Brazil sees a rise in number of people who consider themselves black

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science on 2015-11-18 22:55Z by Steven

Brazil sees a rise in number of people who consider themselves black

El País
Madrid, Spain

Marina Rossi
São Paulo, Brazil

English version by Martin Delfín.

Participants in the “Curly Hair Pride March,” which was held in July in São Paulo. / CORDON PRESS

More and more Brazilians say they are black or multiracial when asked to describe their race, a new study reveals.

In a survey taken by the Brazilian Geographical and Statistics Institute (IBGE) last year, 53% of Brazilians classified themselves as either being black or multiracial while, 45.5% considered themselves white.

In the same National Household Survey taken 10 years earlier, 51.2% of Brazilians polled said they were white while 47.9% replied with black or multiracial…

…Katia Regis, a coordinator for African and Afro-Brazilian studies, believes that the increases among the population who identify themselves as black can be attributed to long battles waged by the country’s black organizations, as well as more access to higher levels of education…

Read the entire article here.

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Brazil’s ‘Black Lives Matter’ struggle — even deadlier

Posted in Articles, Audio, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2015-11-13 02:36Z by Steven

Brazil’s ‘Black Lives Matter’ struggle — even deadlier

Public Radio International

Will Carless

The police committed more than 1 in every 6 of Rio de Janeiro’s homicides between 2010 and 2013.

And 4 out of 5 of those who are slain overall were under 29 years old — and of African descent.

These startling figures come from an analysis of official homicide data by Amnesty International. The problem spans far beyond Rio, and more recent incidents have raised concern that it’s not going away.

Earlier this month, five police officers in Rio de Janeiro were arrested after a cellphone video showed them altering a crime scene by placing a gun in the hands of a black teen they had just shot dead.

Echoing United States movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #RiseUpOctober, activists in Brazil are fighting to draw attention to the problem of killings of young black Brazilian men, frequently by police. One of the leading local movements is Amnesty International’s “Jovem Negro Vivo,” meaning “Young Black Alive.”

It’s one of several awareness campaigns that are also aiming to dismantle a stricture that’s long existed in the country: a reluctance to talk about important social issues in terms of race.

“It’s difficult in Brazil to point out racism,” says Alexandre Ciconello, a human rights expert and adviser to Amnesty in Rio de Janeiro. “It’s a taboo for the elite of the country and for politicians and authorities. They always say ‘Brazil is a mixed country, we are not the US, we are not South Africa,’ and if you raise racial questions, you’re seen as trying to separate that.”…

Read the entire article and listen to the story here.

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Revisiting Palmares: Maroon Communities in Brazil (Celeste Henery)

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive on 2015-11-12 16:37Z by Steven

Revisiting Palmares: Maroon Communities in Brazil (Celeste Henery)

African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS)

Celeste Henery, Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Texas, Austin

This is a guest post by Celeste Henery, a Research Associate at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies. She completed a PhD in Anthropology at UT in 2010. Her research and writing focuses on issues of gendered blackness, mental wellness, and diaspora. She has conducted anthropological research in Brazil and in the United States. In addition to working on her book manuscript, she is applying her anthropological and race scholarship as a social historian for post-conviction habeas corpus proceedings. Dr. Henery is currently continuing her research on gender and race with a geographic focus on Texas and the U.S. South.

AAIHS Blogger Greg Childs’ recent post, “Visible Fugitives,” initiates a welcomed conversation about black geographies. As Childs suggests, quilombos, or maroon communities in Brazil, have played integral roles in the social constructions of such notions as the urban and rural, as well as conceptions of black subjectivity and resistance in Brazil. In the years following the fall of Palmares, quilombos persisted. In 1988, when Brazil’s current Constitution was drafted, quilombos attained state recognition and guarantees to their land. The 1988 Constitution and subsequent legislation created a bureaucratic process for quilombos to acquire land titles. According to statistics from the Fundação Cultural Palmares and the INCRA (the National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform), the two state agencies responsible for the recognition and land titling of quilombos, there are over 2,500 recognized communities—1,528 in the titling process and 196 possess titles.

However, much like their ancestors, many quilombolas, or quilombo descendants continue to struggle to stay connected to their lands and sustain themselves in spite of titles. Issues of geography and land are intricately woven into their livelihood and they raise pertinent questions about quilombos and the interplay of black geography and black racial politics in Brazil. For those interested in diaspora, quilombos also provide another critical subject of discussion about the familiar notions of home, dispersal, and sustainability–all factors that are pertinent to disparate black realities.

