Neither Black Nor White: Slavery and Race Relations in Brazil and the United States

Neither Black Nor White: Slavery and Race Relations in Brazil and the United States

University of Wisconsin Press
July 1986
328 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-299-10914-1

Carl N. Degler (1921-2015), Margaret Byrne Professor of American History Emeritus
Stanford University

Carl Degler’s 1971 Pulitzer-Prize-winning study of comparative slavery in Brazil and the United States is reissued in the Wisconsin paperback edition, making it accessible for all students of American and Latin American history and sociology.

Until Degler’s groundbreaking work, scholars were puzzled by the differing courses of slavery and race relations in the two countries. Brazil never developed a system of rigid segregation, such as appeared in the United States, and blacks in Brazil were able to gain economically and retain far more of their African culture. Rejecting the theory of Gilberto Freyre and Frank Tannenbaum that Brazilian slavery was more humane, Degler instead points to a combination of demographic, economic, and cultural factors as the real reason for the differences.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • I. The Challenge of the Contrast
    • Contrast in History
    • Contrast in Cultural Response
    • Contrast Acknowledged
    • An Explanation Advanced
  • II. Slavery Compared
    • Who Protects the Slave’s Humanity?
    • Manumission: How Easy, How Common?
    • Rebellions and Runaways
    • The International Slave Trade As Cause
    • Slave Rearing As Consequence
    • A Harsher Slavery
    • To Arm a Black Slave
    • Who Identifies with Negroes?
    • The Hidden Difference
  • III. The Outer Burdens of Color
    • The Geography of Color Prejudice
    • Who Is a Negro?
    • Permutations of Prejudice
    • Measures of Discrimination
  • IV. The Inner Burdens of Color
    • Negroes Alone Feel the the Weight
    • Eventually the Veil Falls
    • The Flight from Blackness
    • The Black Mother on Two Continents
    • Black Panthers Not Allowed
    • Sex, but Not Marriage
    • “A Negro with a White Soul”
    • The Heart of the Matter
  • V. The Roots of Difference
    • Consciousness of Color
    • The Historical Dimension
    • The Mulatto Is the Key
    • The Beginnings of the Mulatto Escape Hatch
    • White Wife Against White Man
    • A Path Not Taken
    • Cultural and Social Values Make a Differance
    • Democracy’s Contribution
    • The Differences As National Ideologies
  • VI. A Contrast in the Future?
    • The Gap Narrows
    • Negroes See a New Contrast
    • A Brazilian Dilemma
    • Always That
    • Indelible Color
  • Index
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