The Anti-Black City: Police Terror and Black Urban Life in Brazil

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science on 2018-02-14 04:47Z by Steven

The Anti-Black City: Police Terror and Black Urban Life in Brazil

University of Minnesota Press
2018
320 pages
9 b&w photos
5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Paper ISBN: 978-1-5179-0156-1
Cloth ISBN: 978-1-5179-0155-4

Jaime Amparo Alves, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology
College of Staten Island of the City University of New York
also: Associate Researcher
Centro de Estudios Afrodiaspóricos of Universidad Icesi/Colombia

An important new ethnographic study of São Paulo’s favelas reveals the widespread use of race-based police repression in Brazil

While Black Lives Matter still resonates in the United States, the movement has also become a potent rallying call worldwide, with harsh police tactics and repressive state policies often breaking racial lines. In The Anti-Black City, Jaime Amparo Alves delves into the dynamics of racial violence in Brazil, where poverty, unemployment, residential segregation, and a biased criminal justice system create urban conditions of racial precarity.

The Anti-Black City provocatively offers race as a vital new lens through which to view violence and marginalization in the supposedly “raceless” São Paulo. Ironically, in a context in which racial ambiguity makes it difficult to identify who is black and who is white, racialized access to opportunities and violent police tactics establish hard racial boundaries through subjugation and death. Drawing on two years of ethnographic research in prisons and neighborhoods on the periphery of this mega-city, Alves documents the brutality of police tactics and the complexity of responses deployed by black residents, including self-help initiatives, public campaigns against police violence, ruthless gangs, and self-policing of communities.

The Anti-Black City reveals the violent and racist ideologies that underlie state fantasies of order and urban peace in modern Brazil. Illustrating how “governing through death” has become the dominant means for managing and controlling ethnic populations in the neoliberal state, Alves shows that these tactics only lead to more marginalization, criminality, and violence. Ultimately, Alves’s work points to a need for a new approach to an intractable problem: how to govern populations and territories historically seen as “ungovernable.”

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: On Our Own Terms
  • 1. Macabre Spatialities
  • 2. “Police, Get off My Back!”
  • 3. The Favela-Prison Pipeline
  • 4. Sticking Up!
  • 5. Bringing Back the Dead
  • Conclusion: Blackpolis
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes
  • Index
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Goodbye ‘Racial Democracy’? Brazilian Identity, Official Discourse and the Making of a ‘Black’ Heritage Site in Rio de Janeiro

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Social Science on 2018-02-13 02:07Z by Steven

Goodbye ‘Racial Democracy’? Brazilian Identity, Official Discourse and the Making of a ‘Black’ Heritage Site in Rio de Janeiro

Bulletin of Latin American Research
Special Issue: Reflections on Repression and Resistance: The Vivid Legacies of Dictatorship in Brazil
Volume 37, Issue 1, January 2018
Pages 73–86
DOI: 10.1111/blar.12636

André Cicalo
King’s College London, London, United Kingdom

This article explores the racial thinking in Brazilian governance exposed during the creation of a Circuit of African Heritage in the port area of Rio de Janeiro from 2011 on. The Circuit and the policy discourses that have surrounded its establishment are visibly framed within a philosophy of ethno-racial recognition and multiculturalism, which apparently suggests a rupture from the long-established discourse of mixture and racial democracy in Brazil. Nonetheless, a careful analysis of the creation of the Circuit of African Heritage indicates that policy discourse is not conclusively unsettling the country’s traditional faith in a shared, colour-blind national identity.

Read the entire article in HTML or PDF format.

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Killing Us Softly With the US Colonial Song: Puerto Ricans Matter

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2018-01-29 18:56Z by Steven

Killing Us Softly With the US Colonial Song: Puerto Ricans Matter

Radiant Roots, Boricua Branches: Musings on My Tri-racial Black and Puerto Rican Ancestry
2017-12-31

Teresa Vega

On Becoming Comfortable with My Rice & Beans & Collard Greens Self

On December 27th, 2013, I wrote one of my first blogposts about what it meant to find my Boricua Branches — my father’s side of my family. I will always say, without an ounce of hesitation, that the best part of taking my DNA tests was finding my Puerto Rican cousins. My father’s absence for 20 years of my life — from the age of 3-years old until 23-years old — resulted in a critical disjuncture in how I saw myself. While I always knew I was half-Puerto Rican, my pre-23 year old self did not know what that meant having been born and raised in Brockton, MA, a suburb of Boston. Brockton was not the diverse community it is today when I was growing up. It was a predominately white community with a small African-American and Cape Verdean population. We were often seen as Black and sometimes as Cape Verdean. Pre-23-year old Teresa was definitely Black culturally-identified. Though I always knew I had a diverse maternal extended family and equally diverse ancestors, having been raised by my maternal grandparents, I grew up within the confines of an African-American community.

