The Sugar Daddy: Gilberto Freyre and the White Man’s Love for Blacks
This chapter addresses representations of homosexuality in the work of the writer and sociologist Gilberto Freyre (1900–1987), particularly in relation to his notions of racial contact and miscegenation. By looking at the configuration of “homosocial desires” in some of Freyre’s most important texts, one can begin to understand the role played by narratives of interracial and homosexual relationships in the structuring of what Freyre himself called the “Brazilian patriarchal family” and, therefore, in the canonical representation of Brazil as a mestizo nation. I first discuss Freyre’s view of the always ambivalent nature of the Portuguese colonizers, an ambivalence that expresses itself not only in racial but also in sexual terms. I then discuss how he employs a particular notion of democratic society, based on traditional views of male friendship, to define the boundaries of the relations between the races and to construct an image of Brazil that ultimately erases the political agency of Africans and Afro-Brazilians and, at the same time, of homosexuals.
KeywordsPlantation Society Sugar Cane Plantation True Friendship Interracial Friendship Racial Mixture
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