Diferenças fatais: suicídio, raça e trabalho forçado nas Américas

Autores

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5007/1984-9222.2019.e67255

Palavras-chave:

Suicídio, Escravidão, Zumbi

Resumo

Neste ensaio, examino a relação entre raça e suicídio nas Américas. Mostro como as ideias sobre suicídio ajudaram a gerar e reforçar várias formas de diferença racial e demonstro como as ideias coloniais sobreviveram por muito tempo após a independência e a abolição da escravidão, geralmente em novas formas. A historiografia existente sobre suicídio enfatiza respostas morais, religiosas e médicolegais à autodestruição. Menos atenção foi dada à raça ou ao fato brutal, amplamente reconhecido (embora raramente discutido em profundidade) pelos estudiosos da escravidão, que a servidão forçada também transformou o suicídio em uma questão essencialmente econômica – uma ameaça aos resultados dos plantadores e comerciantes e uma ameaça à produção. À medida que a escravidão e o trabalho forçado se tornavam sistemas de valores globais dominantes que determinavam quem contava como humano, a capacidade de perecer pelas próprias mãos se tornou um meio de vencer essa determinação. Em algum momento, histórias excepcionais de suicídio heroico de mártires nativos ou negros passaram a fazer parte de narrativas nacionais, mas esse processo dependia da dissociação entre autodestruição e produção econômica, o que ajudou a transformar atos, antes vistos como ameaça às fundações coloniais, em histórias de sacrifício e nascimento nacional. Com o tempo, e apesar das mudanças significativas, a autodestruição funcionou consistentemente como um marcador duradouro da diferenciação racial.

Biografia do Autor

Marc Adam Hertzman, University of Illinois

Associate Professor e Director of Undergraduate Studies no Departamento de História da University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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2019-11-05

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