigenação que Freyre mais tarde explorou em Casa-grande & Senzala. Argumenta também que Mencken profundamente influenciou Freyre com as suas ideias aristocráticas e elitistas.

The Masters & Slaves (1933), the secular work of Gilberto Freyre, has been traditionally interpreted from the point of view of history and sociologist. This interpretation left two key questions unanswered: 1) How can one explain that Freyre interpreted the notion of miscegenation in a way (much) more positive than previous sociologists and 2) How was the elitist and aristocratic tendencies in his work? This article explores these questions by analyzing the influence Freyre in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche by interpreting Henry L. Mencken. I Argue that the influence of Mencken was greater than has traditionally been accepted and that the work of Mencken on Nietzsche can find the same interpretation of miscegenation that Freyre later explored in The Masters & Slaves. Mencken also argues that profoundly influenced Freyre with their aristocratic and elitist ideas.

Tags: , , ,