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Representation of Black women in the Northeastern narrative poetry – 1896-1970: Historical and sociocultural factors

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Letícia Fernanda da Silva Oliveira
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: Assis. 2022-06-06.
Institution: Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp). Faculdade de Ciências e Letras. Assis
Defense date:
Advisor: Francisco Cláudio Alves Marques

In the Northeastern narrative poetry, aside from personifying ugliness and deformity, Black women are frequently associated to the image of the devil. In Cantoria and Cordel Literature produced between the end of the 19th century and the 1970s of the 20th centuriy, Black women are depicted, mostly, in a negative way, being constantly diminished and demonized. It is not rare the repentes and brochures in which women represent worldly evils, acting as a diabolical intercessor in disturbing the order and morals in place. Inside these cultural practices, such women are examples of inverted morality, seen as being born fated to serve as the counterpoint to the “real” feminine behaviour. In this research we intend to analyze the various representations of Black women in the Cordel brochures produced in the period mentioned above, as well as investigate the historical and sociocultural factors that are found in the core of these representations. To unveil which elements influence the negative representation of the Black women, we opted to follow three-themed axes: the strengthening of the devil’s image in the Western civilization, coming from the biblical text to the transformation deriving from popular culture, which transforms it in a satirized devil; the Inquisition and the persecution of women, blaming them of witchcraft; as well as Brazilian slavery promoted during colonization, and scientific racism. All these were determining factors to the stereotypical representation of Black women in Cordel literature, substantiated on racism and sexism. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 18/08975-4 - The portrayal of black women on northeastern narrative poetry: 1896-1970: historical and sociocultural factors
Grantee:Letícia Fernanda da Silva Oliveira
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate