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Black associativism as seen through Frederico Baptista de Souza's story (1875-1930)

Grant number: 18/22875-2
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2019
Effective date (End): December 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History
Principal Investigator:Lucilene Reginaldo
Grantee:Livia Maria Tiede
Supervisor abroad: Alexander Xavier Byrd
Home Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Rice University, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:17/12859-7 - Black associativism as seen through Frederico Baptista de Souza's story - São Paulo (1870-1940), BP.DR

Abstract

In my Ph.D. research, I'm investigating black associativism in São Paulo using as a guide and conducting a thread about the trajectory of Frederico Baptista de Souza. During his lifetime, he was well-known in the black scene, as a leader of clubs and associations, and mainly he had influenced several headliners of the black press. Still not yet explored, his long history of militancy goes back to the end of the nineteenth century and remains at least until the beginning of the 1930s.Frederico lived until the age of 85. Even though he was born in the year 1875 after the Rio Branco Law, he naïvely experienced slavery since his mother was an enslaved woman herself. After the abolition in 1888, in a republican society that titled itself as modern and free, he carried the burden of being a black man, in a world conceived, necessary to realize, during the slavery empire. Thus, the identity of Frederico was consolidated differently from the young activists, who were already born during the post-emancipation.The bibliography had taken from granted that São Paulo's black militancy history had become a more combative stem from 1920's. Although this may be true, some conflicts occurred after that during the 1930's, when Frederico still was part of the organization, this can show us unidentified stories that may bring new perspectives for understanding the very beginning of the black association's movement. Therefore, Frederico's interaction with other leaders of the black militancy point to political disputes that have been removed both from the historiography and from other accounts written by chroniclers.Frederico was a relentless activist, member of religious brotherhoods, such as Igreja Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Homens Pretos as in the Confraria Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, where he held executives' positions. In Charitable Society of Civil Servants, of mutual help and labor character, he was the secretary once more. In the Benefit and Democratic Association of Penha, he had functions not only as a director but also as a president. Besides, he was amongst the founders of the Democratic Political Party of the same precinct. By the end of the nineteenth century, before moving to São Paulo, Frederico had worked in the Artistic and Literary Association of Taubaté. Needless to say, Frederico was a great activist for the recognition of black people's rights.His routine by itself provides several issues to be argued, not just in local terms of recent historiography but also by the transatlantic history. The international dimension first appears once Frederico's personal conduct was estimated in the black press. To put in other words, the Brazilian black news at the time had shared a common ideology with the U.S. black activism that used to exalt reliable and professional manners as the best way of acquiring full citizenship for the captives' descendants. In the western world, those ideas were not just defended but presented by Booker T. Washington's militancy. The new historiography demonstrated another kind of ideological relationship between the black militancy of the two countries in the second half of the 20ths . But, if this link had begun earlier through the action of older namely Frederico, this is the very purpose of my research to verify and acknowledge this prospect.Life history studies are more likely to show hidden aspects of past experiences. There is a historiographical tradition consolidated in this area, that recognizes the biography as fruitful in understanding certain aspects of historical moments. That adds to the advantage of revealing different possibilities of analyzing incited by individual trajectories. At this moment my research is anchored in the biography of Frederico, but the broad goal is to discuss race, class and what his experience of black militancy may present to us. Above all, it is not specifically about the biographed man but the knowledge of what his biography has the power to demonstrate.