Back to race, not beyond race: multiraciality and racial identity in the United States and Brazil

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2022-06-23 14:37Z by Steven

Back to race, not beyond race: multiraciality and racial identity in the United States and Brazil

Comparative Migration Studies
Volume 10, Article Number 22 (2022)
DOI: 10.1186/s40878-022-00294-0

Jasmine Mitchell, Associate Professor of American Studies and Media
State University of New York-Old Westbury, Old Westbury, New York

In contrast to discourses of multiraciality as leading to a future beyond race, this commentary looks at how multiracial discourses and symbols underline race. Taking an overview of multiracial discourses and identities in relation to Blackness in the United States and Brazil, this commentary examines the deployment of multiraciality to maintain white supremacy. Under global capitalism, United States multicultural discourses, and Latin American foundational narratives, multiracial peoples are often propped up as a solution to racism, the eradication of race, or reduced to racial binaries centering whiteness. The section ends with considerations of how fears of racial passing and fraud coincide with multiracial identities. Questions for further consideration on the nexus of political identities and racial identities are proposed in relation to multiraciality.

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Between Brown and Black: Anti-Racist Activism in Brazil

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2022-05-13 14:59Z by Steven

Between Brown and Black: Anti-Racist Activism in Brazil

Rutgers University Press
2022-05-13
190 pages
1 b&w iillustration
6 x 9
Paperback ISBN: 9781978808522
Cloth ISBN: 9781978808539
EPUB ISBN: 9781978808546
PDF ISBN: 9781978808560
Kindle ISBN: 9781978808553

Antonio José Bacelar da Silva, Assistant Professor
Center for Latin American Studies
University of Arizona, Tucson

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.

Table of Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • 1. Black into Brown, Brown into Black: Afro-Brazilians Grapple with Racial Categorization
  • 2. The Language of Afro-Brazilian Antiracist Socialization
  • 3. Performing Ancestors, Claiming Blackness
  • 4. Becoming an Antiracist or “As Black as We Can Be”
  • 5. Who Can Be Black for Affirmative Action Programs in Brazil?
  • 6. The Complex Calculus of Race and Electoral Politics in Salvador
  • Conclusion: Afro-Brazilians’ Black and Brown Antiracism
  • Acknowledgements
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index
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Visualizing Black Lives: Ownership and Control in Afro-Brazilian Media

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice on 2022-05-07 21:43Z by Steven

Visualizing Black Lives: Ownership and Control in Afro-Brazilian Media

University of Illinois Press
2022-04-26
152 pages
6 x 9 in
12 black & white photographs
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-252-04441-0
Paper ISBN: 978-0-252-08648-9
eBook ISBN: 978-0-252-05340-5

Reighan Gillam, Associate Professor of Anthropology
University of Southern California

A new generation of Afro-Brazilian media producers have emerged to challenge a mainstream that frequently excludes them. Reighan Gillam delves into the dynamic alternative media landscape developed by Afro-Brazilians in the twenty-first century. With works that confront racism and focus on Black characters, these artists and the visual media they create identify, challenge, or break with entrenched racist practices, ideologies, and structures. Gillam looks at a cross-section of media to show the ways Afro-Brazilians assert control over various means of representation in order to present a complex Black humanity. These images–so at odds with the mainstream–contribute to an anti-racist visual politics fighting to change how Brazilian media depicts Black people while highlighting the importance of media in the movement for Black inclusion.

An eye-opening union of analysis and fieldwork, Visualizing Black Lives examines the alternative and activist Black media and the people creating it in today’s Brazil.

Watch IRAAS Conversations | Visualizing Black Lives: Ownership and Control in Afro Brazilian Media on YouTube (01:26:36) here.

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Aline Motta and the personal diving into collective memory

Posted in Articles, Arts, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Interviews, Media Archive on 2022-03-29 20:28Z by Steven

Aline Motta and the personal diving into collective memory

ARTE!Brasileiros
2020-03-18

Marcos Grinspum Ferraz

“Pontes sobre Abismos #17”, Aline Motta, Foto: Cortesia da artista

The multimedia artist, one of the winners of the 7th Marcantonio Vilaça Award, departs from a thorough research on his family history to address major topics such as slavery, African heritage and a patriarchal structure that remains in Brazil today

The journey of artist Aline Motta looking for her roots and the vestiges of her ancestors is undoubtedly a personal endeavour. The result, however, concerns the collective memory of thousands of Brazilian families built (or destroyed) in the violent process of the country’s formation, based on slavery and patriarchal structure.

