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Black honor: belonging and the construction of identity among the writers of O Clarim d’Alvorada

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Title: Black honor: belonging and the construction of identity among the writers of O Clarim d’Alvorada
Author(s): Cerdeira, Marcos
Advisor(s): Tosta, Luciano
Department / Program: Latin American & Carib Studies
Discipline: Latin American Studies
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: M.A.
Genre: Thesis
Subject(s): Brazil Black Press Race Gender Identity
Abstract: In Brazil of the early twentieth century one of the most important signs of prestige was (and still is) skin color. In the city of São Paulo black skin color was such a negative signifier that it prevented many educated black people from advancing socially. As a result, many blacks in São Paulo formed organizations that sought to articulate and position their right to “eliteness.” Writers of the Black Press were a prominent source of this articulation. This thesis focuses specifically on the writings of the newspaper O Clarim d’Alvorada as a case study of the black press in its defining years (1924-1932). In this thesis, I argue that while these writers were a powerful force in criticizing racism, their own attempts to advocate and show themselves as “cultured” and “civilized” replicated the same exclusionary rationale through which they themselves were excluded. This thesis is envisioned as an intellectual history and as a result, the first two chapters seek to situate the intellectual currents in which these writers were performing. Chapter one traces the history of racial thought in Brazil from 1880s-1937. Chapter two focuses on gender, specifically, dealing with women and the construction of norms of propriety based upon class. Both of these themes come together in the third chapter where the works of the contributors of O Clarim d’Alvorada are analyzed to demonstrate how their arguments against negative racial stereotypes were articulated by engaging in notions of propriety centered on gendered norms. Furthermore, this thesis seeks to situate the works of these men not only as journalistic political texts, but also as literary works of art in their own right.
Issue Date: 2012-06-27
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/31978
Rights Information: Copyright 2012 Marcos Cerdeira
Date Available in IDEALS: 2012-06-27
Date Deposited: 2012-05
 

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