Week 6 Response

I found the video for this weeks lecture quite interesting. I found that it focused primarily on serious and still ongoing subjects and topic matter, such as slavery throughout the Americas. I believe it is crucial for everyone to learn about slavery and the effects that it carries through society today in order for us as a nation, to move forward and help in the healing process of this trauma.

Based on my previous knowledge of Casta paintings, it becomes obvious to me that race and racial distinctions were more related to social construct rather than actual biological fact in Latin America. This stain of racial violence and prejudice stills endures today into the present. Although it may appear more subtly than before, it is still existent. I was extremely shocked when I learned that by the 1600s, the indigenous population of the Americas had dropped to roughly 1/5th of its original size. I was aware that the colonization of the Americas brought a disgusting amount of cruelty and violence, however I did not think it reached this extent. Evidently, this is an example of cultural genocide. Examples of this continued racism includes Argentina’s Conquest of the Desert, and the more recent wave of terror in the Guatemalan Highlands by Guatemalan States (over tens of thousands of dead).

In addition to the extreme mistreatment of indigenous groups, one can only imagine the hardships faced by the African slaves working in plants across the Americas. It surprised me to learn that slavery was only abolished in Brazil until 1888. Like I have said in my previous blog, Brazil was not a country that I associated with slavery, until now. It is strange to think that just over a hundred years ago, the slave trade was still active in the Americas. We are still suffering from the consequences of slavery today. Emancipation is truly a longterm process, rather than an event.

Echenique and de Sagastas passages were a bit harder for me to follow. As I understand, Echenique uses emotion and sentiments in order to convey her idea of the “regeneration of women.” On the other hand, de Sagasta appeals to spirituality. Tying these two together, we come to learn that the invocation of affect has led to powerful gains where debate of citizenship and rights have failed.

My question for the class is as follows: it is mentioned in the video that de Sagasta rejected equality in the name of advantages that women enjoyed under the regime of the time. My question is what were these advantages, and why were they beneficial towards women?

2 thoughts on “Week 6 Response

  1. Stephanie Steevie

    Would you say that there still might be a underlying slave culture in Latin American countries due to the severe inequality? For example, since there is a massive gap between the upper class and lower class, and a nonexistent middle class, many women work as maids for the wealthy. Travelling to these countries, I’ve witnessed the immense lack of opportunities those of lower socioeconomic status have. Arguably, I think there are still persistent characteristics in society from slavery.

  2. Christiana Tse

    I definitely agree with your point that slavery has effects to this day, even though it was abolished long ago. I also find it interesting how you mentioned that Brazil wasn’t a country that you had previously associated with slavery – for me, slavery always led me to the thought of it within the United States as well as the civil rights movement, so it was interesting to learn this week how many Latin American countries had such a large role in facilitating the slave trade.


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