This post draws on my fieldwork in several quilombola communities in the state of Goiás, Brazil. These communities had registered, if not already had received their title by the time I began conducting research in 2005. These were all rural communities. One was more remote than the others–at a distance from infrastructure such as stores, hospitals, and social services. As a result, their geography presented distinct and ongoing challenges…

Read the entire article here.

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The Color of Love Lecture & Book Signing

Posted in Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Family/Parenting, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2015-11-12 04:01Z by Steven

The Color of Love Lecture & Book Signing

University of South Florida
Tampa Library Grace Allen Room, 4th Floor
4202 E. Fowler Ave. LIB122
Tampa, Florida
Monday, 2015-11-16, 11:00-13:00 EST (Local Time)

Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman, Assistant Professor in Sociology and ISLAC

Examining race and gender, Hordge-Freeman illustrates [in her new book, The Color of Love: Racial Features, Stigma, and Socialization in Black Brazilian Families] the privileges of whiteness, by revealing how those with “blacker” features often experience material and emotional hardships, and how it is connected to the distribution of affection within families. Racial hierarchies may orchestrate family relationships in ways that reflect and reproduce racial inequality at large, but black Brazilian families actively negotiate these hierarchies to assert their citizenship and humanity.

Open to all public. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information, click here.

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The Color of Love: Racial Features, Stigma, and Socialization in Black Brazilian Families

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science on 2015-11-12 03:22Z by Steven

The Color of Love: Racial Features, Stigma, and Socialization in Black Brazilian Families

University of Texas Press
November 2015
328 pages
6 x 9
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4773-0238-5
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4773-0788-5

Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman, Assistant Professor of Sociology with a joint appointment in the Institute for the Study of Latin America & the Caribbean
University of South Florida

Drawing on more than one hundred interviews and observations within ten core families, this study of intimate relationships as sites of racial socialization reveals a new facet of race-based differential treatment and its origins—and the mechanisms that perpetuate these strata across generations.

The Color Of Love reveals the power of racial hierarchies to infiltrate our most intimate relationships. Delving far deeper than previous sociologists have into the black Brazilian experience, Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman examines the relationship between racialization and the emotional life of a family. Based on interviews and a sixteen-month ethnography of ten working-class Brazilian families, this provocative work sheds light on how families simultaneously resist and reproduce racial hierarchies. Examining race and gender, Hordge-Freeman illustrates the privileges of whiteness by revealing how those with “blacker” features often experience material and emotional hardships. From parental ties, to sibling interactions, to extended family and romantic relationships, the chapters chart new territory by revealing the connection between proximity to whiteness and the distribution of affection within families.

Hordge-Freeman also explores how black Brazilian families, particularly mothers, rely on diverse strategies that reproduce, negotiate, and resist racism. She frames efforts to modify racial features as sometimes reflecting internalized racism, and at other times as responding to material and emotional considerations. Contextualizing their strategies within broader narratives of the African diaspora, she examines how Salvador’s inhabitants perceive the history of the slave trade itself in a city that is referred to as the “blackest” in Brazil. She argues that racial hierarchies may orchestrate family relationships in ways that reflect and reproduce racial inequality, but black Brazilian families actively negotiate these hierarchies to assert their citizenship and humanity.

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“I am a woman. I’m from the periphery. But I still have an advantage: I’m white” – The recognition of white privilege and racism

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive on 2015-11-06 02:43Z by Steven

“I am a woman. I’m from the periphery. But I still have an advantage: I’m white” – The recognition of white privilege and racism

Black Women of Brazil: The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent
Source: Geledés Instituto da Mulher Negra, “Sou mulher. Suburbana. Mas ainda tô na vantagem: sou branca

Camila Castanho Miranda

I am a woman. I’m from the periphery. But I still have an advantage: I’m white.

Yesterday I heard something that captivated me to write about a topic that always touches me, but I never feel able to write about it: racism. Obviously I never suffered racism. I’m white. So I decided to write from the point of view that fits me best, that of the oppressor.

