cover of book

Between Brown and Black: Anti-Racist Activism in Brazil
by Antonio José Bacelar da Silva
Rutgers University Press, 2022
Paper: 978-1-9788-0852-2 | Cloth: 978-1-9788-0853-9 | eISBN: 978-1-9788-0856-0
Library of Congress Classification F2659.B53S54 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 305.896081

With new momentum, the Brazilian black movement is working to bring attention to and change the situation of structural racism in Brazil. Black consciousness advocates are challenging Afro-Brazilians to define themselves and politically organize around being black, and more Afro-Brazilians are increasingly doing so. Other segments of the Brazilian black movement are working to influence legislation and implement formal mechanisms that aim to promote racial equality, including Affirmative Action Racial Verification Committees. For advocates of these committees, one needs to be phenotypically black enough to be a more likely target of racism to qualify for Affirmative Action programs. Paradoxically, individuals are told to identify as black but only some people are considered black enough to benefit from these policies. Afro-Brazilians are presented with a whole range of identity choices, from how to classify oneself, to whether one votes for political candidates based on shared racial experiences. Between Brown and Black argues that Afro-Brazilian activists’ continued exploration of blackness confronts anti-blackness while complicating understandings of what it means to be black. Blending linguistic and ethnographic accounts, this book raises complex questions about current black struggles in Brazil and beyond, including the black movements’ political initiatives and antiracist agenda.

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