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Latin American perspectives a program of comment and analysis about current Latin American problems and their historical setting. The commentator for these programs is Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. Here now is Dr. Gardner of race relations on the world scene. There is apparently neither a desirable beginning nor a foreseeable end. And the same can be said of the literature concerning race relations especially those between whites and Negroes. During the last 20 years the two variants which have most often been compared are areas which were originally colonized by two different European cultural groups Iberian colonists from Spain and Portugal with their distinct cultural heritage and North Western European colonists with theirs. These two variants invite comparison because it is commonly
agreed that there are significant even fundamental differences in the way in which relations between the races and more particularly between the whites and negroes have developed in the two cases. Representative of the viewpoint commonly held in this country is that expressed by Donald Pearson in one of the earliest North American examinations of the Brazilian race situation he wrote a quarter of a century ago. The more we see the United States and her problems through the perspective of the world view the more in other words we detach ourselves from the merely local and provincial and the more clearly will our own problems stand out. It is on the basis of this outlook that that which appears to be small and local takes on a broader indeed even a world wide
aspect that we come to a volume today authored by a man Harry Hope think spelled H O E T I N K. The title The two variants in Caribbean race relations contribution to the sociology of segmented societies. Published by Oxford University Press for the Institute of Race Relations. If the name is strange to you let me first say a word about the author. Harry hotel Inc. A Dutchman by birth has spent more than a dozen years in the Caribbean. Meeting the collision of culture and race in the Dutch islands there as in the island of Corozal and also in Puerto Rico and against this background of more than a dozen years acquaintance with the Caribbean. He has come to write this
volume that we now consider the subtitle you recall. I mentioned that it is a contribution to the sociology of segmented societies. What you may ask is the segmented society by it who tink understands it to be a society which at its moment of origin consisted of at least two groups of people of different races and culture each having its own social institutions and social structure. Each of these groups which calls segments having its own rank in the social structure and the society as a whole being governed by one of those segments. It happens that there are three types of segmented societies which
the author can sitters and he lists them as follows. The first type is that in which there is no group mobility between the racial segments. As for example in the deep south of the United States and incidentally his consideration of the Caribbean will reach far north of it to include the United States and far south of it to include Brazil. The second type of segment of society is that in which it is possible to rise only half way toward the social position of the dominant segment on the basis of physical characteristics. This amount of fluidity of ability to rise can be achieved it seems in the British French and Dutch areas in the Caribbean world. The third type of segment of society that in which there is the maximum social rise
possible is yet an achievement by degrees a group within the racial characteristics of the lowest segment. There can through biological mingling attain an intermediate social position in society and a group with racially mixed characteristics can attain the dominant social position on the basis of its culture heritage. For example Brazil and Spanish speaking areas of the Caribbean make possible this prospect we have then the problem of looking at the meeting of the negro by the English speaking people and the meeting of the negro in the New World by both the Spanish and the Portuguese speaking peoples. Those who have studied the relationship of the Spaniard and the negro in the Western Hemisphere
have reached several conclusions that become the operational aspects of the Spanish culture. For one thing it is said that the cooperative relationship between master and servant. In the Spanish feudal system in Europe which continued long after feudalism had disappeared in many other parts of western Europe helped promote a relationship such as the negro slave system would know in Spanish Puerto Rico for example with the development of the slave economy and which in turn led to the perpetuation of a sharply defined close class system and a minimizing of competitiveness. It also tended before and after appellation to mitigate the intensity of racial and class struggle for the attainment of social prerogatives. Also in the Spanish experience it is said that the Spanish had direct
experience with negro slavery in their own country for about three quarters of a century before their colonization of the Western Hemisphere. Although three quarters of a century can hardly be called extensive. It was a measure of accommodation of adaptation a measure of experience that was noteworthy in for example contrast with that of the English. Further it is said about the Spanish that they in their home country had known strong cultural influences from the movers. And one important effect of the presence of the Moors had been the contact of the Spanish with an alien ethnic group which was racially are rather in color closely related to the negro. Finally it is said that the Spanish experience with the negro in the New World is in part different from the English because Spanish culture was impregnated with Catholic religious values. Catholic leaders were experienced in the
proselytizing of alien ethnic groups their missionary zeal was immediately directed at the negro group in Puerto Rico for example. Although these leaders tended to support the established economic interests of the higher social groups they did not allow those interests to stand in the way of their initiating the slaves into their religion. As a result the church in Puerto Rico and another Spanish American areas never sanctioned the chattel status of the negro nor segregated him nor involved his race in any religious issue. Very much akin to the Spanish experience with the Negro in both the Old World and the new was that of the Portuguese. Pearson the forementioned American who has taken the long view of Brazilian life a quarter of a century ago has these things to say about the Portuguese background and experience with the negro.