The first thing I need to say is that assuming the place of the oppressor is not being a bad person or something like that. It’s simply understanding my historical position in society. The second important thing here is that, depending on the circumstance and deepening of my family tree, I cannot be white. But it’s not what my skin and my hair say to society. So when talking about racism, I’m white indeed. I could be beige, if you will. It doesn’t matter, I’m not black. I was never oppressed because of my image.

I don’t know you, but it took me a lot to me to realize that racism existed. It’s hard to notice the little racism of everyday life when you don’t suffer from it…

Read the entire article here.

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Race Relations In Brazil

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Slavery, Social Science on 2015-11-01 23:03Z by Steven

Race Relations In Brazil


Evan Mextorf

Is racial democracy real?

If one was to ask a member of the Brazilian government if racism exists within the country, they would more than likely say no. They might say “Brazil is a racial democracy. Sure, there are social factors such as gender and class that could inhibit one’s climb up the economic ladder, but race has no bearing.” The fact, however, that the country imported more slaves than any country in the world, and that Brazil was the last country in the New World to abolish slavery, makes it hard for outsiders to understand the concept of racial democracy in Brazil.

Portugal founded its first settlement in Brazil in 1532, and from that point on, the Portuguese began to expand throughout South America, originally using mainly indigenous slaves for agricultural purposes. Unlike the island of Hispaniola, the indigenous people of Brazil were not killed off at such an alarming rate, which made them much cheaper slaves than African slaves that needed to be imported. African slaves. however, lived longer under their extreme working conditions than those of indigenous descent due to their previous exposure to European diseases. Even though indigenous slaves were cheaper, African slaves were imported at a rapid rate, because it was cheaper to import slaves rather than to “breed” slaves through families, a practice most notably performed by the United States. Brazil imported more African slaves from the sixteenth through the eighteenth century than anywhere else in the Western hemisphere. Following the Haitian revolution, some slaves in Brazil wanted to fight for their rights as humans…

Read the entire article here.

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The Spectacle of the Races: Scientists, Institutions, and the Race Questions in Brazil, 1870-1930 (review)

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Health/Medicine/Genetics, History, Media Archive, Social Science on 2015-10-29 22:10Z by Steven

The Spectacle of the Races: Scientists, Institutions, and the Race Questions in Brazil, 1870-1930 (review)

Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Volume 75, Number 1, Spring 2001
pages 152-153
DOI: 10.1353/bhm.2001.0014

J. D. Goodyear, Senior Lecturer and Associate Director, Public Health Studies Program
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

Lilia Moritz Schwarcz. The Spectacle of the Races: Scientists, Institutions, and the Race Questions in Brazil, 1870-1930. Translated by Leland Guyer. Originally published as O espetáculo das raças: Cientistas, instituições e questão racial no Brasil, 1870-1930 (Brazil: Companhia das Letras, 1993). New York: Hill and Wang, 1999. ix + 355 pp. Ill. $35.00.

Brazil, like the United States, is an immigrant nation with an extensive history of slavery: in more than three hundred years of slave trading, Brazil received an estimated 3.5 million Africans. But unlike the United States, in Brazil slavery permeated all of the cities as well as the many distinctive regions. And with slavery came widespread miscegenation — a phenomenon that has shaped not only the demography of modern Brazil but also its intellectual history and cultural identity.

As the nineteenth century unfolded, Brazil shed its status as a Portuguese colony and educated elites sought to adopt notions of progress that were derived from ideas of the Enlightenment and the emerging power of science. Toward the end of the century, the thought of Darwin, Spencer, and the positivists lay at the core of debates about race and Brazil’s potential to achieve order and progress. Lilia Moritz Schwarcz takes up the challenge of examining the social history of racial ideas held by a range of Brazilian “shadowy men of science” (p. 16). In so doing she offers us a remarkable playbill of the extensive cast of characters and the plots that shaped the intellectual discourse among elites in Brazil for more than six decades.

Schwarcz focuses on the naturalists, historians, legal theorists, and physicians who sought to rationalize Brazilian social realities in light of nineteenth-century European thought. These are her “shadowy men” who engaged in defining the role of race in Brazilian identity. As a group, they were well educated and eager to participate in the debates begun in Europe and fueled by Darwinism and positivism. Other scholars who have visited this topic paint with much broader strokes. A great strength of this book is that Schwarcz teases apart the positions of the various players, examining the nuances that distinguish different lines of race thought. She has made a conscious effort to articulate the original contributions of Brazilians to the social construction of race that, by her estimate, occurred by the turn of the century. Another strength lies in her effort to take a comprehensive look at educated elites writing in different genres. Rather than isolating a single set of professionals, or concentrating on elites located in a single region of the country, she takes up the challenging task of reviewing extensive published materials across several disciplines. Through content analysis of journal articles, as well as close reading of editorials, theses, and treatises, she isolates the pivotal role of race in defining Brazil before and after emancipation (1888).

