The Bolsonaro Election, Antiblackness, and Changing Race Relations in Brazil

Antonio José Bacelar da Silva, Erika Robb Larkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We apply the concept of antiblackness and a Deleuzian approach to sociopolitical events to analyze Jair Bolsonaro's 2018 election in Brazil. Historically, Brazilians turned from overt expressions of antiblackness to subtler forms of racial prejudice, what Sérgio Buarque de Holanda (1956) called the “cordial man” who practiced a “gentlemanly” form of white supremacy. Recently, however, cordial racism has eroded in favor of more virulent and explosive manifestations of antiblackness that fueled the sociopolitical climate that enabled Bolsonaro's rise to power. We examine the antiblack backlash against race-conscious laws and policies implemented during the Workers’ Party era (2002–16), showing a gradual shift toward more overt expressions of antiblackness that Bolsonaro wielded to political effect in his 2018 campaign. [affirmative action, blackness, Bolsonaro, Brazil, race].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)893-913
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology


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