I arrived in New York City in the Fall of 1990 to attend graduate school in a city that had one of the largest populations of Puerto Ricans outside of Puerto Rico. With a name like Teresa A. Vega, I had a hard time convincing anyone that I was anything other than a Latina. People assumed that I was either in denial about being a Latina or had some sort of hangup about speaking Spanish. It never occurred to most people that maybe I didn’t grow up with my Puerto Rican father, that maybe Spanish wasn’t my first language, or maybe I was raised in a place that didn’t have a Latino community…

Read the entire article here.

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Children of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-Race Jamaicans in Britain and the Atlantic Family, 1733-1833

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, United Kingdom on 2018-01-22 01:58Z by Steven

Children of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-Race Jamaicans in Britain and the Atlantic Family, 1733-1833

University of North Carolina Press
2018-01-22
432 pages
12 halftones, 4 figs., 3 charts, 4 tables, notes, index
6.125 x 9.25
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-3443-2

Daniel Livesay, Assistant Professor of History
Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, California

Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia

By tracing the largely forgotten eighteenth-century migration of elite mixed-race individuals from Jamaica to Great Britain, Children of Uncertain Fortune reinterprets the evolution of British racial ideologies as a matter of negotiating family membership. Using wills, legal petitions, family correspondences, and inheritance lawsuits, Daniel Livesay is the first scholar to follow the hundreds of children born to white planters and Caribbean women of color who crossed the ocean for educational opportunities, professional apprenticeships, marriage prospects, or refuge from colonial prejudices.

The presence of these elite children of color in Britain pushed popular opinion in the British Atlantic world toward narrower conceptions of race and kinship. Members of Parliament, colonial assemblymen, merchant kings, and cultural arbiters–the very people who decided Britain’s colonial policies, debated abolition, passed marital laws, and arbitrated inheritance disputes–rubbed shoulders with these mixed-race Caribbean migrants in parlors and sitting rooms. Upper-class Britons also resented colonial transplants and coveted their inheritances; family intimacy gave way to racial exclusion. By the early nineteenth century, relatives had become strangers.

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Colouring the Caribbean: Race and the art of Agostino Brunias

Posted in Arts, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs on 2017-12-29 02:19Z by Steven

Colouring the Caribbean: Race and the art of Agostino Brunias

Manchester University Press
December 2017
272 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-5261-2045-8
eBook ISBN: 978-1-5261-2047-2

Mia L. Bagneris, Jesse Poesch Junior Professor of Art History
Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana

Colouring the Caribbean offers the first comprehensive study of Agostino Brunias’s intriguing pictures of colonial West Indians of colour – so called ‘Red’ and ‘Black’ Caribs, dark-skinned Africans and Afro-Creoles, and people of mixed race – made for colonial officials and plantocratic elites during the late-eighteenth century. Although Brunias’s paintings have often been understood as straightforward documents of visual ethnography that functioned as field guides for reading race, this book investigates how the images both reflected and refracted ideas about race commonly held by eighteenth-century Britons, helping to construct racial categories while simultaneously exposing their constructedness and underscoring their contradictions. The book offers provocative new insights about Brunias’s work gleaned from a broad survey of his paintings, many of which are reproduced here for the first time.

Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. Brunias’s tarred brush, or painting Indians black: race-ing the Carib divide
  • 2. Merry and contented slaves and other island myths: representing Africans and Afro-Creoles in the Anglxexo-American world
  • 3. Brown-skinned booty, or colonising Diana: mixed-race Venuses and Vixens as the fruits of imperial enterprise
  • 4. Can you find the white woman in this picture? Agostino Brunias’s ‘ladies’ of ambiguous race
  • Coda – Pushing Brunias’s buttons, or re-branding the plantocracy’s painter: the afterlife of Brunias’s imagery
  • Index
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Mandarin Brazil: Race, Representation, and Memory

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs on 2017-12-23 04:26Z by Steven

Mandarin Brazil: Race, Representation, and Memory

Stanford University Press
August 2018
256 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9781503605046
Paper ISBN: 9781503606012

Ana Paulina Lee, Assistant Professor of Luso-Brazilian Studies
Columbia University, New York, New York

In Mandarin Brazil, Ana Paulina Lee explores the centrality of Chinese exclusion to the Brazilian nation-building project, tracing the role of cultural representation in producing racialized national categories. Lee considers depictions of Chineseness in Brazilian popular music, literature, and visual culture, as well as archival documents and Brazilian and Qing dynasty diplomatic correspondence about opening trade and immigration routes between Brazil and China. In so doing, she reveals how Asian racialization helped to shape Brazil’s image as a racial democracy.

