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June 22, 2021, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Race, Racism, and Antiracism in the U.S. and Brazil

Speaker: Antonio José Bacelar da Silva, Assistant Professor - Brazil Studies and Linguistic Anthropology, University of Arizona

In contrast to the United States where issues of racial equity and segregation have been defining characteristics of our history, Brazil’s national culture and identity hinge on its history of racial mixture and the idea that there are no racial divisions in the country. However, like the United States, whether acknowledged or not, racial inequity is an inherent part of Brazilian society. In recent years, the Brazilian black movement has been working to bring attention to and improve the situation of structural racism in Brazil. This movement is very similar to what we are experiencing in the United States and highlights how racial inequity is not just a problem here, but globally.

Antonio Bacelar da Silva’s forthcoming book, Between Brown and Black: Antiracist Activism among Afro-Brazilians, addresses racial inequity by exploring three areas: (1) black consciousness classes, (2) the racial quotas system, and (3) electoral politics. On June 22nd, Dr. Bacelar da Silva will discuss the similarities between the racial equity movements in Brazil and the United States and how we can learn from one another.



Thank you to our sponsors and co-sponsors below, as well as the Brazil Gateway.


antonio josé bacelar da silva

Antonio José Bacelar da Silva

Assistant Professor, Brazil Studies and Linguistic Anthropology

University of Arizona

Antonio José Bacelar da Silva earned his Ph.D. in Linguistic and Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Arizona in December 2012. He also holds an M.A. in Second Language Studies from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Before joining the Center for Latin America Studies at the University of Arizona, he was a CAPES (Brazil) Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow in the Graduate Studies in Language and Culture at the Universidade Federal da Bahia (Salvador, Brazil) from 2014-2016. During that period, he conducted ethnographic research on the impact of electoral campaigning with a race appeal on Afro-Brazilian voters in Salvador. Funded by CAPES and a Post-Ph.D. Wenner-Gren grant, this study focuses on Afro-Brazilians’ struggle to reconcile Brazil’s dominant ideology of race mixing, the obligations of liberal citizenship (to treat people as equal citizens), and government policies on affirmative action.

He is currently interested in the intersections of race, class, and citizenship on democratic participation in and beyond Brazil. His teaching and research interests also include social theory, qualitative research methods, language and culture, identity (race, gender, class), language ideology and inequality.