Beyond the Battle Flag of the Confederacy: A Study of Racial Attitudes among Confederate Descendents in Santa Barbara D'Oeste, Brazil
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In order to discern the meaning of the Confederate symbol in Brazilian society, analysis of the racial values of the "Confederados" is imperative. There is a clear linkage between the racial views of the older generation of descendents with an older southern perspective .of race. Racial prejudice is easier to track in the older generations because the elder descendents have inherited racist language and stereotypes that they express overtly. They have not even attempted to accept Gilberta Freye's theory of a "racial democracy". The "Confederado" community in the San'ta Barbara D'Oeste region was so isolated and concerned with its own-purity that it took a while before its passionate racial views were influenced by the Brazilian perspective. Since the community has been forced to integrate into Brazilian society and move from isolated rural areas to urban areas, the younger generations have had to adopt mainstream racial attitudes because they have contact with a more diverse society. The format designed to explore racial attitudes among these descendent families includes interviews. Since there was not enough time to survey the entire descendent community, a case study was performed that examined the only three families living in the city of Santa Barbara D'Oeste that have three complete generations that are of age to comment reasonably on their racial views. The neighboring city of Americana has fewer existing Confederate descendents than Santa Barbara D'Oeste even though its name deceptively leads one to believe that it is the center of the migration. Also, Santa Barbara D'Oeste is slightly smaller than Americana and much easier to navigate. It has a Immigration Museum with an impressive exhibition of Confederate artifacts, and an archive that primarily contains records of business transactions and some personal letters of the "Confederados." Santa Barbara was an ideal climate in which to study the contemporary racial attitudes of the descendents.