Restricted Debate Brazil's long, strange love affair with the Confederacy ignites racial tension

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#1
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Descendants of American Southerners wearing Confederate-era dresses and uniforms practice a dance before a party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War in Santa Bárbara D'Oeste, Brazil, April 25, 2015. The US Civil War ended over 150 years ago, but once a year, deep in the sugar cane fields of southern Brazil, the Confederate battle flag rises again. It would be an unlikely scene in the United States, where many consider the flag a symbol of racism, slavery and segregation. Public outcry over those connotations have led to the steady withdrawal of the flag from public display in recent years. In Brazil, though, the banner is an integral part of the Festa Confederada, an annual gathering to celebrate the history of the roughly 10,000 Confederates who migrated to this South American country after their side lost the war Credit: Paulo Whitaker/Reuters

-The aroma of fried chicken and biscuits roused my appetite as the country sounds of Alison Krauss, Alan Jackson and Johnny Cash played over the loudspeakers.
This might have been a county fair back home in Tennessee, but it wasn’t. I was in a cemetery in rural Brazil, at the “Festa Confederada” — the “Confederate Party” — an annual celebration of southern US heritage held each April in Santa Bárbara d'Oeste, in São Paulo state.
A sign explaining “What the Confederate Flag Really Means” in both English and Portuguese greeted the roughly 2,500 visitors — most of them white — at the entryway of the American Cemetery. Inside, women wearing Antebellum-style hoop skirts square danced with men clad in gray Confederate uniforms. Couples in T-shirts were doing the two-step.
Just outside cemetery grounds stood black activists protesting the April 28 party with signs and banners saying, “Down with the Confederate flag.”
How did an American debate about racism make its way to Brazil? That’s a tangled question I’m unraveling in my dissertation research on the history and meaning of Confederate symbols in Brazil.
The Confederacy comes to Brazil
Brazil has a long, strange relationship with the United States Confederacy.
After the Civil War ended in 1865, ending slavery in the United States, some 8,000 to 10,000 Southern soldiers and their families left the vanquished Confederacy and went to Brazil.
There, slavery was still legal. Roughly 40% of the nearly 11 million Africans forcibly brought across the Atlantic between 1517 and 1867 went to work on sugarcane plantations in Brazil. It was the last country in the Western Hemisphere to formally abolish slavery, in 1888 — 23 years after the United States.
Legal slavery may have been a draw for the Confederate soldiers who migrated to Brazil after abolition...
REST OF ARTICLE: https://www.pri.org/stories/2019-05...ove-affair-confederacy-ignites-racial-tension
 

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#2
You’d think Brazil has a lot bigger problems than this group having an annual festival. In the US it’s a way to divide and energize a segment of the electorate, as well as create new excuses for poor performance where the bar is already set very low. Probably the same in Brazil; pay no attention to the elephant in the room, let’s blame the Confederados! Geez.
 
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#6
"Brazil has a long, strange relationship with the United States Confederacy. "

What's strange about it? Descendants of expatriates still commemorate their ancestry, just as some of us here in the US remember our ancestors who fought in that war. In what way is that "strange"?
It would be "strange" if the media stopped stirring things up with their negative spin against all things Confederate
 

James N.

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#8
"The aroma of fried chicken and biscuits roused my appetite as the country sounds of Alison Krauss, Alan Jackson and Johnny Cash played over the loudspeakers."

I'ma thinkin' fried chicken and biscuits sound really good right now!
You and Private Trip!
 
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#10
It would be "strange" if the media stopped stirring things up with their negative spin against all things Confederate
An interesting new thread would be ; what would a positive media spin be on the Confederacy? That is what Confederate values would lead to a better world?
As far as the controversy in Brazil goes ; Brazil is a multi racial nation with a very complex history , only the Brazilian people can determine if celebrating the Confederacy is good or bad.
Leftyhunter
 
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#11
An interesting new thread would be ; what would a positive media spin be on the Confederacy? That is what Confederate values would lead to a better world?
As far as the controversy in Brazil goes ; Brazil is a multi racial nation with a very complex history , only the Brazilian people can determine if celebrating the Confederacy is good or bad.
Leftyhunter
How about in a time when there was no internet social media a family fought for what they believed in or their heritage was as told/taught to them generations before? Their food, clothing, morals, lifestyle was their Southern heritage Edited.
paging
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#13
How about in a time when there was no internet social media a family fought for what they believed in or their heritage was as told/taught to them generations before? Their food, clothing, morals, lifestyle was their Southern heritage Edited.
paging
@19thGeorgia
Maybe said family were just repeating lies about fighting for "state rights" that they can't even define. Southern history us far more complex then just Confederate history. Southern history is also about the history of black people and Unionists. Edited.
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#16
I may be mistaken but didn't Brazil have slavery until 1888? I think they were the last country in the Americas to abolish slavery. Slavery, as an institution, continued on the African continent until the 1900s. I think Korea had slavery into the 1950s. These dates may be off by a few years but I am not going to Google it to make corrections.
 

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#17
I may be mistaken but didn't Brazil have slavery until 1888? I think they were the last country in the Americas to abolish slavery. Slavery, as an institution, continued on the African continent until the 1900s. I think Korea had slavery into the 1950s. These dates may be off by a few years but I am not going to Google it to make corrections.
Probably one - if not the main - reason the ex-Confederates thought (correctly) they would be both welcome AND find a familiar civilization to the one they were used to. Also, it had a tropical or semi-tropical climate utilized for plantation-based agriculture.
 

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#18
I'd like to see the evidence that there were as many as 10,000 ex-Confederates who migrated to Brazil.
The first Brazilian census was in 1872. Depending on how complete it was, it might give some usable figures.
The author of the book I linked the review to above is/was a descendant of a Confederado and actually lived in Brazil for a number of years. My recollection of the book is that his research of the number of original migrants was pretty extensive. It was a good read. Definitely a change of pace in my reading.
 
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#19
One can read the memoir From Flag to Flag by the wife of a Louisiana sugar planter. He was a Whig, and sought tariff protection for LA sugar and opposed secession. Nonetheless, he and his wife--the author--and some of their personal servants moved to Brownsville, TX and thence to Matamoros to take part in the thriving smuggling of Texas cotton through the Union blockade aboard Mexican-flagged ships or similar. Eventually, they moved to Matanzas, Cuba--there being people of North American descent between Colón and Matanzas--and resumed sugar planting with a mixed workforce of Cuban and African born slaves, Chinese indentured servant "culiés" and a few of their servants who accompanied them.

Military service as volunteers or mercenaries was also quite common for Civil War veterans, including with the Khedive of Egypt, or in Mexico. Ben Thompson, ultimately the city marshal of Austin, Travis Co. Texas, served the Second Mexican Empire, briefly, before
eventually going back to Texas, Kansas, etc. He was shot dead with John King Fisher of Uvalde at the Vaudeville Variety Theater and Saloon 11 Mar. 1884.

Most of the "Confederado" immigrants and their descendants reside in the State of São Paulo.
 



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