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Grupo de Trabalho 5
Mitigating Boundaries: Negotiating Race, Class and Gender in the Work of an NGO in Bahia, Brazil

Margaret Willson[1]


When I first arrived in Salvador in 1991, I stayed with the relatives of friends I had made in Amsterdam. This family lived in a very poor part of Pernambues, itself a poor neighborhood at the periphery of Salvador. An open sewer ran in front of the house. This sewer emptied out into an even larger sewer at the bottom of the hill. Although the toilet of my hosts did not work, at least they had a house (largely because of money sent from Amsterdam). Their neighbor’s home consisted of rubble piled to make unstable walls, topped by a roof of broken boards. At the bottom of the hill, next to the larger sewer, young children who seemed to have no parents lived in a make-shift tent of torn blue plastic. Despite the daily scrubbing that the daughters of my hosts gave to their own house, cockroaches lived happily on the bathroom walls and in the kitchen cupboards, while rats lurked under the washing trough. The children from the blue tent begged daily at the door for food.

My hosts, however, were extremely hospitable. The daughters shared with me their beds in the tiny airless room where they slept, and the day after my arrival, they set out to show me what they considered beautiful and important in their city.

They took me to see a mall. The contrast could hardly have been more extreme. Light, airy, clean hallways were flanked by inviting shops sporting top-brand fashion and housewares. Music played from a well-designed stereo system while escalators silently moved people from one well-lit floor to the next. In architecture and goods sold, this shopping center was equal to the best of its kind in the world. And the majority of the people in this mall looked well-fed, well-dressed and, like myself--and unlike my companions--they were light-skinned.

My companions and I paused before shops that sold goods the girls could never buy and they smiled as if in pride, showing off these stores to me, wanting me to be as delighted as they were. Constantly they urged me to buy something. I refused and increasingly grew uncomfortable, acutely aware that my ability to buy these goods underlined and reinforced the economic, class--and racial--differences between myself and the girls who were my hosts.

The longer we wandered the mall, the more my confusion and discomfort grew. I was no stranger to inequality and racism--I am after all from the United States. What I couldn’t understand was the girls’ reaction to the mall. Why were they so eager to show me this center of consumable materialism that seemed to me a blatant symbol of their oppression? Why was their inclination not one of anger, to smash the colorful displays? And where was their anger at those lighter-skinned, well-dressed people who clearly had advantages so explicitly denied them? Indeed, where was their anger at me?

These are questions I continued to ask myself and others as I lived in Salvador; my reflections upon them deeply influenced the non-profit, Bahia Street, that I later founded with my collogue Rita Conceição. This paper explores some of these questions and the process of incorporating them into the goals and infrastructure of a non-governmental organization (NGO). The theoretical discussions of the paper will focus on: a) how race, class and gender affect not only the work of an NGO and those upon whom the action is being engaged, but also how issues of race, class and gender affect the infrastructure of the NGO itself, how these dynamics of actor and action are related and inter-related; and b) how practices of ‘education’ can be enlarged to include the social structure of an NGO itself, thus giving it a platform from which to question a status quo that affects each participant differently.  


A Status Quo of Inequality: Race, Class and Gender in Brazil

 It is well documented in the 1990s that inequality and discrimination with regard to race, class and gender exist in Brazil. This is despite prevalent popular opinion, influenced by the media, that Brazil is still a country of racial harmony. Legal discrimination is forbidden in the 1988 Constitution as follows: “The practice of racism constitutes a crime....subject to imprisonment.” (cited in Davis 1999:12) However, Afro-Brazilians (defined as pretos {blacks} and pardos{browns}) have a 30 percent higher infant mortality rate and are 50% more likely to leave school without learning how to read. In the Northeast, the infant mortality rate is as high as 96.3 per 1000 as compared to 68 per 1000 in white people. (Davis 1999:23) Vega, in 1988, reported that slaves in the past were much better off than poor people today, (ibid)

