Flowers Grew Out of the Asphalt: Black Women's Territories in São Paulo, 1871-1930


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This project addresses how the treatment of Black women in the afterlife of slavery, under the guise of whitening ideologies, contributed to the formations of regional identity and Black women’s geographies in the city of São Paulo. The lives and presence of Black women after abolition often go unrecognized as part of a larger omission of slavery and Black histories in public discourse and the brick-and-mortar archive. Relying on medicolegal municipal incident reports, “Flowers Grew Out of the Asphalt” centers Black women, their geographies, and spatial histories to push against traditional narratives and imaginings of São Paulo as a principally white, Europeanized city.