Challenging racism in Brazil: Legal suits in the context of the 1951 anti-discrimination law

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Abstract

This article examines efforts to define the nature of racial discrimination in Brazil, within an environment shaped by perceptions of the meaning of racism in the United States and perceptions about the nature of race relations in the lusophone world. The article asks how did black Brazilians work to define discrimination, and what opportunities did they find to mount challenges? This study elucidates reactions to discrimination, looking for these acts where they occurred rather than where the U.S. experience tells us to find them, exploring efforts to define discrimination and to create means to challenge it. Though these efforts often dialogued with ever-present perceptions about race in the U.S., they were adapted to particular legal, political, social and cultural circumstances in the Brazil of their time. In particular, I examine challenges to discrimination through criminal suits brought under Brazil's 1951 anti-discrimination law.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-185
Number of pages23
JournalVaria Historia
Volume33
Issue number61
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • Brazil
  • Law
  • Race relations
  • Racial discrimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History

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