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Florestan Fernandes and the struggle against racism in Brazil: from dictatorship to democracy (1978-2002)

Grant number: 21/00256-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2021
Effective date (End): March 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of Brazil
Principal Investigator:Marcia Regina de Lima Silva
Grantee:Gustavo Rodrigues Mesquita
Host Institution: Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento (CEBRAP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This project aims at investigating the links between Florestan Fernandes and the contemporary black movement through archival research and oral history interviews. By historically reconstructing the renewal of the black movement in 1978, when the Unified Black Movement was created, along with its theoretical foundations, I seek to identify the main national and international forces responsible for the political transformation of the race issue in Brazil. The reflections on the black situation and the struggles for racial equality in the 1980s and 1990s culminated in an anti-racist governmental agenda, which was firstly made up during the Fernando Henrique Cardoso administration. In relation to this race-thinking change, I focus on the relationships between actors, ideas, and policies with sources not yet explored by historiography, such as parliamentary speeches, bills, and journalistic outputs of Florestan Fernandes, Carlos Alberto Caó, Benedita da Silva, among other deputies who fought racism in the 1988 National Constituent Assembly. The project's timeframe extends itself up to the Fernando Henrique Cardoso years, when the human rights policy met some black movement's demands and initiated racial equality-oriented proposals. The ultimate goal of the research is to understand the roles played by São Paulo's sociological thinking in the shaping of the government's anti-racist agenda alongside the delimitation of its political and social reach. (AU)

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