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Socio-racial representations of blacks in Western São Paulo post-abolition, 1888-1930

Grant number: 23/05699-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2023
Effective date (End): September 30, 2025
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology - Other specific Sociologies
Principal Investigator:Antonio Sérgio Alfredo Guimarães
Grantee:Renan Vidal Mina
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Although it has founded Brazilian sociology, the tradition of race relations studies, financed more systematically by Unesco from the 1950s and oriented to examining the situation of blacks, whether in large centers or corners of the country, was put aside. Strictly speaking, when it comes specifically to patterns of interaction among "people of color" and whites in the interior of São Paulo after the end of slavery, little has been produced since the pioneer work of Oracy Nogueira in Itapetininga. Therefore, the immediate post-abolition, a moment marked by the redefinition of hierarchies crystallized over centuries and by a profound racialization of social relations, remains unknown when it comes to the representations of blacks in the daily life of Western São Paulo coffee-producing region, the mainstay of the national economy between the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Resuming the alluded tradition, this project seeks to analyze how race, seen here as a moving boundary, was operationalized by whites and, consequently, resignified by blacks between the extinction of slavery and the validity of the First Republic in municipalities that were part of the three great zones of Western São Paulo encompassed by the expansion of coffee cultivation. In conceiving representation as a dialogical process, it is argued that insofar as "native" elites insisted on essentializing black people upon linking physical features to values perceived as inferior and indelible, Afro-Brazilians were liable to reinterpret their racial condition to oppose categorizations. To capture that dynamic between racialization and self-racialization, we resort to the reconstitution from memorialists' writings and newspaper editions from the interior of São Paulo regarding commemorative events, mainly related to the social experiences of black people. (AU)

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