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Racism and Ethnic Relations in the Portuguese-Speaking World$
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Francisco Bethencourt and Adrian Pearce

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265246

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265246.001.0001

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Gilberto Freyre and Brazilian Self-Perception

Gilberto Freyre and Brazilian Self-Perception

(p.113) 6 Gilberto Freyre and Brazilian Self-Perception
Racism and Ethnic Relations in the Portuguese-Speaking World


British Academy

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

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