Brazil's Living Museum: Race, Reform, and Tradition in Bahia by Anadelia A. Romo

By Anadelia A. Romo

Brazil's northeastern country of Bahia has outfitted its economic climate round attracting overseas travelers to what's billed because the locus of Afro-Brazilian tradition and the epicenter of Brazilian racial concord. but this inclusive excellent has a sophisticated prior. Chronicling the discourse between intellectuals and kingdom officers in the course of the interval from the abolition of slavery in 1888 to the beginning of Brazil's army regime in 1964, Anadelia Romo uncovers how the state's nonwhite majority moved from being a resource of embarrassment to being a severe section of Bahia's identity.

Romo examines principles of race in key cultural and public arenas via a detailed research of scientific technological know-how, the humanities, schooling, and the social sciences. As she argues, even though Bahian racial suggestion got here to include parts of Afro-Brazilian tradition, the presentation of Bahia as a "living museum" threatened by way of social switch portrayed Afro-Bahian tradition and modernity as unavoidably at odds. Romo's finely tuned account complicates our figuring out of Brazilian racial ideology and enriches our wisdom of the buildings of race throughout Latin the United States and the bigger African diaspora.

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Brazil's Living Museum: Race, Reform, and Tradition in Bahia

Brazil's northeastern country of Bahia has outfitted its economic system round attracting foreign travelers to what's billed because the locus of Afro-Brazilian tradition and the epicenter of Brazilian racial concord. but this inclusive perfect has a classy previous. Chronicling the discourse between intellectuals and nation officers in the course of the interval from the abolition of slavery in 1888 to the beginning of Brazil's army regime in 1964, Anadelia Romo uncovers how the state's nonwhite majority moved from being a resource of embarrassment to being a severe portion of Bahia's id.

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28 Each of these dictates individually were revolutionary. Together they threatened the traditional hierarchy of Bahian society. Vitorino’s reform would have extended literacy to nonwhite masses only recently eligible for public education. Far from aiming to regenerate only the state elite, as the 1878 program had intended, Manuel Vitorino insisted on opening the reforming potential of the schools to all. The new education system would ostensibly be capable of regenerating all Bahians — elite or poor, black, white, or brown.

5 The debates in Bahia’s medical community give insight into the racial controversies that shaped Bahia in this pivotal moment after abolition, as Brazil’s new republic ushered in a vibrant period of medical activism. This chapter gives new attention to Bahia’s dynamic medical reformers of the turn of the century and unravels the views of race that shaped their hope for change. It looks at a variety of contexts in which issues of race and medicine commingled and explores the reformers’ view of themselves as central to an expansive, and eclectic, assortment of causes.

In fact, as Peard shows, although other views of disease were increasingly accepted, miasmatic theory continued to work particularly well with the vision of tropical redemption and social reform originally advocated by the Tropicalistas. 13 They poured their energy into assessment, debate, and reform of Bahia’s environment and dedicated little of their research to bacteriology. ”14 Bacteriological research never became a central concern for these doctors, who instead focused their efforts on civilizing Bahia through ambitious initiatives of public health regulation and policy.

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