Kilombismo, Virtual Whiteness, and the Sorcery of Color

Kilombismo, Virtual Whiteness, and the Sorcery of Color

Journal of Black Studies
Volume 34, Number 6 (2004)
pages 861-880
DOI: 10.1177/0021934704264009

Elisa Larkin Nascimento
Afro-Brazilian Studies and Research Institute

This article explores the legacy and current presence of racism in Brazil, particularly their unique expression in the juxtaposition of the miscegenation ideology of nonracism with the living legacy of Lombrosian criminology. The author proposes the Sorcery of Color as a metaphor for the Brazilian standard of race relations, which transforms a perverse system of racial domination into a pretense of antiracist ideals and establishes what the author describes as the category of virtual whiteness, a fulcrum of identity intrinsically intermeshed with issues of gender and patriarchy. The groundings of Afrocentric thought can be found in the writings and actions of African Brazilian intellectuals of the 20th century, and its most articulated expression is the thesis of Kilombismo, developed by Abdias do Nascimento in the context of his work in Pan-African affairs in the 1970s and 1980s.

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