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Introduction: Who Were the Masters in the Americas?

  • Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Part of the New Directions in Latino American Cultures book series (NDLAC)

Abstract

“Europe ruled but without governing; governing first was Africa” (Casa-Grande e Senzala 5).1 This quotation is from Gilberto Freyre, the Brazilian sociologist who canonized plantation assimilationism as national leitmotif with the publication of Casa-Grande e Senzala in 1933. Because Freyre’s celebration of black culture centers on culinary, sexual, and spiritual traditions, it does not disarm normative master/slave, colonizer/colonized oppositions. Instead, African predominance becomes a commonplace without unsettling Europe’s historical-material control. The introduction of this quotation in a book dealing with plantation symbolics in the Americas—a book that is launched into a principally U.S. academic market—will be jarring to sensibilities accustomed to paradigms of master/slave relations employed in the United States.

Keywords

African Culture Hybrid Culture American Polity Interracial Contact Racial Exclusion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond

There are no affiliations available

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