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Virtual: ‘Visual Markers of Freedom: Images of Afro-Brazilian Laborers during Gradual Abolition and Beyond’
October 21, 2020 at 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
AAAD Colloquium Series 2020-2021
Abstract: This paper investigates how free people of African origin and descent visually indicated or performed their freedom when colonial sumptuary laws ended and no longer legally regulated how enslaved and free Afro-Brazilians could dress themselves. The paper analyzes visual self-fashioning, textile use, and garment arrangement patterns used to communicate free status and/or autonomy from 1850 to 1888 using sources from the Cartes-de-Visite Collection (undated) and the Brazil Collection (1860-1890) featuring images of Afro-Brazilians engaged in labor housed at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The paper explores if these images aimed to document a disappearing type of urban labor or if they served to re-inscribe the connection between African descendants and manual labor even as emancipation became increasingly imminent.
Speaker: Alicia Monroe, Department of African, African American & Diaspora Studies, UNC Chapel – Hill