Brazil’s overall literacy rate is low compared to other Latin American countries, but reflects an average that is fairly high for whites and very low for Afro-Brazilians (the ratio of literate to non-literate people is 5.4:1 for whites, 1.8:1 for pretos and 1.9:1 for pardos. Davis 1999:24). The percentage of whites who have less than one year of formal education is 19%, for pretos it is 36% and for pardos 35%. The number of illiterate Afro-Brazilians is double that of whites (18% vs 36.3%). Afro-Brazilians stay in school an average of 2.5 years, 13.6% complete elementary school and only 2.1% complete high school (compared to 9.2% of the whites, over four times as many)(Hanchard 1999:156). Of the people I know in the favelas of Salvador, even those few who have managed to finish the sixth grade in a public school have difficulty reading the simplest writing and are constantly asking me to read for them.

The Brazilian education system requires students to pass an exam, the vestibular, to enter higher education. To pass this exam requires a good secondary education--and that is only available in the private schools. Since only people with higher incomes can send their children to the private schools, only their children have the chance to enter university.  Afro-Brazilians earn 44.1% of what whites earn (46% according to Hanchard 1999:157). The lower incomes clearly influence the fact that less than one percent of Afro-Brazilians finish higher education. (Davis 1999:24) Not surprisingly, whites are 5.3 times as likely as blacks to be employed in professional occupations. (Telles 1999:89) This inequality extends also to their mobility and access to financial resoures. Only 17% of Afro-Brazilians have a bank account compared to 40.6% for whites, while only 10.9% of Afro-Brazilians have a driver’s license, compared to 33% of the whites (Hassenbalg and do Valle Silva 1999:157)

Both social scientists and Brazilian popular opinion have put forward that, in Brazil, class counts more than, or equally with, race in issues of social equality, and that money ‘whitens.’(Freyre 1946, Skidmore 1974, etc) Contrary to this accepted stance, recent research by Telles shows that c”lass does not affect racial identification” in Brazil (1999:82) and, like Hasenbalg and do Valle Silva (1985), counters ideas of the ‘mulatto escape hatch.’ Telles, using Brazilian census data, found that the differential in income and education between whites and Afro-Brazilians was high, while the differential between blacks and browns was comparatively negligible. For example, income levels for browns was 44.7% of that of whites, and for blacks they were 40.2%. Both figures are less than half of the average white income.

The theory that money ‘whitens’ suggests that “the middle-class status of persons who appear to be black or brown allows them to be treated and even identified as whites. Evidence based on a recent Datafolha survey of 5,081 persons in 121 municipalities in Brazil, however, reveals that white--non-white income differences are greater when race is evaluated by the interviewers rather than by self-identification” (Telles1999:88, my italics). These findings are corroborated by ethnographic evidence by Hanchard (1999), stories about overt acts of racism recounted to me by dark middle-class Brazilians and derogatory comments made by white middle-class people about their Afro-Brazilian middle-class acquaintances. Thus, it appears that, contrary to popular opinion, race is a major factor in social relations of equality in Brazil. Indeed, the very concept ‘money whitens’ maintains that, in order to be equal, the blacks must become, symbolically if not physically, ‘white.’ A black person being equal as a black does not fit in this scheme.

Gender inequality in Brazil is also evident, particularly for Afro-Brazilian women. Feminists in Brazil in the 1970s and 80s, like other political groups, paid little attention to race, focusing their attention instead on issues of class. But more recent studies have shown that gender and racial inequalities in income and education have only increased with industrialization (Lowell 1999:139-140). Using census data, Lowell (1999:142) shows that 47% of working white women have more than nine years of schooling and only five percent have none, while for Afro-Brazilians working women, only 22% have more than nine years and 17% have no formal education at all.

