Outraged mothering : black women, racial violence, and the power of emotions in Rio de Janeiro’s African Diaspora
MetadataShow full item record
This dissertation argues that Black mothering is the re-creation of Black sociability in the African Diaspora in the face of the ways in which genocide attempts to eliminate black existence. Therefore, I argue for an approach to African Diaspora as creating, nurturing, resisting, and recuperative acts as an alternative to genocidal practices, which constitutes black mothering. Concerning genocidal practices, this dissertation focuses mainly on anti-black violence, specifically male-on-male and state-sponsored violence; although with an understanding that genocide also manifests itself through many other ways. The choice to focus on male-on-male and state violence is because I understand them as being the ultimate alternative to put forward genocidal ideologies when others fail. Thus, understanding the violent killing of the black population as the most visible expression of genocide in the African Diaspora, I want to confront them with their alternative, which is the given social, cultural, and biological significance of motherhood, i.e., to generate and nurture life. Therefore, my ethnographic project explores Black mothers’ experiences of violence in Rio de Janeiro’s poorest areas. Their struggle to survive encompasses not only their own fight against poverty, racism, patriarchy, and gender discrimination but also entails the consequences of violent acts perpetrated or facilitated by the state upon their families. Engaging with the analytical concept of Outraged Mothering, this dissertation builds bridges between African Diaspora Studies and the Anthropology of Emotions by applying a Black Feminist perspective in order to perceive Black mothers’ social-political insertion in society as well as their pedagogies of resistance. My research methods include participant observation, semi-structured interviews, oral histories, and documentary photography conducted in an extended period of seventeen months of fieldwork research between 2011 and 2012. This project embraces activism as a learning experience in the collaboration with the mothers in struggle, and employs auto-ethnography as a way to think critically through the researcher’s emotions while conducting and writing the project. This project aims to enhance developing literature on Black motherhood in Brazil and explores Black lives in the African Diaspora through an analytical framework that presents emotion as a catalytic stimulus for the rise of radical political projects.