This article investigates the connection between black empowerment, hip hop, and public spaces in urban Brazil. Hip hop, having its origins in public spaces in Brazil, stands out as a community-building culture. By analyzing the Duelo de MCs, a cultural occupation under the Viaduto Santa Tereza, I explore how hip-hop culture can be an opportunity for social mobility and the improvement of racial relations and how it can promote transformations to the space, local economy and politics.

Do race relations interfere in how and where Afro-Brazilian culture is produced in urban Brazil? Also, to what extent does Afro-Brazilian culture transform public spaces? How do cultural interventions relate to matters of race and racism? I suggest that the Duelo de MCs serves the community as a means of information, resistance, empowerment, and social agency. Overall, I emphasize how Afro-Brazilian culture can challenge traditional patterns and build new realities.


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pp. 136-161
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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