Job opportunities for both white and Afro-Brazilian women do seem to be gradually improving, although Afro-Brazilians remain far behind. Only 1.5% have management or administrator positions, and only 14.3% have jobs in the professional or technical fields, contributing to a total of 34.1% in white collar jobs.  For working white women, the figure is 63.1%. The number of Afro-Brazilian women working as domestics is 36.5% (compared to 14.8% of whites, while 65.8% have blue collar jobs (compared to 37% for white working women). (Lowell 1999:144). In all job categories, Afro-Brazilian women earned less than whites.

If one compares Afro-Brazilian women to Afro-Brazilian men, they earn, in all professions, about half of what the men do (57% in white collar jobs and 48% of what the men earn in blue collar jobs) (Lowell 1999:147). Comparing Afro-Brazilian women’s incomes to that of white men show an even greater inequality: while Afro Brazilian men earn on average half of what white men do, Afro-Brazilian women earn only a quarter of what white men earn for the same work.


The Bahia Street Program

Although I did not know the specifics of the above statistics when Rita and I started Bahia Street about two and a half years ago, I certainly understood them in principal as they exist in Salvador, Bahia. Bahia Street arose from a desire on both Rita and my parts to break cycles of poverty and to effect change in the conditions of the favelas. Rita was influences by the struggles of people whom she had known all her life (having grown up in a favela in Salvador herself), while I was influenced by the physical and emotional destruction of people in the favelas who had become my close friends in the years I was conducting anthropological fieldwork there. We began by talking with people in several of the favelas in Salvador, asking them what they thought would be effective in making the greatest change while starting small and manageable. The answer, almost universally, was education. In particular education for girls, because the girls, it was considered, have even less chances than boys to get any kind of meaningful or profitable work.

We decided that Bahia Street should be a long-term and total commitment: to send the girls to top quality schools and to support their efforts until they passed the vestibular --perhaps even beyond that. We set up a selection process that included people from the favelas and we tried hard to select girls who would be strong in the face of certain racial and class discrimination. We chose a school at the city’s center so that the girls would not have to go each day to a middle-class neighborhood where their feelings of difference would only increase. And with the generous support of Sociedade Unificador de Professores, provided a space and tutors for the girls to help them achieve the standards required of middle-class schools.

The goals we have developed for Bahia Street are: To break cycles of poverty in the favelas of Brazil by providing young girls with the opportunity for quality education; to provide mentoring and tutoring for these young women so they can graduate from a private school and enter universities and other professional training; to teach these young women leadership skills and a sense of social consciousness so that they can return to the favelas and make a positive difference to their families and the community; to develop an international infrastructure that empowers all the participants, regardless of class, ethnicity or nationality, so that they can work together to improve the human condition.  The objectives of Bahia Street are: to identify promising girls between the ages of 8 and 14 who are strong, studious and eager to pursue an education; to identify mentors within the favela communities who will provide the girls with support and encouragement throughout their studies; to train and hire tutors who will teach the girls the necessary skills to enable them to pass the entrance exams into a private school and university; to provide the girls’ families with counseling, moral support, and, when necessary, limited financial aid to provide the girls with a living environment that does not undermine the girls’ ability to study and learn; to teach all aspects of reproductive health, so that the girls have control over their childbearing; and to develop an international community empowered by the goals and objectives of Bahia Street.

Because of the length of the commitment and because we treat the girls as one would one’s own children, taking the utmost care in overseeing their education, we started with only five girls. In the first year, one of these girls was, amazingly enough, able to pass the entrance exam to a private school. Three of the other girls continued at public school and attended tutoring for one year, while the fifth girl, who came to us completely illiterate, was unable to enter even the first grade in a public school and attended only the tutoring. At the end of the first year, the girl in the private school passed to the next grade, one girl had dropped out and the other three all passed their exams to enter private school, the formerly illiterate girl going directly into the second grade. At the end of the second year, one girl’s family moved away so she was unable to continue, while all of the other three girls passed their exams and entered the next grades in February of 2000. This year, we have added three new girls who will be going through a similar process.

