This research primarily explores the influence of the guards’ racial background on policing, but addresses an important obstacle confronting scholars of Republican Brazil using official records: the absence of source materials on the guard’s racial profile and the paucity of overt reference to race in the archives concerning their work. However, a close reading of these sources reveals the ways in which race was used to challenge the guards’ authority in upholding public order in moments of conflicts. By analyzing those moments of conflicts, between the guards and soldiers of the Military Police, between the guards and various sectors of carioca society, and finally between the guards and their superiors, this study highlights the links between race, visions of public order, and the making of Modern Brazil. The research also suggests these “moments of conflicts” as an analytical lens through which scholars can denote the manifestation of race in the archive, especially when those source materials are the products of specific nationalist and racialist policies that sought to eradicate its presence from these historical records.
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