Tanking the United States off the center in studies on negritude in Brazil

The predominance of Eurocentric or US-centric perspectives in the social sciences has strengthened the belief that there is an exclusive model of modernity, experienced firstly in the economic centers of the world, and only later adopted in the ‘peripheries.’ The same logics can be found in studies of blackness in Brazil which have frequently characterized the black experience in the U.S.A. as the most ‘modern’ within the African Diaspora. In this article, I attempt a theoretical reflection which aims to overcome the centrality of the United States in the studies of negritude, recovering the notion of the African Diaspora as a multi-centered configuration. In order to do so, I examine the position of the city of Salvador da Bahia as an important center for the formation of the modern world, as well as for the construction of contemporary black identities.

Negritude; Modernity; Bahia; World city; Roots tourism

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