Of the two girls who left the program, neither did so because the girl herself refused to study, rather it was their families that undermined their ability to study, to concentrate and to attend school.  One girl, who is very bright and wanted to be a banker, was stymied by her father, a man who has ‘fathered’ 50 children, and who was very worried that the girl going to school would result in her becoming pregnant. The girl’s mother also kept her at home to babysit instead of allowing her to attend school. The other girl’s mother invited her (the mother’s)-19-year old drug-selling boyfriend to stay with the family. This environment encouraged the girl, then 14, to invite her own 17-year-old boyfriend also to stay. Finally, wanting to be nearer her boyfriend (the drug-selling center where he spent much of his time), the mother moved the family to a far neighborhood on the outskirts of Salvador, a neighborhood even more violent than the favela where the family originally lived.

In providing opportunities for quality education for girls of Salvador’s favelas, the program has been very successful. However, it has also become clear that whatever we do, we have to consider race and political identity in every part of the program.


Identity, Race and Social Action

Our major questions revolve around the kinds of changes we are attempting to effect and how they will relate to what is clearly a status quo of inequality. Our continual discussions, which constantly return to the complex issues of race and identity, relate directly to the complicity I saw among my friends who took me to the mall. If one is providing Afro-Brazilians--and by the mere fact that they are in the favela to begin with is almost complete assurance in Salvador that they will be Afro-Brazilian--with the tools to enter the middle class, why does this mean they will challenge the status quo and effect change themselves other than providing for their families? Indeed, ethnographic evidence points to quite the opposite. As Thereza Santos wrote in confronting the Rota 66 that was assassinating black men in São Paulo during the military dictatorship, that she and the mothers of the murdered men “couldn’t count on the participation of the black movement because its members wanted to be the middle class. Many were and are from the periphery, but refuse to return.” (1999:198) In our discussions, Rita has cited numerous incidence where the worst racial discrimination in job situations she and other Afro-Brazilians have faced have come from Afro-Brazilians who themselves were poor and who have now entered the middle class. This is particularly undermining when one considers the tiny percentage of Afro-Brazilians who actually make this transition and become middle class. One Afro-Brazilian man, originally poor, argued with his white middle-class wife that they should not pay their maid more because it would make it more difficult for other middle-class people to hire them so cheaply. This man’s mother had been a maid herself. Example after example in Salvador show that middle class Afro-Brazilians do not tend to support their communities, indeed they shun them, associating mostly with whites and upholding a status quo that keeps the vast majority of Afro-Brazilians impoverished and powerless. Through these observations and the ensuing discussions, it became clear that education alone would only produce Afro-Brazilian middle class up-holders of a middle-class status quo.

Researchers have often questioned why Brazil has so few strong Afro-Brazilian leaders as compared to, for example, the United States. Telles (1999) puts forward a very convincing argument, showing that, unlike previous theories, current statistics show that while browns and blacks in Brazil both have great inequality in relation to whites in terms of education and economics, the difference in the United States between dark blacks and light blacks is about the same as the difference between light blacks and whites (dark blacks earning 53.2% of whites and light blacks earning 79.9% of whites). This means that lighter blacks have a comparatively powerful position vis a vis a total social economy. This combined, ironically enough, with the extreme residential racial separatism of the United States (as compared to the mild separatism in Brazil) has, in the United States, created separate black communities where middle-class (generally lighter) blacks could become leaders and the professionals within their own communities. This also facilitated a strong African-Americans identity that does not exist as strongly in Brazil.

The exception to these findings, however, is in Salvador where 79% of the population is Afro-Brazilian. This means that Afro-Brazilians in Salvador often live in communities that are almost entirely non-white. Intriguingly, Telles’ data also shows that Salvador is the only major city in Brazil that has a discernable number of Afro-Brazilians who earn more than 20 minimum salaries. Salvador is also, of course, the center for afro-blocos and other Afro-Brazilian cultural and political groups. It was happy happenstance that in considering issues of identity among the girls entering Bahia Street’s program, we were in a city of several excellent examples for them to watch. However, as a white anthropologist from the United States and an Afro-Brazilian sociologist from Salvador, Rita and I are ourselves facing many issues of race and class as we try to develop a model for change that we realize must include the infrastructure of the NGO itself as well as policies toward those communities with whom we are working. 


