Quilombismo and the Afro-Brazilian Quest for Citizenship

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2012-11-06 02:53Z by Steven

Quilombismo and the Afro-Brazilian Quest for Citizenship

Journal of Black Studies
Volume 43, Number 8 (November 2012)
pages 847-871
DOI: 10.1177/0021934712461794

Niyi Afolabi, Professor of African & African Diaspora Studies
University of Texas, Austin

Between the radicalism of Black Brazilian movements of the 1980s, an aftermath of the negation and rejection of the myth of “racial democracy” that denies Brazilian subtle racism, the rise of re- Africanization sensibilities among Afro-Carnival groups, and the current ambivalent co-optation that has been packaged as “affirmative action” in the new millennium, a missing link to the many quests for Afro-Brazilianness lies in the (dis)locations that permeate the issues of identity, consciousness, and Africa-rootedness. Recent studies have remained invested in the polarity between the rigidity of “race” (one-drop rule) from the North American perspective and the fluidity of identity as professed by the South American miscegenation thesis. Regardless of the given schools of thought, or discourses, that have not resolved the oppressive sociopolitical realities on the ground, one must face the many levels of (dis)locations that define Afro-Brazilian identities. This essay draws upon the cultural productions of five Afro-Brazilian poets from various regions of Brazil, namely, Oliveira Silveira, LepĂȘ Correia, Jamu Minka, Abelardo Rodrigues, and Carlos de Assumpção. Beyond exposing the marginalized poets to a wider readership in English, the essay also engages the current debate in the shift from racial democracy to affirmative action in Brazil and the implications for continued racial tensions and contradictions in the Brazilian state.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Afro-Brazilians: Cultural Production in a Racial Democracy

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs on 2012-11-06 02:33Z by Steven

Afro-Brazilians: Cultural Production in a Racial Democracy

University of Rochester Press (an imprint of Boydell & Brewer)
2009-04-01
443 pages
9 x 6
Hardback ISBN: 9781580462624
eBook ISBN: 9781580467100

Niyi Afolabi, Professor of African & African Diaspora Studies
University of Texas, Austin

Brazil, the most racially diverse Latin American country, is also the most contradictory: for centuries it has maintained fantasy as reality through the myth of racial democracy. Enshrined in that mythology is the masking of exclusionism that strategically displaces and marginalizes Afro-Brazilians from political power.

In this absorbing new study, Niyi Afolabi exposes the tensions between the official position on racial harmony and the reality of marginalization experienced by Afro-Brazilians by exploring Afro-Brazilian cultural production as a considered response to this exclusion. The author examines major contributions in music, history, literature, film, and popular culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to reveal how each performance by an Afro-Brazilian artist addresses issues of identity and racism through a variety of veils that entertain, ridicule, invoke, provoke, protest, and demand change at the same time.

Raising cogent questions such as the vital role of Afro-Brazilians in the making of Brazilian national identity; the representation of Brazilian women as hapless, exploited, and abandoned; the erosion of the influence of black movements due to fragmentation and internal disharmony; and the portrayal of Afro-Brazilians on the national screen as domestics, Afolabi provides insightful, nuanced analyses that tease out the complexities of the dilemma in their appropriate historical, political, and social contexts.

Contents

  1. Negotiating Cultural Production in a Racial Democracy
  2. Two Faces of Racial Democracy
  3. Quilombhoje as a Cultural Collective
  4. Beyond the Curtains: Unveiling Afro-Brazilian Women Writers
  5. (Un)Broken Linkages
  6. The Tropicalist Legacy of Gilberto Gil
  7. Afro-Brazilian Carnival
  8. Film and Fragmentation
  9. Ancestrality and the Dynamics of Afro-Modernity
  10. The Forerunners of Afro-Modernity
  11. (Un)Transgressed Tradition
  12. Ancestrality, Memory, and Citizenship
  13. Quilombo without Frontiers
  14. Ancestral Motherhood of Leci Brandao
  15. The Future of Afro-Brazilian Cultural Production
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