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Brazil's New Racial Politics

Bernd Reiter and Gladys L. Mitchell, editors
Brazil's New Racial Politics
ISBN: 978-1-58826-666-8
ISBN: 978-1-62637-127-9
2009/251 pages/LC: 2009014226

"Brings together some of the most exciting current scholarship on race and racism in Brazil."—Kia Lilly Caldwell, National Political Science Review

"The essays combine careful reporting and documentation ... with a strong moral commitment." —Choice

"This informative, wide-ranging, and stimulating collection provides a critical look at the grassroots of Afro-Brazilian politics. Invaluable."—David Covin, California State University, Sacramento

"Excellent.... Gathering together a broad spectrum of current political debates about the role of race in shaping national identity, this unique volume forcefully debunks Brazil's foundational myth of racial democracy with solid research and data."—Leni M. Silverstein, LMS Strategies for Development and New York University

"A welcome addition to the scholarship on race, racism, inequality, and politics in contemporary. This volume’s interdisciplinary array of approaches and perspectives will help readers navigate the complexities of equal access and opportunity, conflict, and negotiation in a society that has undergone significant transformation in the past twenty years."—Michael Hanchard, Johns Hopkins University


As the popular myth of racial equality in Brazil crumbles beneath the weight of current grassroots politics, how will the country redefine itself as a multiethnic nation? Brazil’s New Racial Politics captures the myriad questions and problems unleashed by a growing awareness of the ways racism structures Brazilian society.

The authors bridge the gap between scholarship and activism as they tackle issues ranging from white privilege to black power, from government policy to popular advocacy, and from historical injustices to recent victories. The result is a rich exploration of the conflicting social realities characterizing Brazil today, as well as their far-reaching political implications.


Bernd Reiter is associate professor of political science at the University of South Florida. Gladys L. Mitchell is assistant professor of political science at Denison University.


  • Foreword—Michael Mitchell.
  • The New Politics of Race in Brazil—the Editors.
  • Whiteness as Capital: Constructing Inclusion and Defending Privilege—B. Reiter.
  • Politicizing Blackness: Afro-Brazilian Color Identification and Candidate Preference—G.L. Mitchell.
  • Out of Place: The Experience of the Black Middle Class—A. Figueiredo.
  • The Political Shock of the Year: The Press and the Election of a Black Mayor in São Paulo—C.L.P. Oliveira.
  • Affirmative Action and Identity—S. Racusen.
  • Opportunities and Challenges for the Afro-Brazilian Movement—M. Treviño González.
  • Racialized History and Urban Politics: Black Women’s Wisdom in Grassroots Struggles—K.-K.Y. Perry.
  • Black NGOs and "Conscious" Rap: New Agents of the Antiracism Struggle in Brazil—S.A. dos Santos.
  • Power and Black Organizing in Brazil—F. Conceição.
  • New Social Activism: University Entry Courses for Black and Poor Students—R.E. dos Santos.
  • After the Racial Democracy—the Editors.