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Monteiro Lobato’s O Presidente Negro (The Black President)

Monteiro Lobato’s O Presidente Negro (The Black President)

Eugenics and the Corporate State in Brazil

(p.131) Monteiro Lobato’s O Presidente Negro (The Black President)
Black and Brown Planets
M. Elizabeth Ginway
University Press of Mississippi

M. Elizabeth Ginway, in “MonteiroLobato’s O presidente negro [The Black President] Race and Gender in the Corporate State,” investigates the early twentieth century Brazilian novel, where Lobato offers a portrait of American society and Anglo-Saxon culture in the year 2228, influenced by Neo-Lamarckian eugenics and the belief in a genetic basis for inherited characteristics. With the novel’s plot hinging upon a three-way presidential race among a black candidate, a white feminist, and a white male, Ginway demonstrates how Lobato offers insight on Brazilian elitist values of the time, conservative views of race and gender, as justified by eugenics, used to legitimize the rhetoric of the harmonious corporate state and the regulation of the body. In short, Ginway reveals the conflict between the desire for technological progress and a deep-seated fear of social change in Lobato’s novel.

Keywords:   Eugenics, Brazil, MonteiroLobato, Utopia, racism

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