February 5, 2020
Dr. Jeffrey D. Needell, affiliate faculty at the Center for Latin American studies and core faculty at the UF Department of history, published The Sacred Cause The Abolitionist Movement, Afro-Brazilian Mobilization, and Imperial Politics in Rio de Janeiro. The book was published by the Stanford University Press and marks Dr. Needell’s third book publication, the other two being A Tropical Belle Epoque: Elite Culture and Society in Turn-of-the-Century Rio de Janeiro (Cambridge University Press, 1987) and The Party of Order: The Conservatives, the State, and Slavery in the Brazilian Monarchy, 1831-1871 (Stanford University Press, 2006).
The Sacred Cause analyzes the relations between the Abolitionist movement, its Afro-Brazilian following, and the evolving response of the parliamentary regime in Rio de Janeiro. Dr. Needell highlights the significance of racial identity and solidarity to the movement, showing how Afro-Brazilian leadership, organization, and popular mobilization were critical to the movement's identity, nature, and impact.
"This is the first comprehensive history of Brazilian abolitionism that underscores Afro-Brazilians' central role in achieving emancipation,” said Ana Lucia Araujo, Howard University. “Based on an impressive array of archival sources and new information, Needell's book explains in detail why Brazil was the last country to abolish slavery in the Americas and how, unlike in the United States, emancipation did not provoke a Civil War."
The Sacred Cause The Abolitionist Movement, Afro-Brazilian Mobilization, and Imperial Politics in Rio de Janeiro can be purchased from Stanford University Press.