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Terms of Inclusion

Terms of Inclusion: Black Intellectuals in Twentieth-Century Brazil

Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 416
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    Terms of Inclusion
    Book Description:

    In this history of black thought and racial activism in twentieth-century Brazil, Paulina Alberto demonstrates that black intellectuals, and not just elite white Brazilians, shaped discourses about race relations and the cultural and political terms of inclusion in their modern nation.Drawing on a wide range of sources, including the prolific black press of the era, and focusing on the influential urban centers of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Salvador da Bahia, Alberto traces the shifting terms that black thinkers used to negotiate their citizenship over the course of the century, offering fresh insight into the relationship between ideas of race and nation in modern Brazil. Alberto finds that black intellectuals' ways of engaging with official racial discourses changed as broader historical trends made the possibilities for true inclusion appear to flow and then recede. These distinct political strategies, Alberto argues, were nonetheless part of black thinkers' ongoing attempts to make dominant ideologies of racial harmony meaningful in light of evolving local, national, and international politics and discourse.Terms of Inclusiontells a new history of the role of people of color in shaping and contesting the racialized contours of citizenship in twentieth-century Brazil.

    eISBN: 978-1-4696-0318-6
    Subjects: History, Sociology
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. vii-x)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Introduction (pp. 3-22)

    Until 1888, when Brazil became the last society in the Americas to abolish slavery, the slave system was as extensive there as it had been anywhere in the new world. Slavery was not just the center of Brazil’s brutal economic engine; it was a way of life, the foundation of a deeply hierarchical society marked by pervasive distinctions of color and class. The stigmas of race and servility associated with African slavery extended beyond those in bondage, shaping the lives of a large population of free people of color as well. After abolition, freedom and citizenship were similarly conditioned by...

  6. 1. Foreigners: São Paulo, 1900–1925 (pp. 23-68)

    As the twentieth century opened, a small group of men of color in the city and state of São Paulo had cause to be optimistic about their future. Slavery was no more, and the laws of the new Republic (1889–1930) formally declared all literate adult men full and equal citizens of the nation. As a relatively privileged group within São Paulo’s small black and brown population, a select “class of color” in one of the nation’s wealthiest and most rapidly modernizing states, these men far exceeded those basic requirements for citizenship. They were literate, cultured, and modestly well employed....

  7. 2. Fraternity: Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, 1925–1929 (pp. 69-109)

    Beginning in the early years of the century, writers in São Paulo’s black press invoked Brazil’s traditions of racial fraternity in an attempt to constitute an alternate public consciousness. This consciousness would oppose scientific racism, whitening ideologies, racist immigration policies, and the racism of immigrants themselves. São Paulo’s black journalists used fraternity, in other words, as a bulwark against attitudes that threatened to turn black Brazilians into foreigners in their native land.

    Until the mid-1920s, this strategy was confined to the pages of the black press, with its rather narrow readership. In the second half of the 1920s, men of...

  8. 3. Nationals: Salvador da Bahia and São Paulo, 1930–1945 (pp. 110-150)

    During the First Republic, the whitening ideologies that valued European immigrants above black workers had turned the wordnacionalinto a derisive euphemism forpretosandpardos. To be a “national” in the Republic, as writers in São Paulo’s black press ruefully pointed out time and again, was essentially to be a second-class citizen, or in their terms, a foreigner in one’s own land. This situation changed dramatically after November 1930, when a bloodless coup by Getúlio Vargas put an end to the Republic and inaugurated a fifteen-year nationalist regime.

    Like other nationalist leaders taking power across Latin America in...

  9. 4. Democracy: São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, 1945–1950 (pp. 151-195)

    In 1945 growing opposition in Brazil helped bring down Getúlio Vargas’s dictatorship, inaugurating a Second Republic (1946–64) that deepened and expanded Brazil’s historically weak democratic institutions.¹ This transformation coincided with the Allied victory in World War II, which brought the end of totalitarian regimes in Europe and fueled enthusiasm for democracy across Latin America. In Brazil, democracy, and how it should be defined, became a central issue of national politics for the rest of the decade.

    In the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, black thinkers took full advantage of reinstated freedoms of speech and association to...

  10. 5. Difference: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Salvador da Bahia, 1950–1964 (pp. 196-244)

    The language of an antiracist, unified Brazilian identity permeated Brazilian public life so thoroughly in the years following the return of democracy in 1945 that black organizations themselves soon came under suspicion as racist entities. In July 1949 a writer in Rio’sDiário Cariocaaccused black thinkers of sowing “seeds of hatred.” In April 1950 a front-page editorial in Rio’sO Globoaccused black organizations of “pretoracism.” “From the most remote times of our formation,” this writer declared, “pretosand whites have treated each other cordially. . . . Yet for some time now, we have seen the emergence...

  11. 6. Decolonization: Rio de Janeiro, Salvador da Bahia, and São Paulo, 1964–1985 (pp. 245-296)

    Until 1964 most black thinkers remained committed to turning the dominant idea of racial democracy to their advantage, refining and contesting its meanings in a democratic public sphere. This situation changed drastically after the military coup in late March of that year. The coup put an end to the democratic Second Republic and inaugurated a succession of authoritarian governments that repressed black thinkers and organizations, along with unions, student groups, and leftists, as subversive threats to national security. By the end of the 1960s, most race-based organizations in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo disbanded, and the black press fell...

  12. Epilogue: Brazil, 1985 to the New Century (pp. 297-302)

    Against the backdrop of military dictatorship, a new generation of black thinkers and activists across Brazil revised their relationship with dominant racial ideologies, rejecting the shared symbols that, in different iterations, had served as the centerpiece of black politics since the First Republic. After 1985 the return to democracy gave black activists the openings they needed to make their denunciation of the “myth” of racial democracy increasingly visible in Brazilian public life. The period of democratic transition in the mid-1980s, like the transition to democracy in the mid-1940s, was a propitious time to question an ideology that had become so...

  13. NOTES (pp. 303-354)
  14. BIBLIOGRAPHY (pp. 355-376)
  15. INDEX (pp. 377-396)