Chapter Four examines the specifically black urban counterculture associated with the so-called Black Rio movement. Black Rio was a cultural phenomenon that brought together predominantly black, working-class youth from Rio’s north zone for dance parties, called bailes soul featuring recorded music from the United States. The author discusses in particular the work of Dom Filó, a black activist and baile soul promoter. At the same time, local Brazilian artists, like Tim Maia and Gerson King, forged a distinctly Brazilian soul music sung in Portuguese. Largely dismissed by critics as a passing fad, the Black Rio movement can be understood as a cultural response to dominant racial discourse, which celebrated Brazil as a racially democratic mestiço nation largely free from racism. Though not overtly or stridently political, the Black Rio movement created conditions for Afro-Brazilian youth to affirm a distinct ethnic identity. This chapter places these black cultural movements in the context of countercultural discourse, seeking to explore points of dialogue and discord with other social movements.
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