Gilberto Freyre and Brazilian Self-Perception


in Racism and Ethnic Relations in the Portuguese-Speaking World

Published by British Academy

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780197265246
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754197 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Gilberto Freyre and Brazilian Self-Perception

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The idea of Brazil as a ‘racial democracy’ and a mixture of peoples and cultures became a central part of its national identity following the publication of Gilberto Freyre's Casa-grande e senzala in 1933. This chapter argues that the idea of racial democracy cannot be understood without taking into account the dialogue, dating from much earlier than 1933, between Brazilians and North Americans, based (in the former case) on an emphasis on the mixture of black and white, and (in the latter) on the ‘one drop rule’ and the segregation that came with it.

Keywords: Gilberto Freyre; national identity; racial democracy; Brazilian solution; emigration; Brazil; American black press

Chapter.  10096 words. 

Subjects: Colonialism and Imperialism

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