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"Transforming Cross into Crossroads": Afro Carnival Blocos and the Production of Black Spaces in Belo Horizonte

Abstract

In this theoretical essay, we set out to problematize Belo Horizonte from a racial point of view, in terms of processes of domination and resistance, by discussing the production of black spaces through Afro Carnival blocos. We begin with the production of Brazilian cities in relation to the issue of race, highlighting the extent to which this component of the enslavement of blacks and subsequent whitening practices makes cities spaces that are averse to the presence of blacks from the moment of their creation. We then turn to the specificities of Belo Horizonte, the planned capital of Minas Gerais, a symbol of the modernity and progress that was sought in the Brazilian Republic. This debate provides an important backdrop for the discussion of black resistance in the city, which produces spaces of encounter, from a crossroads perspective that can contribute to the spatial turn in Organizational Studies. The main conclusions point to black resistance organizations such as the Angola Janga Afro bloco and Kandandu as a field of possibilities. This recognizes that on the other side of segregation, there are forms of (re)existence of black people, who struggle to be part of this city, while at the same time seeking to strengthen their Afro-diasporic identity and culture. In addition to highlighting their organizational character, these manifestations use aesthetic elements and place black people in a place of (re)existence that signals their right to occupy the city for leisure as well as to produce and reinforce black identities.

Keywords:
raciality; urban planning; Belo Horizonte; black resistance; Afro blocos

Resumo

Neste ensaio teórico, propomo-nos a problematizar Belo Horizonte do ponto de vista racial quanto a processos de dominação e resistência mediante a discussão da produção de espaços negros por meio de blocos afro de Carnaval. Partimos da produção das cidades brasileiras atrelada à questão racial, evidenciando o quanto esse componente, na escravização dos negros e posteriores práticas de embranquecimento, torna as cidades, desde sua criação, espaços avessos à presença negra, para então tratar das especificidades de Belo Horizonte, a capital planejada de Minas Gerais, símbolo da modernidade e progresso que se buscava no Brasil República. Esse debate é importante pano de fundo para a discussão sobre a resistência negra na cidade, que produz espaços que primam pelo encontro, numa perspectiva de encruzilhada que pode contribuir para a virada espacial nos Estudos Organizacionais. As principais conclusões apontam para organizações de resistência negra, tais como o bloco afro Angola Janga e o Kandandu, como campo de possibilidades. Assim, reconhece-se que, do outro lado da segregação, estão as formas de (re)existir do povo negro, que luta para fazer parte dessa cidade, ao mesmo tempo que busca fortalecer sua identidade e cultura afrodiaspórica. Para além de evidenciar o seu caráter organizacional, essas manifestações recorrem a elementos estéticos e colocam os(as) negros(as) em um lugar de (re)existência que sinaliza o direito que eles (elas) também têm de ocupar a urbe para o lazer, e produzir e reforçar identidades negras.

Palavras-chave:
racialidade; planejamento urbano; Belo Horizonte; resistência negra; blocos afro

Introduction

Planned cities, which have specific characteristics that make them relevant for thinking about how urban planning, notably marked by Europeanization and hygienism, constitutes a libertarian and developmentalist ideology that promotes the erasure of differences and the subalternization of popular classes, especially the black population. Although this is a relatively common script throughout the world, this text will deal with the specific case of Belo Horizonte in Minas Gerais. We argue that although Belo Horizonte was founded at a time when republicanism and modernity appeared as central values in the constitution of planned cities, it is characterized by the erasure of the black population, which was at odds with the republican ideals and the development planned for the new capital of Minas Gerais. Even though it was founded after the abolition of slavery, the elements of colonization and slavery (coloniality) remain in the separation between those worthy and unworthy of inhabiting the capital of Minas Gerais.

