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Afro-Politics and Civil Society in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil$
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Kwame Dixon

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062617

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062617.001.0001

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The Contradictions of Cultural Politics in Salvador da Bahia

The Contradictions of Cultural Politics in Salvador da Bahia

1970s to the Present

(p.38) 3 The Contradictions of Cultural Politics in Salvador da Bahia
Afro-Politics and Civil Society in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil

Kwame Dixon

University Press of Florida

This chapter focuses on Afro–social movements and the rise of civil society in Brazil from the middle of the 1970s until the present. It analyzes the burgeoning rise of blocos afros (carnival blocks or clubs) as horizontal Black social movements as they burst onto the scene in Brazil and Salvador in the 1970s and 1980s. Many of these movements were deemed “cultural” as they emphasized Afro-Diasporic music, religion, identity, and Black consciousness. At the same time similar, more politicized Black movements arose in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Salvador with explicit discourse framed around questions of racial equality, social discrimination, and citizenship. These various formations—that is, blocos afros, Black social movements, and rising Black electoral political movements—have their early foundations in the emergence of Brazilian civil society during the transition to democracy in the mid to late 1980s. Afro–civil society groups were central not only in expanding concepts of citizenship but also in developing new means of participation that were more horizontal than vertical in nature.

Keywords:   Blocos afros, Brazil, Black consciousness

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