Voicing race and antiracism: Toward a broader understanding of black consciousness among Afro-Brazilians

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Brazil has recently engaged in a wide-ranging policy shift to confront racial inequality. In this context, an unprecedented number of Afro-Brazilians have embraced antiracist activism. Based on ethnographic investigations of three black organizations in the city of Salvador (Bahia, Brazil), this article explores Afro- Brazilians' understandings of black consciousness and its place in contemporary black mobilization in Brazil. As they tell stories of their involvement in black activism, Afro-Brazilians use language to creatively juxtapose national narratives animated by Brazil's ideology of racial mixture with race-conscious discourse set forth by recent antiracist legislation and policies. In the process, they engage in a dialogic revision and re-editing of the dominant discursive notions of blackness in Brazil. Black consciousness emerges in Afro-Brazilians' narratives as an ideological critique in and through language that crosses racial identifi cations and articulates competing ideological positions about race and racism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-68
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Anthropological Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Afro-Brazilians
  • Brazil
  • Identity politics
  • Racial consciousness
  • Racial identity
  • Racism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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