By Jerry Dávila
Providing a special ancient viewpoint on how racial attitudes circulation from elite discourse into people’s lives, Diploma of Whiteness indicates how public faculties promoted the concept whites have been inherently healthy and people of African or combined ancestry have been unavoidably wanting remedial recognition. studying fundamental material—including college method documents, instructor journals, photos, deepest letters, and unpublished documents—Dávila lines the emergence of racially coded hiring practices and student-tracking guidelines in addition to the advance of a social and medical philosophy of eugenics. He contends that the implementation of some of the guidelines meant to “improve” nonwhites institutionalized refined obstacles to their equitable integration into Brazilian society.
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Extra resources for Diploma of Whiteness: Race and Social Policy in Brazil, 1917–1945
The Carneiro Leão reforms of both the city of Rio de Janeiro and the state of Pernambuco show how the main principles of reform (eugenics, professionalism, and rationalization) ultimately rested in the hands of individual educational leaders. Even after the creation of a Ministry of Education and Health, education reformers continued to work at the local level. Indeed, the Rio de Janeiro school system was more of a magnet for leading education reformers than was the mes. Rio de Janeiro was the target of the reformers’ zeal since Afrânio Peixoto’s tenure in 1917.
By contrast, Oliveira Vianna, a reactionary social policy advisor to President Vargas, believed in outright Aryan biological superiority, a racialist position echoed by Rocha Vaz. Yet as they envisioned Brazil’s future, the di√erences in their approaches ceded to a consensus about the nation’s ills and their remedies. Oliveira Vianna, Roquette Pinto, and Rocha Vaz, like the mainstream scientiﬁc, social scientiﬁc, and medical community as a whole, held faith in Brazil’s white future and the role of public education and health in creating it.
What shall be his height? His volume? His color? What will be the shape of his head? The form of his face? ’’∞ In 1938 Minister of Education and Health Gustavo Capanema directed these questions to a group of anthropologists and nationalist intellectuals. He wanted to get to the bottom of a problem that was beginning to bother him: the statue of the ‘‘Brazilian Man’’ he had commissioned to grace the entrance of the new Ministry of Education and Health (mes) building looked racially degenerate rather than virile and Aryan, as he imagined Brazilians would evolve.