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Take Me Brown Girl!: A Study of the Subjugation and Liberation of Black Women in Capoeira Song

Humphrey, Ashley R (2020) Take Me Brown Girl!: A Study of the Subjugation and Liberation of Black Women in Capoeira Song. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The spread of capoeira outside of Brazil to the remainder of Latin America, North America, Africa, Europe, and Asia resulted in the proliferation of the Afro-Brazilian practice beyond the inception of the once-vilified game in nineteenth century Rio de Janeiro. Reconciling the need for liberation of African-descended Brazilians with the desire to model Brazil’s republic after its European forefathers crippled the nation as it struggled to move forward. Emancipation in Brazil left the country with a disenfranchised, marginalized, and vilified Black population who were left out of the creation of a modern Brazil, while holding on to their cultural products, like capoeira, that are markers of Brazilian identity as we know it. Among these cultural artifacts and practices are syncretic religious practices like candomblé and music like samba. The United States also has a parallel history of Black populations enduring slavery, while simultaneously providing the country with the labor to stimulate the economy and cultural artifacts and practices that have become intertwined with what American-ness means in an era of globalization. While the conditions of slavery, racism, and nation-building in both countries have different contexts, they are inextricably bound in the subjugation of Black bodies and disavowal of Black intellectual property to be utilized and coopted by the State that habitually facilitates the erasure of Black experiences and Black voices. It is not through the mechanisms that distinguish Brazil from the United States, but through their histories that they become points of references to each other. My primary exploration in this dissertation is to look at the ways experiences of Black people in Brazil and the United States inform each other. Through the experiences of Black women in pre-established capoeira networks, women utilize technology to amplify their messages of inclusion and activism as they contribute to the dissemination and circulation of capoeira knowledge within the African diaspora as well as between Brazil and the United States in the twenty-first century.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Humphrey, Ashley Rarh77@pitt.eduarh77
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairHelbig, Adrianaanh59@pitt.eduanh59
Committee MemberAyyagari, Shalinisayygari@pitt.edusayyagari
Committee MemberWeintraub, Andrewanwein@pitt.eduanwein
Committee MemberTosta, Antonio
Date: 8 June 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 1 April 2020
Approval Date: 8 June 2020
Submission Date: 10 April 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 176
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Music
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: capoeira, music, capoeira music, capoeira history, capoeira song, diaspora, African diaspora, Black studies, Brazil, Brazilian studies, cultural studies, gender studies, virtual communities, 21st century capoeira, intersectionality, martial arts, feminist discourse, ethnomusicology, performance, dance, social media, activism, women leaders, political engagement
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2020 16:27
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2020 16:27

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