Mandarin Brazil begins during the second half of the nineteenth century, during the transitional period when enslaved labor became unfree labor—an era when black slavery shifted to “yellow labor” and racial anxieties surged. Lee asks how colonial paradigms of racial labor became a part of Brazil’s nation-building project, which prioritized “whitening,” a fundamentally white supremacist ideology that intertwined the colonial racial caste system with new immigration labor schemes. By considering why Chinese laborers were excluded from Brazilian nation-building efforts while Japanese migrants were welcomed, Lee interrogates how Chinese and Japanese imperial ambitions and Asian ethnic supremacy reinforced Brazil’s whitening project. Mandarin Brazil contributes to a new conversation in Latin American and Asian American cultural studies, one that considers Asian diasporic histories and racial formation across the Americas.

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Brazilians defining themselves as black has grown 15%; while pretos and pardos are considered black, pretos are those defining themselves as simply black

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Media Archive on 2017-12-20 22:41Z by Steven

Brazilians defining themselves as black has grown 15%; while pretos and pardos are considered black, pretos are those defining themselves as simply black

Black Women of Brazil
2017-12-12

Source: Jornal Floripa, Tudo que Preciso SaberNº de pessoas que se declara preta ou parda cresce 14,9%

Note from BW of Brazil: So what does today’s report really mean in plain English? It’s a topic that’s been discussed here since the debut of this blog back in 2011. Depending on how you look at it, Brazil could have as many 112.7 million black people, which would be 54.8% of the country’s total population of 205.5 million people. Or, looking at it from another perspective, the black population could be around 16.8 million people, which would represent about 8.2% of all Brazilians. Why such a huge discrepancy? Well, again, it depends on how you see it. To come to a figure of 112.7 million black people, one has to include the population of people who define themselves as “pardos”, loosely meaning ‘brown’ or ‘mixed’. At almost 96 million people, they make up about 46.7% of the Brazilian population. For decades, due to quality of life and socioeconomic statistics, black activists have defined the country’s população negra (black population) as the combination of self-declared pretos (blacks) and pardos. The question here would be, how many of those pardos have a phenotype that most would consider black? The world may never know.

The number of Brazilians who declare themselves pretos (blacks) has increased 14.9% to 16.825 million people between 2012 and 2016, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), which announced on Friday the “Características gerais dos moradores 2012-2016” (General characteristics of residents 2012 -2016), raised by the National Continuous Household Sample Survey (PNAD).

According to the survey, the number of Brazilians who declared themselves pardos (or were declared pardos by the resident interviewed) also grew between 2012 and 2016, by 6.6%, to 95.9 million people. This is the largest group, accounting for 46.7% of the population, a condition it assumed from 2015.

The number of Brazilians declaring themselves brancos (whites) in turn continued to shrink: they were 90.9 million in 2016, 1.8% less than in 2012. Of 46.6% of residents in the country in 2012, the declared white population accounted for 44.2% of the total in 2016. Those declared black were 8.2%.

According to Maria Lucia Vieira, research manager, the data indicate an increasing miscegenation in Brazil. There are basically three possible explanations, according to her: increased self-assertion of pretos e pardos (blacks and browns); marriage growth between races; higher fertility rate among pretos and pardos…

Read the entire article here.

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Some Social Differences on the Basis of Race Among Puerto Ricans

Posted in Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2017-12-05 02:34Z by Steven

Some Social Differences on the Basis of Race Among Puerto Ricans

The Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Centro)
Hunter College, City College of New York
Issued December 2016
Centro RB2016-10
12 pages

Carlos Vargas-Ramos, Research Associate

Puerto Ricans are a multiracial people. This is given by the fact that the Puerto Rican population is composed of people from different categories of socially differentiated and defined racial groups, and also because not an insignificant number of Puerto Rican individuals share ancestry derived from multiple racial groups. Yet, the analysis of social difference and inequities among Puerto Ricans on the basis of physical difference is largely avoided, and when it is conducted its findings are often neglected.

