The Long, Lingering Shadow

The Long, Lingering Shadow: Slavery, Race, and Law in the American Hemisphere

ROBERT J. COTTROL
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 360
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt46nj6h
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    The Long, Lingering Shadow
    Book Description:

    Students of American history know of the law's critical role in systematizing a racial hierarchy in the United States. Showing that this history is best appreciated in a comparative perspective, The Long, Lingering Shadow looks at the parallel legal histories of race relations in the United States, Brazil, and Spanish America. Robert J. Cottrol takes the reader on a journey from the origins of New World slavery in colonial Latin America to current debates and litigation over affirmative action in Brazil and the United States, as well as contemporary struggles against racial discrimination and Afro-Latin invisibility in the Spanish-speaking nations of the hemisphere. Ranging across such topics as slavery, emancipation, scientific racism, immigration policies, racial classifications, and legal processes, Cottrol unravels a complex odyssey. By the eve of the Civil War, the U.S. slave system was rooted in a legal and cultural foundation of racial exclusion unmatched in the Western Hemisphere. That system's legacy was later echoed in Jim Crow, the practice of legally mandated segregation. Jim Crow in turn caused leading Latin Americans to regard their nations as models of racial equality because their laws did not mandate racial discrimination- a belief that masked very real patterns of racism throughout the Americas. And yet, Cottrol says, if the United States has had a history of more-rigid racial exclusion, since the Second World War it has also had a more thorough civil rights revolution, with significant legal victories over racial discrimination. Cottrol explores this remarkable transformation and shows how it is now inspiring civil rights activists throughout the Americas.

    eISBN: 978-0-8203-4476-8
    Subjects: Law, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-22)

    This book is an effort to broaden our current conversation on law and race. In the United States, the discussion on law and race has, in my view, tended to focus too narrowly on the American experience. This is perhaps understandable. The law in the United States has played a clear, undeniable role both in the construction of the American system of racial inequality and in the struggle to achieve equal rights. Any student educated in the United States—perhaps one who has simply taken the undergraduate survey course in American history or even one who only vaguely remembers the...

  5. PART I OUR BONDAGE AND OUR FREEDOM
    • CHAPTER ONE Casta y Color, Movilidad y Ambigüedad: SLAVERY AND RACE IN THE SPANISH EMPIRE
      (pp. 25-52)

      Between the columbian voyages of the late fifteenth century and 1867, when the last slave ship from Africa landed in Cuba, nearly 1.3 million people were forcibly transported from West Africa to Spain’s American empire. This migration was part of the Atlantic slave trade, the largest forced transfer of human beings in world history. The viceroyalties and audiencias that made up Spain’s New World empire were an immense territory that extended from the southern part of the modern Argentine republic to what is today Northern California. Spanish America received nearly one of every eight of the more than ten million...

    • CHAPTER TWO Terra de Nosso Senhor: THE PARADOX OF RACE AND SLAVERY IN BRAZIL
      (pp. 53-79)

      You may not recognize the title, but you are probably familiar with the melody to Ary Barroso’s “Aquarela do Brasil.” Hollywood—Disney, to be a bit more precise—changed the title to “Brazil” and gave the song a few of those June/moon/soon lyrics so beloved by songwriters and jukebox aficionados a few generations ago. But Barroso’s original words had a somewhat deeper significance. His song, a Samba-based hymn to the Brazilian nation and Brazilian nationalism, placed the Afro-Brazilian at the center of what it meant to be Brazilian. Brazil the nation was the cunning mulatto, child of the black mother,...

    • CHAPTER THREE Race, Democracy, and Inequality: ORIGINS OF THE AMERICAN DILEMMA
      (pp. 80-110)

      No event better illustrates the difference between the Brazilian Empire and the young American republic than the Dred Scott case. Applauded and reviled at the time it was handed down, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney’s opinion has vexed generations of students of the Supreme Court and the American Constitution. Most modern commentators agree that the decision was a bad one with bad consequences. It strengthened the South’s “Peculiar Institution” and probably hastened secession and Civil War as well. Modern legal scholars also see the case as a vehicle against which to judge various strategies of constitutional interpretation. Is the Taney...

