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2016 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

Living the African American Way of Life—Impressions and Disillusions of an Afro-Brazilian Woman in the United States

Author: Daniela F. Gomes da Silva

Published in: Race and the Politics of Knowledge Production

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan US

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Love at first sound. This is how I choose to describe how my journey as an Afro-Brazilian living abroad started. It probably started with a mix of sounds, such as the sound of the Christian hymns that I used to listen to growing up in a Baptist church, or with my participation in the church choir during which I used to dream about joining a choir like those on TV, or perhaps with my time listening to the Ray Charles songs that my father used to listen to at home. I cannot remember exactly where my contact with African American culture started, but I am absolutely sure that it was a sound that awakened in me a passion for a place that I did not know. I still remember the first time I heard some words in English; maybe it was not the first time I had heard them, but it was probably the first time I had paid attention to them. I was nine years old, growing up in a poor community in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. My family was hosting dinner for North American missionaries who were visiting our home church. When I heard those words, I fell in love with the language, and in future years it would take my imagination far away from my home and my reality. Learning English became my priority, and without financial resources, I self-taught myself by listening to music and translating songs from English to Portuguese with the help of an old dictionary. A few years later, still a young teenager, a new sound would make a difference in my life.

Metadata
Title
Living the African American Way of Life—Impressions and Disillusions of an Afro-Brazilian Woman in the United States
Author
Daniela F. Gomes da Silva
Copyright Year
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137553942_11