Atlantic Bridge, Atlantic Divide: Africans and Afro-Brazilians in Portuguese America
This essay focuses on an aspect of persons of African birth and descent in colonial Brazil to which not sufficient attention has been paid by scholars. To the many factors-- ethnicity, language, belief systems slavery, manumission and the circumstance of having been born free,slave or manumitted, and belief systems, and behaviors, which led to differentiations among persons of African birth or descent in the colony—place of birth played a crucial role in distinguishing Africans from Afro-Brazilians. This essay will briefly review relations between African- born and Brazilian- born of African descent and then focus exclusively on the presence in Brazil of persons born in Africa. I posit the hypothesis that some continued to live in accordance with African principles and practices and consciously and intentionally resisted assimilation into Luso-African- Brazilian or even Afro-Brazilian communities.