The black president

The black president (1926), also published as Choque de razas , is the only novel by the Brazilian writer Jose Bento Monteiro Lobato (1882-1948). It is a work of science fiction , which is seduced by the idea of eugenics in a society American of the future.


“Gestado” (in the words of Lobato) in just three weeks, in mid-1926, Shock of races was written in order to enter the US publishing market, a market that would report “a bag full of dollars.” 1


The black president contains and praises racist ideas, belonging to thought eugenics , which are also advocated, among others, by the psychologist and physical amateur French Gustave Le Bon (1841-1931), whose books L’homme et les sociétés , Evolution Force and Evolution of matter were long known by Lobato. 2

The racist ideas defended by Lobato in his work accompanied him at least since 1900, when he was 18 years old when he read L’homme et les sociètes (1881) by Le Bon, which states that human beings were created unequally, the mixing is a factor of racial degeneration and that women of any race, are lower than even men of ” inferior races “. After reading it, Lobato says he felt “transformed into a heap of ruins,” 3 so great was the blow he suffered because of his “homemade catholicity.” 3 Although he has sought to discover a scientific alternative for his racist ideas, through reading Comte and Spencer , it seems that Lobato has been convinced by the ideas of Le Bon. In the years following the publication of his novel, books by Hyppolite Taine and Ernest Renan , influential figures in nineteenth -century racialism , became important sources of reference for Lobato, who went so far as to recommend his reading to his friends.


  1. Back to top↑ Letters chosen . São Paulo: Brasiliense, 1959. Vol. 1, p. 189.
  2. Volver arriba↑ FRAIZ, P .: «The racism in Monteiro Lobato: a study of” The shock of races “or” The black president “, in Thinking and Saying . Rio de Janeiro, 1991, p. 287.
  3. ↑ Jump to:a b José Bento Monteiro Lobato. Conferences, Articles and Chronicles . São Paulo: Brasiliense, 1964, p. 221.