Comparisons of race relations in Brazil and North America (United States) have a long history. As Thomas Skidmore's classic Black into White made clear, Brazilian writers and intellectuals were already drawing such comparisons by the late 1800s; and Gilberto Freyre's direct observations of Jim Crow segregation in the United States south provided the implicit backdrop to his seminal portrait of Brazilian race relations in Casa grande e senzala (1933) and Sobrados e mocambos (1936). Meanwhile North American observers, ranging from former President Theodore Roosevelt to African-American writers and journalists, were commenting on patterns of race in Brazil and contrasting those patterns, either implicitly or explicitly, to race relations in the United States.
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