The Making of Brazil's Black Mecca cover
The Making of Brazil's Black Mecca
Bahia Reconsidered
Edited by Scott Ickes, and Bernd Reiter
One of the few interdisciplinary volumes on Bahia available, The Making of Brazil’s Black Mecca: Bahia Reconsidered contains contributions covering a wide chronological and topical range by scholars whose work has made important contributions to the field of Bahian studies over the last two decades. The authors interrogate and problematize the idea of Bahia as a Black Mecca, or a haven where Brazilians of African descent can embrace their cultural and spiritual African heritage without fear of discrimination. In the first section, leading historians create a century-long historical narrative of the emergence of these discourses, their limitations, and their inability to effect meaningful structural change. The chapters by social scientists in the second section present critical reflections and insights, some provocative, on deficiencies and problematic biases built into current research paradigms on blackness in Bahia. As a whole the text provides a series of insights into the ways that inequality has been structured in Bahia since the final days of slavery.
Subjects: Social Science | Religion
Publication Date: October 1st, 2018
332 pages| 6 in x 9 in
SCOTT ICKES is Visiting Assistant Professor in the History Department at Gustavus Adolphus College and author of African-Brazilian Culture and Regional Identity in Bahia, Brazil.  

BERND REITER is Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of South Florida's School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies. He is author of The Dialectics of Citizenship and The Crisis of Liberal Democracy and the Path Ahead and coeditor of Bridging Scholarship and Activism and Afrodescendants, Identity, and the Struggle for development in the Americas.  

Early Praise

“Combining the work of established and up-and-coming researchers, this interdisciplinary volume contributes to a greater understanding of the local and global significance of Bahia, a quasi-magical place that has long attracted the attention of Brazilian and foreign scholars, tourists, artists, and activists. The wide range of topics and distinct historical moments analyzed in the chapters offer a complementary explanation of the cultural and political construction of the meanings of Bahia and their intersections with representations of time, space, race, gender, nation, and diaspora. Critically addressing the mystification of Bahia as the ‘Black Mecca,’ ‘Black Rome,’ and a version of ‘Africa in the Americas,’ the book underscores that the celebration of black culture does not necessarily reflect a regard for black lives.”
Patricia de Santana Pinho, Associate Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies, University of California Santa Cruz

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