This avoidance and neglect among Puerto Ricans tends to exist because the subject of race is generally fraught and uncomfortable, often sidestepped by allusions to color-blindness couched in racial democracy arguments or by claiming that in an extensively miscegenated population not any one person or any one group of people could claim superiority over any other on the basis of physical attributes.1 Moreover, social inequities on the basis of physical differences also tend to be avoided and neglected as a subject of meaningful discussion and engagement for the sake of group or national solidarity.2

The brief analysis that follows seeks to shed light on current socioeconomic conditions among Puerto Ricans and highlights how physical differences denoted by socially defined racial categories may affect those conditions.

One immediate issue to raise is how to categorize racial difference among Puerto Ricans. By and large, the most extensive sources of data available for the analysis of social conditions for Puerto Ricans rely on data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census and other agencies of the United States government, which in turn conform to directives by the Office of Management and Budget to establish racial categories in the United States. Presently, and since the 1970s, these categories have been listed broadly as American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian, Black, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, and White. The Office of Management and Budget has also made a provision to include an open ended residual category to capture other racial categories or designations that those listed may not (i.e., Some Other Race). Moreover, since 2000, at least for census purposes, the Census Bureau allows for multiple racial designations so that an individual may select more than one racial category with which to identify himself or herself.

The appropriateness and validity of these official governmental categories to describe the Puerto Rican population (and other Hispanics) as well as other population has been challenged.3 But in the absence of as extensive and as reliable sources of data and given the official nature of these categories, and therefore their weightiness in public policy, the analysis will proceed using them…

Read the entire report here.

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Works Progress Austin (“Casta” by Adrienne Dawes)

Posted in Arts, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico on 2017-12-04 04:46Z by Steven

Works Progress Austin (“Casta” by Adrienne Dawes)

Salvage Vanguard Theater
1110 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78704
Telephone: (512) 474-7886
2017-12-22, 20:00-21:30 CST (Local Time)

Casta a new play by Adrienne Dawes

Casta is inspired by a series of casta paintings by Miguel Cabrera, a mixed-race painter from Oaxaca. Casta paintings were a unique form of portraiture that organized racial mixtures of the New World according to a hierarchy defined by Spanish elites. How do Old World anxieties about ambiguous racial identity reflect contemporary biases?

This is the third WPA workshop for Casta. In this current draft of Casta, the creative team is incorporating puppetry, expanding music by composer Graham Reynolds and exploring bilingual text. After a week of developing these new elements, audiences are invited to witness the piece in its current form.

For more information, click here.

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How Anti-Chinese Propaganda Helped Fuel the Creation of Mestizo Identity in Mexico

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Mexico on 2017-11-27 01:56Z by Steven

How Anti-Chinese Propaganda Helped Fuel the Creation of Mestizo Identity in Mexico

Remezcla
2017-06-13

Freddy Martinez
Brooklyn, New York


Chinese Mexican pilgrims march to the Basilica de Guadalupe, Mexico’s holiest shrine. Courtesy of Pilar Chen Chi.

Like most revolutions, the one Mexico fought at the beginning of the 20th century was brutal. Over a million people, both civilian and revolutionaries alike, died in the span of ten years. And although, by its end, a new constitution guaranteeing indigenous civil rights was enacted, life was still no better: assassination, disease, and violence left the Mexican state nearly ruined.

Yet even the bloodiest revolution has its icons. Mexico’s quintessential revolutionaries, Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, have become so recognizable today that it’s easy to take their politics at face-value and romanticize what they fought for. Jason Oliver Chang, an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut, wants to change that. Speaking in late May at the Museum of Chinese in America, he gave a lecture prepared from his most recently published book, Chino: Anti-Chinese Racism in Mexico, 1880-1940.

Uncovering the forgotten history of anti-Chinese propaganda and violence documented in the years around the revolution, the book reads like a dossier of state secrets. In one chilling example, you’ll read how Pancho Villa gave orders to execute 60 Chinese prisoners by throwing them down a mineshaft. Magonistas, along with many other revolutionary parties on the left and right, used antichinismo — anti-Chinese rhetoric and policy making — to popularize their own movements. But those incidents pale in comparison to the massacre that occurred in Torreón, Coahuila, during one of the first battles of the revolution. There, 303 Chinese men, women, and children were killed — some even butchered — by both civilians and soldiers, marking the bloodiest incident of anti-Chinese violence ever recorded in the Americas

Read the entire article here.

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