A Conversation for Sao Paulo City, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Slave Trade

Post 1


I think this is an excellent article, but there is one rather important piece of Sao Paulo's historical and cultural make-up missing - the slave trade. You mention the African portion of the population, but not how they came to be there. As the city's growth and development relied enormously on the importation of African slaves, and also the immigration of impoverished Europeans (virtual slaves too), it seems to me too important to be left out.

Well written though. Congratulations on your first edited entry Hell.smiley - smiley


Slave Trade

Post 2

Dr Hell

Before I start to comment, let me point one thing out: Slavery was and is one of the darkest chapters in the history of mankind, and it is still going on in some places. One sub-chapter would be the African diaspora, or the colonization history of the American continent. The abolition of slavery came (way too late) in the end of the 19th century (it is just been a little over 100 years ago. Some 50 years back, there were people LIVING who experienced slavery). And in some places (specially the USA and South Africa) it went on formally in form of segregation laws. When looking at South-Africa few stopped to think that America *start playing the star spangeled banner* was only 40 years behind...

I will stop here, it would take me too far.

As far as Sao Paulo is concerned. The mentioned African portion can be found ANYWHERE in Brazil. It is not (as I think) a circumstance tied directly to "Sao Paulo". As to slave-trade: Sao Paulo is -- as mentioned -- situated 80km inland, it was not the place where the early slave trade took place. The slave trade took place in Sao Vicente (now called Santos), which is situated at the coast.

Later (in the 1880s) where the coffee-boost led to the first expansion of the city, the society of Sao Paulo was pretty much abolitionist. And the Europeans (yes they were poor) fled Europe because THERE (!!) they were "slaves" and
NOT in Brazil, where they found more freedom and a place for a new start. Indeed it was the immigrants who brought industrialization, trattorias, cultural life, libraries... The notion that the immigrants are virtual slaves is completely mistaken.

Slavery was ended in 1888, which did not REALLY improve the conditions of the black people living in Brazil... But as time went by things got better. The racial issue in Brazil has a definitely different flavour of the racial issue as, say, in the USA. Racial racism is marginal in Brazil -- as opposed to "social" racism, which is indeed a big problem.

I do not think that 'slavery' and 'slave trade' are nececassry to describe Sao Paulo, since it had no key-function in this process.

You mention "the city's growth and development relied enormously on the importation of African slaves"... I disagree:
The city grew and developed to become what it is in the 1900ies with the industrialization (many in Sao Paulo grew rich in the coffe-era, where slave-force was used, the city itself did not grow in that period -- the coffe-barons only lived in the city of Sao Paulo. The plantations were everywhere... Maybe the state of Sao Paulo can be said to have relied on slave-force... That would be correct.).

Well... Maybe I'm not well informed. Let's talk about it.


Slave Trade

Post 3

Dr Hell


Slave Trade

Post 4


Sorry Hell... been a little busy recently.smiley - winkeye

But will indeed come back and talk about it some time, if I may.smiley - smiley

Slave Trade

Post 5


Hi, Hell, I came to see your work!
Allow me two comments:
1) You say "São Vicente is now called Santos". São Vicente and Santos are neighbors, not the same city. São Vicente is the first city founded in Brazil, and Santos is the largest port of south america, where the slaves arrived.
2) The people born in the city of São Paulo are paulistanos. Paulistas are those who were born in the State of São Paulo.
Can i suggest you add something about São Paulo being the cultural capital of Brazil, as well harboring the largest University?
Good work
Marcelo Allen

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