Afro-Brazilians: Cultural Production in a Racial Democracy
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. Niyi Afolabi teaches Luso-Brazilian, Yoruba, and African Diaspora studies in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese as well as the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
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Abdias do Nascimento African Afro Afro-Brazilian culture Afro-Brazilian women Afro-modernity ancestral Arnaldo Xavier artistic Arturos Bahia becomes Black Movement Brandao Brazil Brazilian Cadernos negros Camargo Candomble captures Carnival casa celebration challenge color consciousness critical cultural producers Cuti death Dias diaspora Fayola film freedom Garcia Gil's Gilberto Gil Guimaraes Iaia identity ideological Ile-Aiye images Jorge Jorge Amado Lima Barreto literary literature living lover Lu1s Machado de Assis memory Miriam Alves modernity mother mulher mundo myth negra negritude Nigeria Olinto Oliveira Olodum oppression Orpheus pagode pain Palmares paradigm participation passion poem poemas poet poetic voice poetry political popular protest Quilombhoje Quilombo race racial democracy racism Raimundo reality resistance Ribeiro Rio de Janeiro Salvador samba Sao Paulo sense Silva sing slave slavery social society song soul spiritual story struggle symbolic tion tradition Trindade Tropicalismo Tutuca woman writers Xica Xica da Silva Yemoja Yoruba Zumbi