“It took a while for me to acquire some maturity and psychic centering to deal with issues so deep and difficult that concern my own history and family,” she says in an interview with ARTE!Brasileiros. This maturation time included not only some early artwork that dealt with other topics, carried out especially from the beginning of this decade, but also a vast trajectory as a continuist in movies, which commenced in 2001.

It was from 2016, when she had the project Pontes sobre Abismos (Bridges over Abysses) selected by Itaú Cultural’s Rumos program, that Motta, now 45, began to devote herself full-time to authorial work, with a multimedia production that did not leave aside cinema, but also unfolded in installations, photographs, texts, publications and performances…

Read the entire interview here.

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Who is black, white, or mixed race? How skin color, status, and nation shape racial classification in Latin America

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Economics, Media Archive, Social Science on 2022-03-15 20:51Z by Steven

Who is black, white, or mixed race? How skin color, status, and nation shape racial classification in Latin America

American Journal of Sociology
Volume 120, Number 3 (November 2014)
pages 864-907
DOI: 10.1086/679252

Edward Telles, Distinguished Professor of Sociology
University of California, Irvine

Tianna Paschel, Associate Professor of Sociology and African American Studies
University of California, Berkeley

Comparative research on racial classification has often turned to Latin America, where race is thought to be particularly fluid. Using nationally representative data from the 2010 and 2012 America’s Barometer survey, the authors examine patterns of self-identification in four countries. National differences in the relation between skin color, socioeconomic status, and race were found. Skin color predicts race closely in Panama but loosely in the Dominican Republic. Moreover, despite the dominant belief that money whitens, the authors discover that status polarizes (Brazil), mestizoizes (Colombia), darkens (Dominican Republic), or has no effect (Panama). The results show that race is both physical and cultural, with country variations in racial schema that reflect specific historical and political trajectories.

Read or purchase the article here.

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The persistence of myth: Brazil’s undead ‘racial democracy’

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2022-02-14 18:42Z by Steven

The persistence of myth: Brazil’s undead ‘racial democracy’

Contemporary Political Theory
Volume 20, Issue 4, December 2021
Pages 749–770
DOI: 10.1057/s41296-021-00477-x

Sharon Stanley, Professor of Political Science
University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee

This article addresses a recurrent tension in the literature on race and racism in Brazil. On the one hand, we find the so-called myth of racial democracy presented as the dominant racial ideology in Brazil, obscuring enduring racial inequality and thwarting the development of a mass-movement for racial justice. On the other hand, we find periodic announcements that the myth of racial democracy has definitively died. Accordingly, I theorize the myth of racial democracy as a paradoxically undead myth and ask what it is about the form of this peculiar myth that allows it to survive its own repeated death. Drawing on Roland Barthes’ theory of myth, I show how the celebration of racial mixture, or mestiçagem, functions as a mythological signifier of racial democracy that operates beneath and beyond the level of conscious thought, activating powerful affects and desires even in those who ostensibly know better.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Too black for Brazil | Guardian Docs

Posted in Anthropology, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Social Science on 2022-02-14 02:50Z by Steven

Too black for Brazil | Guardian Docs

The Guardian
2016-02-09

Nayara Justino thought her dreams had come true when she was selected as the Globeleza carnival queen in 2013 after a public vote on one of Brazil’s biggest TV shows. But some regarded her complexion to be too dark to be an acceptable queen. Nayara and her family wonder what this says about racial roles in modern Brazil.

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The Masters and the Slaves: A Study in the Development of Brazilian Civilization

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, Social Science on 2022-02-01 22:51Z by Steven

The Masters and the Slaves: A Study in the Development of Brazilian Civilization

University of California Press
January 2022 (Originally published 1986)
676 pages
Trim Size: 6.14 x 9.21
Hardcover ISBN: 9780520367005
Paperback ISBN: 9780520337060

Gilberto Freyre (1900-1987)

Introduction by: David H. P. Maybury-Lewis (1929-2007)

This title is part of UC Press’s Voices Revived program, which commemorates University of California Press’s mission to seek out and cultivate the brightest minds and give them voice, reach, and impact. Drawing on a backlist dating to 1893, Voices Revived makes high-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship accessible once again using print-on-demand technology. This title was originally published in 1986.