The materials used by Schwarcz are exceptionally rich. Whether analyzing natural history museums or institutes of history and geography, she can compare institutions founded in different cities to discern regional approaches to the meaning of miscegenation for Brazil. In her comparative profiles of the Goeldi Museum in Belém and the (new) National Museum in Rio, she reviews research efforts into physical anthropology as they relate to the perceived negative impact of Amerindians and Afro-Brazilians on the country’s ability to achieve sociocultural progress. She continues in the same style with her comparison of Brazil’s two law schools (at São Paulo and Recife) and two medical schools (at Bahia and Rio). She captures the individual approaches of different institutions through in-depth analyses of their respective journals and other publications that document the scholarly output each institution encouraged and found deserving. The jurists tended to view themselves as “masters in the process of civilization” (p. 233), and they repeatedly addressed issues of race and race-mixing as matters of penal law, criminal anthropology, and social policy. At the two medical schools, the physicians and medical students wrote regularly about race…

Read or purchase the article here.

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Brazil through French Eyes: A Nineteenth-Century Artist in the Tropics

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery on 2015-10-22 00:01Z by Steven

Brazil through French Eyes: A Nineteenth-Century Artist in the Tropics

University of New Mexico Press
October 2015
264 pages
59 halftones
6 x 9 in.
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8263-3745-0

Ana Lucia Araujo, Professor of History
Howard University, Washington, D.C.

In 1858 François-Auguste Biard, a well-known sixty-year-old French artist, arrived in Brazil to explore and depict its jungles and the people who lived there. What did he see and how did he see it? In this book historian Ana Lucia Araujo examines Biard’s Brazil with special attention to what she calls his “tropical romanticism”: a vision of the country with an emphasis on the exotic.

Biard was not only one of the first European artists to encounter and depict native Brazilians, but also one of the first travelers to photograph the rain forest and its inhabitants. His 1862 travelogue Deux années en Brésil includes 180 woodcuts that reveal Brazil’s reliance on slave labor as well as describe the landscape, flora, and fauna, with lively narratives of his adventures and misadventures in the rain forest. Thoroughly researched, Araujo places Biard’s work in the context of the European travel writing of the time and examines how representations of Brazil through French travelogues contributed and reinforced cultural stereotypes and ideas about race and race relations in Brazil. She further summarizes that similar representations continue and influence perspectives today.

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Brazilian television slowly confronts country’s deeply entrenched race issues

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive on 2015-10-18 20:59Z by Steven

Brazilian television slowly confronts country’s deeply entrenched race issues

The Guardian

Bruce Douglas
Rio de Janeiro

Mister Brau features a black couple known as Brazil’s Jay Z and Beyoncé in the lead roles – an unprecedented move in a country whose majority black population has long been sidelined in its leading leisure-time industry

In the middle of the night, a young black couple pull up at the entrance to an elegant mansion in an upper-class neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro.

Excitedly, they walk through the empty building into the garden and jump into the swimming pool. Their laughter wakes a white woman living next door.

Immediately, she grabs her binoculars. “Thieves,” she cries, and orders her sleepy husband to call security.

But it turns out that – as far the twitchy neighbour is concerned – the couple are much worse than trespassers: they are the new owners.

So begins Mister Brau, a new musical sitcom on Globo, Brazil’s dominant television network, whose central conceit is the culture clash between a black nouveau-riche pop star duo and their snobbish white neighbours.

For Brazil, a television show featuring a wealthy black couple in a lead role is unprecedented. Despite a majority black or mixed-race population, Brazilian television is overwhelmingly dominated by whites, both on and off screen. In a country where 81% of the population describes TV as their main source of leisure, this absence is coming under increased scrutiny.

“This show portrays a middle-class black couple who are economically successful,” Joel Zito Araújo, an award-winning Brazilian film-maker, said. “For Brazil, sadly, this is revolutionary.”…

Read the entire article here.

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