Racial Politics in Contemporary Brazil

Racial Politics in Contemporary Brazil

Book Pages: 232 Illustrations: 9 tables Published: May 1999

African American Studies and Black Diaspora, Latin American Studies > Brazil, Politics > Political Science

Bringing together U.S. and Brazilian scholars, as well as Afro-Brazilian political activists, Racial Politics in Contemporary Brazil represents a significant advance in understanding the complexities of racial difference in contemporary Brazilian society. While previous scholarship on this subject has been largely confined to quantitative and statistical research, editor Michael Hanchard presents a qualitative perspective from a variety of disciplines, including history, sociology, political science, and cultural theory.
The contributors to Racial Politics in Contemporary Brazil examine such topics as the legacy of slavery and its abolition, the historical impact of social movements, race-related violence, and the role of Afro-Brazilian activists in negotiating the cultural politics surrounding the issue of Brazilian national identity. These essays also provide comparisons of racial discrimination in the United States and Brazil, as well as an analysis of residential segregation in urban centers and its affect on the mobilization of blacks and browns. With a focus on racialized constructions of class and gender and
sexuality, Racial Politics in Contemporary Brazil reorients the direction of Brazilian studies, providing new insights into Brazilian culture, politics, and race relations.
This volume will be of importance to a wide cross section of scholars engaged with Brazil in particular, and Latin American studies in general. It will also appeal to those invested in the larger issues of political and social movements centered on the issue of race.

. Benedita da Silva, Nelson do Valle Silva, Ivanir dos Santos, Richard Graham, Michael Hanchard, Carlos Hasenbalg, Peggy A. Lovell, Michael Mitchell, Tereza Santos, Edward Telles, Howard Winant


“[A] fine example of the new understanding of Brazilian race relations.” — Edward S. Mihalkanin , Perspectives on Political Science

“[A] good synopsis of the modern African Brazilian political movement.” — Matthew D. Anderson , Nationalism and Ethnic Politics

“[A] very welcome addition to Brazilian studies. . . . Professor Hanchard is to be congratulated for putting together a multiauthored work devoted to Afro-Brazilian politics and social movements. It fills a definite lacuna in scholarship in the area.” — Edward J. Neugaard , South Eastern Latin Americanist

“[An] important addition to the burgeoning literature on race in Brazil and Latin America. . . . [P]articularly well suited for undergraduate courses on these topics, and can be read with profit by specialists as well.” — George Reid Andrews , Latin American Studies

“[T]his is a collection of very good essays on the topic. . . .” — British Bulletin of Publications

“A fine array of essays on Afro-Brazilian politics and social movements. . . . A nuanced introduction to the tensions, struggles, and promises of Afro-Brazilian life in contemporary Brazil.” — Foreign Affairs

“Hanchard. . . is to be commended for including not only scholars representing a variety of perspectives and methodologies but also activists and politicians like Benedita da Silva. . . . The papers in this book confirm that Brazilian racial dynamics are more ‘black and white’ than previously thought and that they have been for some time.” — Andrew J. Kirkendall , Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs

“Michael Hanchard has done a great service by bringing together the uniformly exellent articles in Racial Politics in Contemporary Brazil. The volume is accessible to undergraduates while still presenting information and theories that specialists will find challenging. By including comparative chapters and articles by African-Brazilian activists, Hanchard has created a collection that should be read broadly by students of race relations.” — Jeffrey Lesser , American Ethnologist

“Race relations in Brazil have confounded academics in the country and Brazilianists for some time. . . . While comparative analysis is still a vital tool in any study of global racial difference, there has been an important shift in perspective. The focus is now on analysing and interpreting racial inequality instead of trying to decide if it exists or not. . . . What this collection clearly demonstrates is that racial politics cannot be reduced to any single factor, and as an introductory text to Brazilian race relations it is, as yet, without comparison.” — Jane-Marie Collins , TLS

“This ambitious project brings together diverse voices and perspectives on race relations in Brazil. . . . [T]he scholarly essays are balanced and provide cross-national and regional analysis. The book supplies readers with insights and perspectives that will undoubtedly enhance our awareness of race and politics in Brazil.” — Darién J. Davis , Luso-Brazilian Review

“In assembling this collection of essays, Michael Hanchard moves us beyond the traditional academic boundaries to underscore the relationship between theories and practices in Brazilian race relations.” — Anani Dzidzienyo, Brown University

“This volume is the most important collection of essays on contemporary Brazilian racial politics available to English readers since Pierre-Michel Fontaine’s Race, Class, and Power in Brazil. Specialists and general readers alike will profit from the scholarly essays and the testimonials from veteran Brazilian activists.” — Robert Anderson, North Carolina A&T State University


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Michael Hanchard is Associate Professor of Political Science and African American Studies at Northwestern University. He is the author of Orpheus and Power: The Movimento Negro of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil, 1945–1988.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Introduction / Michael Hanchard

Free African Brazilians and the State in Slavery Times / Richard Graham

Black Cinderella? Race and the Public Sphere in Brazil / Michael Hanchard

Ethnic Boundaries and Political Mobilization among African Brazilians: Comparisons with the U.S. Case / Edward E. Telles

Racial Democracy and Racial Identity: Comparing the United States and Brazil / Howard Winant

Miguel Reale and the Impact of Conservative Modernization on Brazilian Race Relations / Michael Mitchell

Women and Racial Inequality at Work in Brazil / Peggy A. Lovell

Notes on Racial and Political Inequality in Brazil / Carlos Hasenbalg and Nelson do Valle Silva

The Black Movement and Political Parties: A Challenging Alliance / Benedita da Silva

My Conscience, My Struggle / Thereza Santos

Blacks and Political Power / Ivanir dos Santos


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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2272-6 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2252-8
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