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Black Women against the Land Grab

The Fight for Racial Justice in Brazil

Keisha-Khan Y. Perry

Publication Year: 2013

In Brazil and throughout the African diaspora, black women, especially poor black women, are rarely considered leaders of social movements let alone political theorists. But in the northeastern city of Salvador, Brazil, it is these very women who determine how urban policies are established. Focusing on the Gamboa de Baixo neighborhood in Salvador’s city center, Black Women against the Land Grab explores how black women’s views on development have radicalized local communities to demand justice and social change.

In Black Women against the Land Grab, Keisha-Khan Y. Perry describes the key role of local women activists in the citywide movement for land and housing rights. She reveals the importance of geographic location for understanding the gendered aspects of urban renewal and the formation of black women–led social movements. How have black women shaped the politics of urban redevelopment, Perry asks, and what does this kind of political intervention tell us about black women’s agency? Her work uncovers the ways in which political labor at the neighborhood level is central to the mass mobilization of black people against institutional racism and for citizenship rights and resources in Brazil.

Highlighting the political life of black communities, specifically those in urban contexts often represented as socially pathological and politically bankrupt, Black Women against the Land Grab offers a valuable corrective to how we think about politics and about black women, particularly poor black women, as a political force.

Published by: University of Minnesota Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. 6-7

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pp. vii-x

In some ways the inspiration for this book began when I took Kim Hall?s Introduction to Women?s Studies at Georgetown University as an undergraduate. I express heartfelt gratitude to her. She ignited my initial interest in black women?s thought and political practice, intro-ducing me to the scholarship of Patricia Hill Collins, Audre Lorde, ...

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INTRODUCTION: Diasporic Blackness and Afro-Brazilian Agency

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pp. xi-xxii

One afternoon in August 2000, during a short research visit to Salva-dor, I accompanied my friends Ana Cristina and Luciana to the Bank of Brazil in Salvador?s commercial center. In Salvador to get beyond the ATM lobby and access the tellers, you must first pass through a security door and be scanned by a metal detector. Ana Cristina and ...

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1. Engendering the Grassroots

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pp. 1-26

Our greatest asset in Kenya is our land. This is the heritage we survival. It was in this knowledge that we fought for the freedom go? And as soon as the Negroes take to the street demonstrating, On Saturday, May 3, 2003, the front cover of the Brazilian newspaper A Tarde showed a photo of fifty-three-year-old Amilton dos Santos sit-...

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2. The Gendered Racial Logic of Spatial Exclusion

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pp. 27-54

...towards the black and poor population, distances it farther and Brazil as a nation proclaims herself the only racial democracy in the world, and much of the world views and accepts her as such. reveals the true nature of her social, cultural, political and eco-nomic autonomy: it is essentially racist and vitally threatening to ...

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3. The Black Movement’s Foot Soldiers

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pp. 55-86

The right to the city is like a cry and a demand. This right slowly ism, the return to the heart of the traditional city, and the call of existent or recently developed centralities. . . . The right to the city cannot be conceived of as a single visiting right or as a return to traditional cities. It can only be formulated as a transformed ...

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4. Violent Policing and Disposing of Urban Landscapes

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pp. 87-116

...?O muro,? a 1982 poem by Afro-Brazilian poet-activist Oliveira Silveira, embodies various meanings for the black majority in Brazil, who con-front multiple social and economic barriers to their survival and ad-vancement. The term muro may allude to the thick glass ceiling in the job market, university entrance exams, police barricades, gated com-...

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5. “Picking Up the Pieces”: Everyday Violence and Community

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pp. 117-138

...found, yet their stories are rarely heard. In a debate that has gling to live their lives, to bring up their children and to fight for Six years before the January 2008 police operation, on Saturday, Sep-tember 21, 2002, at about midday, residents of the Gamboa de Baixo neighborhood were terrorized by yet another extraordinary police in-...

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6. Politics Is a Women’s Thing

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pp. 139-168

...?Vamos pra reuni?o!? (Let?s go to the meeting!), Ana Cristina shouts. She clutches her purple notebook as she passes Rita?s house on her way to the weekly Tuesday night board meeting of the neighborhood Rita opens her front door and responds, ?In a little while. I?m wash-Ana Cristina presses her to hurry; they have important business to ...

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CONCLUSION: Above the Asphalt: From the Margins to the Center of Black Diaspora Politics

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pp. 169-178

On August 4, 2007, at an official ceremony in the open space of the historic S?o Paulo Fort in Gamboa de Baixo, community leaders cele-eventually lead to the possession of land for local families. The agree-ment was between the state navy and the mayor?s office to transfer the land to the city government. This political act was the result of decades ...


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pp. 179-196


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pp. 197-214

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About the Author

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p. 215-215

Keisha-Khan Y. Perry is assistant professor of Africana studies at Brown ...

E-ISBN-13: 9780816687978
E-ISBN-10: 0816687978
Print-ISBN-13: 9780816683246

Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2013