Infrastructures for Change

What we have been realizing is that coming to a theoretical understanding of how race and social attitude affect social change is only the beginning. Implementing these abstract know ledges is quite another hairy beast. We have been gaining insights gradually and have been continually reminded that this kind of learning is a process, one that must be continual as the insights grow one upon the other. And we have realized that before we can expect change in the girls and the status quo, we must first look at ourselves.

When Rita and I started Bahia Street, we, like so many before us, focused our efforts toward class.  This attitude was shared by our United States Vice President, Eduardo Mendonça, an Afro-Brazilian from Salvador who is now living in Seattle. We did not specifically select Afro-Brazilian girls and when we, with Eduardo, made the first selection of tutor, we paid attention only to her academic qualifications and an understanding of favela life.  But what has become gradually clear is that race and identity must be central to our project, including our infrastructure. This means that, although we are clearly not separatist (myself as an example), most positions of power in Brazil need to be held by Afro-Brazilians.

This realization did not come without difficulty and was fostered through some of the major problems we have had. Our first major slap in the face came when we agreed to allow a white American female volunteer to help in Salvador. In the United States, we are continually getting requests to volunteer from young people, generally middle-class whites, who want to ‘do good’ while they see the world. I have had difficulty with this because, except for teaching English, we have little place for them. However, this woman had extensive experience in larger NGOs in Latin America and spoke Spanish fluently and some Portuguese. In the bright lights of a Seattle coffee shop, she seemed remarkably efficient and capable. It was in part this very efficiency, however, that created havoc in the entire program soon after her arrival in Salvador. Rita and I had inadequate communication at this point; she did not have email and we telephoned infrequently because it was considered too expensive. So, the efficient volunteer arrived in Salvador and essentially took over. She had knowledge of bureaucracy and she worked hard at ‘getting things done,’ something rather contrary to regular Salvador life. In short order, she was being considered a de facto director in Bahia of the project, largely because of her administrative knowledge, her native American pushiness and because she was a white, educated foreigner. Rita, for her part, was confused but allowed this to happen, and, in part because of the bad communication with me, began to discuss managerial issues with the volunteer. Complete discord ensued on a visit by Eduardo to Salvador, due to many reasons, but which interestingly enough resulted in the first confrontation of values when the volunteer urged both Rita and the tutor that during business lunches, Bahia Street should pay for their lunch. They both protested that Bahia Street had little money and that it should go to the programs, not their lunches, to which the volunteer replied that in her experience with other NGOs this is how it was done. She had worked for much larger NGOs previously and was, I am sure, speaking truthfully and, from her perspective, defending the rights of the Bahia Street people in Brazil. What she was also doing, however unwittingly, was reinforcing a First World-Third World divide, forcing upon Bahia Street a global perspective on race, gender and class inequality that we had never confronted directly, essentially ignoring it in the hopes that, with our unique personal relationships, it might go away. 

Bahia Street places no blame on this volunteer who was doing her best to help with all good intentions, and who, in the end, has served as an excellent learning tool for the program in helping us all to develop a racial consciousness. I was forcibly reminded of the power I inherently have in Bahia just as a white, educated foreigner myself. Rita and I are now consciously aware of how we must continually restructure our public relations to maintain an equality in Bahia. Rita has recognized that she herself must be stronger in taking control of the administration of Bahia Street in Brazil, no matter the race or class of others around her. Eduardo is becoming increasingly aware of how race affects his life and of racism in Bahia (and in Seattle), noting that in the position he held as high school principal in a school in Salvador, he was the only Afro-Brazilian principal in its entire fifty year history, analyzing the racist acts he encounters in Seattle and taking upon his shoulders the importance of his role of leadership as a middle-class Afro-Brazilian in the United States.