  6. PART II A WHITE MAN’S COUNTRY
    • CHAPTER FOUR Blanqueamiento: BUILDING WHITE NATIONS IN SPANISH AMERICA
      (pp. 113-142)

      Señora maría magdalena lamadrid, “Pocha” to her friends, is a fifth-generation Argentine. On August 22, 2002, at 10:00 in the morning, she went to Ezeiza Airport, Buenos Aires’s principal airport for international travel. She was planning to attend a conference in Panama honoring Martin Luther King Jr. When she presented her documents to airport officials, she was told that her passport must be a forgery. One official told Pocha, who was then fifty-seven years old, that because she was black, she could not be Argentine. She was detained for six hours, three of them in a holding cell. Airport officials...

    • CHAPTER FIVE No País do Futuro: BRAZIL’S JOURNEY FROM NATIONAL WHITENING TO “RACIAL DEMOCRACY”
      (pp. 143-172)

      Long before princess isabel took a golden pen and signed the law that ended Brazilian slavery, even before the Viscount of Rio Branco sponsored the law of the free womb, the dream of a white Brazil settled by industrious and intelligent Europeans and freed from the problematic presence of large Afro-American and Indian populations was a strong one. José Bonifácio, a key architect of the 1824 constitution, had framed his opposition to slavery in part on the grounds that a large enslaved population posed a barrier to European immigrants and the progress that they would bring. Brazil’s great abolitionist, Joaquim...

    • CHAPTER SIX Jim Crow: THE HOUSE THE LAW BUILT
      (pp. 173-204)

      Latin american statesmen such as Brazil’s Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca and Argentina’s Domingo Faustino Sarmiento spent much of the latter part of the nineteenth century pondering how to turn their nations into European societies. They hoped to do so in part through laws that promoted European immigration and legal measures that suppressed African and indigenous cultures. White supremacists in the United States after the Civil War had another set of concerns. The United States already had a white majority. What survived of African culture was largely invisible to most whites and if noticed at all was more likely to be...

  7. PART III FROM EMANCIPATION TO EQUALITY
    • CHAPTER SEVEN An American Sea Change: THE LAW’S POWER AND LIMITATIONS
      (pp. 207-237)

      No event better illustrates the determination of Americans in the first decade of the twenty-first century to turn their backs on the twentieth-century legacy of Jim Crow than the election of Barack Hussein Obama as president on November 4, 2008. Many Americans, including many who indicated that they had not voted for him, expressed satisfaction at the election’s outcome. The Tea Party movement, disagreements over health care legislation and Afghanistan, and strong dissatisfaction with a stubbornly depressed economy and the partisan bickering to which every president is heir, these would come in the future. But on that Election Day, in...

    • CHAPTER EIGHT Um País para Todos? THE BRAZILIAN JOURNEY FROM RACIAL DEMOCRACY TO RACIAL REFORM
      (pp. 238-265)

      That sea change that did so much to transform the world of race and caste in the United States was in part a product of a long-standing American discomfort with the idea of inequality. The United States was the land without class distinctions, the nation of equals, the home of Jeffersonian democracy, the republic ruled by the common man. Much of this was myth or at the very least overstatement. Class distinctions, at times quite strong ones, have always existed in American society. If the democratic ideal and a fair measure of democratic governance as well have also long existed...

    • CHAPTER NINE New Awakenings in Spanish America
      (pp. 266-291)

      For many civil rights activists in the Spanish-speaking nations of the Americas, that 2008 agreement between Brazil and the United States was welcome news. Since the 1980s, Afro-Latin community activists had become increasingly vocal in their efforts to combat entrenched patterns of racial exclusion. Their efforts were being aided by growing international recognition that there were severe problems of racial inequality and racial discrimination throughout the American hemisphere. As the twentieth century was yielding to the twenty-first, international agencies were beginning to ask questions about race and whether or not racial exclusion impeded social and economic development in Latin America....

  8. Epilogue
    (pp. 292-300)

    The question of how best to address enduring legacies of racial exclusion is not confined to the Spanish-speaking nations of the hemisphere. It is the problem of race in the Americas in the twenty-first century. The answer is by no means clear, and even our preceding discussion of race and law in the history of the Americas provides us with no sure-footed guide to the future. That history has been filled with ironies and unintended consequences, paths not taken and opportunities missed. The law can be a clumsy, often imprecise tool. At times it has produced exactly the opposite of...

  9. Notes
    (pp. 301-318)
  10. Glossary of Spanish and Portuguese Terms
    (pp. 319-326)
  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 327-362)
  12. Index
    (pp. 363-370)