The Politics of Afro-Brazilian Identity

Stephen Selka

in Religion and the Politics of Ethnic Identity in Bahia, Brazil

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780813031712
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039572 | DOI:
The Politics of Afro-Brazilian Identity

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This chapter discusses the complex and contested ways in which religion is enmeshed with the politics of Afro-Brazilian identity. As shown in the previous chapters of the book, religion and Afro-Brazilian identity shared a complex relationship. Although Candomblé served as an emblem of Afro-Brazilian identity, the relationship between the religion and blackness is more than a simple and straightforward type of connectedness. This chapter attempts to address the issues surrounding the multiplicity and complexity of Afro-Brazilian identity and racial politics wherein a shared common identity and a shared political agenda were foreign concepts to people of African descent. Three major themes are discussed in this chapter that aim to address the issues of the rather varied stand on Afro-Brazilian identity and the approaches to racial politics. This chapter begins with a discussion on the relationship between religion and identity. The succeeding discussion draws on theoretical approaches to provide a better understanding of the connections between collective identities and power relations. The chapter concludes with the macropolitical questions concerning the politics of identity and the black movement in Brazil.

Keywords: religion; politics; Afro-Brazilian identity; Candomblé; racial politics; identity; collective identities; power relations

Chapter.  13311 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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