Print version ISSN 0101-546X
TELLES, Edward. The north-american foundations and the racial debate in Brazil. Estud. afro-asiát. [online]. 2002, vol.24, n.1, pp. 141-165. ISSN 0101-546X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-546X2002000100006.
Bourdieu and Wacquant ("The Cunning of Imperialist Reason") claim that major North-American philanthropic and research foundations have distorted scholarly and social movement ideas of race and identity in Brazil by imposing US conceptions of race. They seem to make a facile assumption that because US foundations spend millions of dollars in Brazil and prioritize research on race, regardless of its content, then they must be successfully imposing standard North-American conceptions of race to that country. Based on my experience as a Ford Foundation program officer for nearly four years and as a student of race relations in Brazil for over a decade, I seek to show how their analysis exaggerates the power of US foundations in Brazil, fails to understand how programming decisions are made within the foundations, greatly underestimates the intellectual agency of the Brazilian academy and its black social movement and reveals a dated understanding of the academic literature and public opinion on race in Brazil.
Keywords : race; Brazil; Ford Foundation; human rights; black movement; Bourdieu; Wacquant; North-American foundations.