Bahian studies has become an increasingly crowded subfield of scholarship, and much of this work explicitly or implicitly addresses the complicated question of how one should reconcile the apparent contradiction between the ongoing prominence and celebration of Bahia's Afro-Bahian cultural heritage and the grinding poverty and political exclusion of much of Bahia's afro-mestiço population. Anadelia Romo makes several significant contributions toward answering this question in this astute and elegantly written study of Bahia's early to mid-twentieth-century intellectual and institutional milieu. Romo explores in detail the “remarkable creative energy” of leading public figures after 1930 that led to a novel formulation for presenting and appreciating Afro-Bahian culture, a formulation “focused on the past” that anchored Afro-Bahians within a “cultural preserve” as a “living museum” (pp. 6–7). In doing so, Romo suggests, the Bahian political elite relegated working-class and poorer Afro-Bahians to the status...
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Scott Ickes; Brazil's Living Museum: Race, Reform, and Tradition in Bahia. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 November 2015; 95 (4): 691–692. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-3161643
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