Freedoms Given, Freedoms Won: Afro-Brazilians in Post-Abolition São Paolo and Salvador

Overview

Winner of the American Historical Association's Wesley-Logan Prize and the Association of Black Women Historian's Letitia Woods Brown Prize

"An important, original, much-needed comparative study of post-emancipation Brazil." --Joao Jose Reis, Universidade Federal da Bahia

"A deftly written analysis that goes well beyond most existing studies of slavery's legacy in the hemisphere. The author's candor is refreshing, and her use of interviews provides a major new source of evidence." --Robert M. Levine, author of ...

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Overview

Winner of the American Historical Association's Wesley-Logan Prize and the Association of Black Women Historian's Letitia Woods Brown Prize

"An important, original, much-needed comparative study of post-emancipation Brazil." --Joao Jose Reis, Universidade Federal da Bahia

"A deftly written analysis that goes well beyond most existing studies of slavery's legacy in the hemisphere. The author's candor is refreshing, and her use of interviews provides a major new source of evidence." --Robert M. Levine, author of Brazilian Legacies and Father of the Poor?: Vargas and His Times

Freedoms Given, Freedoms Won is the first book-length study devoted to understanding the political life of urban Afro-Brazilians in the aftermath of abolition. It explores the ways Afro-Brazilians in two major cities adapted to the new conditions of life after slavery and how they confronted limitations placed on their new freedom. The book sets forth new ways of understanding why the abolition of slavery did not yield equitable fruits of citizenship, not only in Brazil, but throughout the Americas and the Caribbean.

In Sao Paulo, Afro-Brazilians united against racial discrimination, giving rise to a vocal black press and numerous political groups. One of these became the first national civil rights organization and Brazil's only black political party. In Salvador, African identity prevailed over black identity, and social protest was oriented toward protecting the right to practice African-based cultural expressions such as candomble and capoeira.

Of all the eras and issues studied in Afro-Brazilian history, post-abolition social and political action has been the most neglected. Freedoms Given, Freedoms Won sets the Afro-Brazilian experience in a national context as well situating it within the Afro-Atlantic diaspora through a series of explicit parallels, particularly with Cuba and Jamaica.

Kim D. Butler is an associate professor of history in the Africana Studies department at Rutgers University.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Latin American Studies

"Freedoms Given, Freedoms Won . . . is essential reading for an understanding of Brazilian race relations and the black movement today. A particular virtue of the book, besides the enlightening comparative perspective itself, and the author's carefully and modestly argued analysis, is that the latter is firmly rooted in a combination of extensive first-hand interviews with survivors of the period examined, and consultation of contemporary public archives and the black press."
British Bulletin of Publications

"Butler does an excellent hob establishing the patterns of political behavior of people of colour in two of the most important politics of late 19th and early 20th century Brazil. Juxtaposing the two cities proves to be both illuminating and instructive."
Law and History Review

"This book offers a clear comparative analysis of the post-abolition Afro-Brazilian community in two cities. Furthermore, among the book's many strengths is that it moves beyond a simple comparison of two populations. Butler successfully analyses her subjects within the much more broader context of the African diaspora throughout the Americas. . . . The book offers rare insight into the struggle for self-determination among a population that has traditionally lacked a historic voice."
H-Net Reviews

"Kim Butler . . . proposes a theoretical framework to explain why African descendants in [Sao Paulo and Salvador] adopted different strategies of self-representations and suggests how this framework might contribute to the comparative study of the politics of freedpeople in the Afro-Atlantic diaspora. The result is an important contribution to the historiography of race and politics in Brazil that raises intriguing questions for scholars of postemancipation societies."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813525044
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author


KIM D. BUTLER is assistant professor of Africana Studies at Rutgers University.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Figures
List of Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Brazil and the Afro-Atlantic Diaspora: Recontextualizing Abolition 1
Ch. 1 "Order and Progress": Elite Objectives and the Shaping of Abolition 16
Ch. 2 Self-Determination: The Politics of Identity 47
Ch. 3 Sao Paulo: The New City - The New Negro 67
Ch. 4 The Politics of Race in Sao Paulo 88
Ch. 5 Salvador: Afro-Bahia in an Era of Change 129
Ch. 6 The Politics of Culture in Salvador 168
Conclusion: "Full Free" 210
Notes 229
Glossary 269
Bibliography 271
Index 283
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