The Portuguese in the mother country had for centuries been acquainted with people of darker skins. Africans had been imported in considerable numbers and Ab-Soul obtained by the population. Furthermore certain cultural elements of Arab origin were taken over by the Portuguese from the movers during their domination. These included the Muslim concepts of race color slavery the slave and concubinage which added to the subject status of the women favored not only biological mingling but also favorable treatment of illegitimate offspring of mixed race and their inclusion in the family. Also during the colonial period in Brazilian history the Jesuit Order fought incessantly against the unfavorable image of the Indian slave. They also protested violently against enslavement of the Indians and obtained its legal prohibition. As a result the rationalisation of the
position taken against the slavery of the Indians came to extend itself to a measure of opposition in reference to slavery at large. Which of course redounded to the benefit of and indeed the freeing of the negroes during the colonial years in Brazil. The whole moral order at least in the plantation and cattle breeding areas was organized on a familial and personal basis. The extended family was the principal colonizing unit and its control over its members was greater than that of any other institution except perhaps the church and indeed they off times church and family were supporting the very same ends. It is also to be noted that Brazil predominantly Catholic emphasize unity and cohesion of society. In contrast to Protestant concepts which emphasize the individual. It's noteworthy then that we have
the relationship between the Spanish and the Portuguese on one hand with the negro and the English revolving around two matters in particular. One is the fact that the Iberian peoples those of Spain in Portugal had prior experience with color they had prior experience with black as a color. The English did not have and so there is automatically a great difference in terms of prior experience. Furthermore it is to be noted that given the community aspect of the Roman Catholic faith vs. the individual approach of Protestantism it was more of a tendency to bring the Negro into the community. In the Catholic countries there was more of a divisiveness more of an exclusiveness within the Protestant areas and they were consequently thrust out to the periphery. We have of course still legends that
can be built up. It is a legend if one thinks that race relations are perfect in Brazil. They are not and have been. We have however in Hope thinks writing a representation of intelligent and probing analysis a challenge to historian to sociologist and to the concerned citizen. I refer you to the volume the two variants in Caribbean race relations published by Oxford University Press. This was a Latin American perspectives with Dr S. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. Join us for our next program on Dr. Gardner We'll examine another aspect of life in Latin America. Latin American perspectives is produced and recorded by station WSI you FM at Southern Illinois University and is distributed by the national educational radio network.
The Institute on Man and Science
Concert of cultures
Producing Organization
Institute on Man and Science
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program features the lecture "The Concert of Cultures" by W. Warren Wagar.
Series Description
A lecture and discussion series on major current problems like urban decay; pollution; space exploration; and the role of science in finding solutions. Talks were held during the summer of 1968 at the Institute on Man and Science, New York.
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Producing Organization: Institute on Man and Science
Speaker: Wagar, W. Warren
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-33-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:28:28
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Chicago: “The Institute on Man and Science; Concert of cultures,” 1968-10-29, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 23, 2024,
MLA: “The Institute on Man and Science; Concert of cultures.” 1968-10-29. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 23, 2024. <>.
APA: The Institute on Man and Science; Concert of cultures. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from