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This chapter begins by describing the celebrations that followed the announcement of the end of slavery in Brazil, on May 13, 1888. The explosions of joy as well as the parades of recently freed slaves and abolitionists through the streets of the cities and towns are examined for their various meanings. It is evident that they were celebrating the end of slavery and the political victory over those who still believed that the social relations of slavery should still be maintained. But those events also contained other meanings. The end of slavery took place at the height of a very...

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