São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Salvador da Bahia, 1950–1964
This chapter discusses the problem with negro theater, negro newspapers, and negro clubs. It was not just that they undermined the idea that Brazil was truly a society without racism and therefore without need for social transformation. Perhaps more ominously, groups or publications built around distinctly negro racial identities threatened the increasingly widespread idea of a unified Brazilian identity blessed by the absence of racial divisions. At midcentury, this idea was dear not just to conservatives like the Globo editorialist, who, from the extreme position of denying that Brazil ever had racism, saw negro organizations of any kind as out of place and even treasonous. It was also dear to moderate and progressive social scientists committed to democracy and antiracism, and even to leftist thinkers and politicians who aspired to foment cross-racial alliances among the Brazilian povo.
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