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Mapping DiasporaAfrican American Roots Tourism in Brazil$
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Patricia de Santana Pinho

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469645322

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469645322.001.0001

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The Awakening Giant

The Awakening Giant

The State’s Belated Acknowledgment of Roots Tourism

Chapter:
(p.171) Chapter Five The Awakening Giant
Source:
Mapping Diaspora
Author(s):

Patricia de Santana Pinho

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469645322.003.0006

The role of local governments in attracting roots tourists is one of most important factors analyzed in the studies of diaspora tourism. Governments of several countries have actively sought to promote varied forms of roots tourism in order to attract members of their respective diasporas. In contrast, African American roots tourism in Brazil is marked by the almost complete inaction of the government, at both the state and federal levels. This type of tourism was initiated and continues to develop largely as the result of tourist demand, and with very little participation on the part of the state. This chapter analyzes the belated response of the state government of Bahia to African American tourism, examining how the inertia that dominated since the late 1970s was later replaced by a more proactive, although still inadequate, position, when the state tourism board, Bahiatursa, founded the Coordination of African Heritage Tourism to cater specifically to the African American roots tourism niche. The chapter also analyzes whether the left-leaning Workers’ Party, then in charge of the state government, challenged the longstanding discourse of baianidade (Bahianness) that has predominantly represented blackness (in tourism and other realms) through domesticated and stereotypical images.

Keywords:   Bahia, Bahianness, Bahiatursa, African Americans, African Diaspora, Roots Tourism, Diaspora Tourism, Afro-Brazilians, Blackness, Black identity

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