The result of this is the realization that the infrastructure of the program must be a model for what we are trying to effect in society; if we cannot do what we are trying to effect in the general society in our own group as a microcosm, then we are in no position to effect real change in a larger status quo. At this point, a Brazilian Board exists and all its members are Afro-Brazilians who grew up in favelas or in the interior. They have autonomy in terms of hiring and firing tutors and in other administrative decisions. Larger decisions are done through discussions between Rita and myself with approval from both the United States and Brazilian Boards. Rita and I have weekly, long telephone conversations and are beginning to use email. A new volunteer, again a white American woman, has arrived in Salvador to teach the girls English, but she is a person who volunteered with Bahia Street in Seattle for a year and her role as a volunteer working under Rita’s supervision is firmly established. 

This shift in mind-set is clearly affecting our programs. The Latin American Centre of the University of Essex recently approached me, suggesting we set up a cooperative program where their students could volunteer for Bahia Street in Salvador as a part of a ‘community service’ component of the degree. This proposed project had the same inherent problems of the other volunteer offers--we didn’t know what they could do. Also, Rita and I both felt uncomfortable with the hierarchy of white foreigners coming in to ‘help’ the girls, maintaining a First World white, middle class helping lower-class Third World Afro-Brazilians model that reinforced rather than challenged the status quo. However, the University of Essex offer also included funding, so we thought it behooved us to consider it seriously. After much thought I hit upon the idea that the students could come to Salvador, but they would work in some favela project outside of Bahia Street and that they would be supervised by Rita, myself and the girls who would act as mentors and guides. Rita liked this idea, but noted that one of our Bahia Board members has extensive contacts with existing grassroots favela community projects. With her guidance, Rita suggested, we could select one such project and the Essex students could work for them. In this way, the help would go to an already established and needed source, the balance of power would be that the favela project itself would be directing the students’ work and that the girls would be learning leadership and administrative skills, as well as practicing their English (although students in Essex will be learning Portuguese) by directing and helping foreigners rather than the other way around. The University of Essex Latin American Centre was delighted with this project and Rita and I are currently setting up the details here in Salvador.

Implanting a racial consciousness into the infrastructure of Bahia Street is clearly affecting the girls already. Last year, as the two older girls, who are both in the sixth grade, began to wish to assert themselves in the working of Bahia Street, they asked why the program did not include whites. We told them that our aim had never been to exclude whites, but asked them how many whites they saw in their neighborhoods. Then the girl who entered the private school the first year, whom I shall call Maria, began to encounter what she recognized as direct acts of racism against her. A math teacher told her that girls ‘of her kind’ would not pass math and constantly gave her low marks on her exams despite correct answers. She did pass math, however, but at the end of the year, at her request, we decided to change schools. Rita and I went to numerous schools at the city’s center, two of which outright declared that they did not accept ‘simple’ students and others which exhibited subtle but direct discriminatory attitudes. We finally settled on a top-quality school at the center that did not seem to have these attitudes in such great abundance and we also did not tell the administration about the program, rather let the girls enter the class just as any other student. We are now starting the second year at this school and the girls are reporting that they are liking the teachers and making friends among their classmates. The older girls have, however, now said that they understand the difficulties new girls will face and want to be part of the selection process for new girls and want to be part of the parent-teacher gatherings.

We have also had an interesting series of requests from Afro-Brazilian parents who have been able to send their daughters to private schools, albeit not the level of quality which Bahia Street is funding, whose daughters are having problems in school, feeling rejected and are turning away from the school and their studies. They asked if their daughters could be a part of the tutoring, as much for solidarity with other girls who are crossing racial and class lines as for the academic assistance. We have agreed to two girls joining the group. Shortly after the other girls joined the tutoring, I heard one of our girls whom I shall call Joanna, tell them what she had earlier said to me. “Well, if they call you a nigger, I say thank you because that is what I am. I am quite happy to be black!”

