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Gilberto Freyre and the Twentieth-Century Rethinking of Race in Latin America

Richard Drayton
Portuguese Studies
Vol. 27, No. 1 (2011), pp. 43-47
DOI: 10.5699/portstudies.27.1.0043
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5699/portstudies.27.1.0043
Page Count: 5
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Gilberto Freyre and the Twentieth-Century Rethinking of Race in Latin America
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Abstract

ABSTRACT. This article examines the intellectual origins and meaning of Gilberto Freyre’s Casa-grande. It argues that Freyre’s attack on a racial hierarchy of cultural value, and on ideas of racial purity, may be understood from four perspectives: first, as part of a long tradition of pan-American response to the Old World’s contempt for the New; second, as a claim for his region, the Northeast of Brazil, the most Africanised part of his country, of a central role in its nation’s civilization; third, as part of a broader Latin American renegotiation of the place of the indigenous and African culture in the decades after the First World War; and, lastly, as a classic modernist attempt to frame a view of universal humanity

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