Table of Contents

  • Frontmatter
  • Preface to the first English-Language Edition
  • Preface to the Second English-language Edition
  • Translator’s Acknowledgments
  • Author’s Preface to the Paperback Edition
  • Introduction to the Paperback Edition
  • I General Characteristics of the Portuguese Colonization of Brazil: Formation of an Agrarian, Slave-Holding and Hybrid Society
  • II The Native in the Formation of the Brazilian Family
  • III The Portuguese Colonizer: Antecedents and Predispositions
  • IV The Negro Slave in the Sexual and Family Life of the Brazilian
  • V The Negro Slave in the Sexual and Family Life of the Brazilian (continued)
  • Plans showing Big House of the Noruega Plantation
  • Glossary of the Brazilian Terms Used
  • Bibliography
  • Index of Names
  • Index of Subjects
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Passing for Racial Democracy

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Passing, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2022-01-19 03:00Z by Steven

Passing for Racial Democracy

The Baffler
2021-12-06

Stephanie Reist

Detail from A Redenção de Cam (Redemption of Ham), Modesto Brocos, 1895. | Museu Nacional de Belas Artes

The complexities of the color line in the U.S. and Brazil

A CENTRAL POINT OF TENSION between Irene Redfield (played by Tessa Thompson) and her husband Dr. Brian Redfield (André Holland) in Rebecca Hall’s Passing, based on the Nella Larsen novel of the same name, is whether their family should remain in the United States. While Irene can pass for white out of convenience, the same is not true of her darker sons and her husband, who routinely informs his children about lynchings and white violence. Irene disapproves of this talk, despite her work for the Negro Welfare League. In one pivotal scene, she drives her tired husband home after a long day of visiting patients, and the couple discuss going to South America, specifically mentioning Brazil. The issue returns when the couple fights over the consuming role that Clare (Ruth Negga)—who has chosen to pass as white to the point of marrying a bigoted white husband and having a daughter with him—exerts in their lives and marriage.

In Larsen’s novel, Brian’s longing for Brazil, which becomes conflated with what Irene perceives as his desire for the effervescent, delightfully dangerous Clare, is even more pronounced: Brazil is the one that got away, Brian’s lost hope for a society where he and other black members of the talented tenth could be judged by their merits, not lynched because they failed to stay in their place. Irene even implicitly sanctions an affair between her husband and Clare to assuage her guilt for denying her family the chance to be truly “happy, or free, or safe”—a state she laments as impossible when speaking to Clare about her choice not to pass…

Read the entire article here.

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How the mixed-race mestizo myth warped science in Latin America

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2021-12-21 03:40Z by Steven

How the mixed-race mestizo myth warped science in Latin America

Nature
Number 600 (2021-12-13)
pages 374-378
DOI: 10.1038/d41586-021-03622-z

Emiliano Rodríguez Mega, Science Journalist
Mexico City, Mexico

Genetic studies have found a striking amount of diversity among people in Mexico. Credit: Stephania Corpi Arnaud for Nature

Researchers are trying to dismantle the flawed concept of homogeneous racial mixing that has fostered discrimination in Mexico, Brazil and other countries.

Nicéa Quintino Amauro always knew who she was.

She was born in Campinas, the last city in Brazil to prohibit slavery in 1888. She grew up in a Black neighbourhood, with a Black family. And a lot of her childhood was spent in endless meetings organized by the Unified Black Movement, the most notable Black civil-rights organization in Brazil, which her parents helped to found to fight against centuries-old racism in the country. She knew she was Black.

But in the late 1980s, when Amauro was around 13 years old, she was told at school that Brazilians were not Black. They were not white, either. Nor any other race. They were considered to be mestiços, or pardos, terms rooted in colonial caste distinctions that signify a tapestry of European, African and Indigenous backgrounds. And as one single mixed people, they were all equal to each other.

The idea felt odd. Wrong, even. “To me, it seemed quite strange,” says Amauro, now a chemist at the Federal University of Ubêrlandia in Minas Gerais and a member of the Brazilian Association of Black Researchers. “How can everyone be equal if racism exists? It doesn’t make sense.”

Amauro’s concerns echo across Latin America, where generations of people have been taught that they are the result of a long history of mixture between different ancestors who all came, or were forced, to live in the region…

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