The camaraderie and development of identity through the intensive hours of tutoring (three hours a day on top of their private schooling) has been impressive, although not altogether surprising in retrospect. The girls are finding encouragement and solidarity in each other’s achievements. All the girls, from the beginning, looked up to Maria, the girl who was able to enter the private school in the first year. She wanted to be a doctor, an aim she still holds strongly, and for some time all the other girls also stated that that they wanted to be doctors as well. Recently, however, this has changed as the girls are developing personal excitements for learning. The youngest girl, the one who is now in the third grade, has shown a wonderful aptitude for art and spends much time drawing. She also now shows off her reading at every opportunity. Joanna is now receiving above average marks in math, a remarkable achievement for someone who was essentially non-numeric eighteen months ago. She has found that she loves math. “Are there professions I can do with math?” she asked me last time I was in Salvador. “Because if there are, that is what I want to do.” I assured her that there were and she ran off excitedly to discuss this with Maria.


Some Concluding Thoughts on Race, Change and Process

In Brazil, it has been considered racist to denounce racism. As an NGO, Bahia Street began by echoing this attitude, resting in the gentle delusion that we could focus our attentions primarily on class and gender, until experience forced insights upon us and we realized racial consciousness was central to our project. As Brazil wrestles with constructions of modernity and global inequality in terms of sovereignty and economic power, Afro-Brazilian women--and men--need to be equal participants in this struggle. We realize this will not be easy and, for the girls of Bahia Street, the challenges will only continue. As Senator Bernedita de Silva wrote:, “The more elevated the social position of the black in Brazil is, the more uncomfortable the black feels if he or she continues being a black and keeps defending the black cause. Blacks become a threat and, as white elites do not want to yield anything, blacks become a concrete target for racists.” (1999:184)

Bahia Street is an experiment in cooperation and change. Being an organization directed by an anthropologist and an Afro-Brazilian sociologist means that Bahia Street consciously analyzes and incorporates anthropological and sociological writing and theories into our practice. The contradictions presented by my friends at the mall still exist (these girls have skillfully used foreign contacts, including myself, to emigrate to Europe where they now live, sending money home that has totally changed their family circumstances in Bahia and who, interestingly enough, are developing a strong sense of racial identity in Europe). But these contradictions have now become teaching tools for social change. The researches that anthropologists and sociologists do and present at conferences such as this one, can, in combination with experience, actually be more than just theory and can work to alter status quos of inequality.



Davis, Darién, 1999. Afro-Brazilians: Time for Recognition. The Minority Rights Group International: London

Freyre, Gillerbo. 1946. The Masters and the Slaves.  Alfred A. Knopf:New York

Hanchard, Michael(ed.). 1999. Racial Politics in Contemporary Brazil. Duke University Press:London

Hanchard, Michael. 1999. Black Cinderella? Race and the Public Sphere in Brazil. In Racial Politics in Contemporary Brazil.

Hassenbalg, Carlos. 1985. Race and Socioeconomic Inequalities in Brazil. In Race, Class and Power in Brazil. ed. P. M. Fontaine. University of California Center for Afro-American Studies:Los Angeles

Hassenbalg, Carlos and N. do Valle Silva. 1999. Notes and Racial and Political Inequality in Brazil. In Racial Politics in Contemporary Brazil.

Lowell, Peggy. 1999. Women and Rascal Inequality at Work in Brazil. In Racial Politics in Contemporary Brazil.

Santos, Thereza. 1999. My Conscious, My Struggle. In Racial Politics in Contemporary Brazil.

Silva, Bernedita da. 1999. The Black Movement and Political Parties: A Challenging Alliance. In Racial Politics in Contemporary Brazil.

Telles, Edward. E. 1999. Ethnic Boundaries and Political Mobilization among African Brazilians: Comparison with the U.S. Case. In Racial Politics in Contemporary Brazil.


[1] Da Organização Não- Governamental Bahia Street.