From the moment of its creation as the new capital of Minas Gerais to replace Ouro Preto, a symbol of the decadence of the gold cycle, monarchy, and enslavement, Belo Horizonte was designed to house the civil servants coming from the old capital. There are many documents that allow us to affirm that the creation of the new city was a technical decision, although there is a myth that there was a void in the area that was an attraction for the choice of location (Saraiva & Silva, 2021Saraiva, L. A. S., & Silva, E. J. F. (2021, October). Planejamento urbano e invisibilização racial em Belo Horizonte. Artigo apresentado no XLV Encontro Anual da Associação Nacional de PósGraduação e Pesquisa em Administração, Virtual.). Curral Del Rey, the previous address, was actually inhabited by a black population that was erased from historical records (Pereira, 2019Pereira, J. A. (2019). Para além do horizonte do planejamento: racismo e produção do espaço urbano em Belo Horizonte (séculos XIX e XX) (Doctoral thesis). Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, SP.). The treatment of the workers who built the city, some of whom were black and from the Northeast - whose presence was not allowed within the planned boundaries and who settled outside Avenida do Contorno, in a "non-city" (Barros, 2000Barros, J. M. (2000). De fronteira a corredor: a Avenida do Contorno na cidade de Belo Horizonte. Estudios del Hábitat, 2(7), 35-46. Retrieved from http://sedici.unlp.edu.ar/bitstream/handle/10915/40085/Documento_completo.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
http://sedici.unlp.edu.ar/bitstream/hand...
, p. 43) - attests to a pattern of invisibilization from the first moments of the capital of Minas Gerais.

The blacks, "non-subjects" of the new capital, erased from official history, have since had to resist on a daily basis as a veritable epistemicide has taken place in the cities: "knowledge, practices, ways of life, worldviews of cultures that do not fit the canonical pattern" (Simas, 2021Simas, L. A. (2021). O corpo encantado das ruas (8th ed.). Rio de Janeiro, RJ: Civilização Brasileira., p. 48) are destroyed. The only human experiences and stories worth telling are those produced by the West. Black cultural manifestations are relegated to the realm of barbarism or folklore. Nevertheless, denying the logic that has prevailed in a segregated city since its foundation, black subjects promote actions to value Afro bodies and knowledge in order to re-signify urban spaces based on a logic of atonement and discipline through work for transgressive (black) bodies and partygoers (Simas, 2021Simas, L. A. (2021). O corpo encantado das ruas (8th ed.). Rio de Janeiro, RJ: Civilização Brasileira.).

In black territories (Rolnik, 1989Rolnik, R. (1989). Territórios negros nas cidades brasileiras: etnicidade e cidade em São Paulo e Rio de Janeiro. Revista de Estudos Afro-Asiáticos, 17, 1-17. Retrieved from https://raquelrolnik.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/territc3b3rios-negros.pdf
https://raquelrolnik.files.wordpress.com...
) and black spaces (Sansone, 1996Sansone, L. (1996). Nem somente preto ou negro: o sistema de classificação racial no Brasil que muda. Afro-Ásia, (18), 165-187. doi:10.9771/aa.v0i18.20904
https://doi.org/10.9771/aa.v0i18.20904...
), cultural movements emerge, as in the case of Afro blocos, samba schools, and terreiros, contemporary expressions of the singularity of a black becoming (Rolnik, 1989Rolnik, R. (1989). Territórios negros nas cidades brasileiras: etnicidade e cidade em São Paulo e Rio de Janeiro. Revista de Estudos Afro-Asiáticos, 17, 1-17. Retrieved from https://raquelrolnik.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/territc3b3rios-negros.pdf
https://raquelrolnik.files.wordpress.com...
). Festivities are some of the main instruments of resistance to the erasure of differences, as in the case of Afro-diasporic cultural manifestations, among which the Afro Carnival blocos stand out. The short period of the festival reveals a dream city or utopia, since the carnival festivities are a space for black people to signify a new attitude towards their origins and cultural identity. Although based on tradition, the carnival of these blocos does not point to the past, but to the future of Brazilian race relations (Risério, 1995Risério, A. (1995). Carnaval: as cores da mudança. Afro-Ásia, (16), 90-106. doi:10.9771/aa.v0i16.20848
https://doi.org/10.9771/aa.v0i16.20848...
).

As a contribution to Organizational Studies and inspired by Siqueira (1997)Siqueira, M. L. (1997). Ancestralidade e contemporaneidade de organizações de resistência afrobrasileira. In T. Fischer (Org.), Gestão contemporânea: cidades estratégicas e organizações locais (2nd ed.) (pp. 133-150). Rio de Janeiro, RJ: FGV., we propose to rescue of the concept of "black resistance organizations" as a field of possibilities and responsible for the production of black spaces (Sansone, 1996Sansone, L. (1996). Nem somente preto ou negro: o sistema de classificação racial no Brasil que muda. Afro-Ásia, (18), 165-187. doi:10.9771/aa.v0i18.20904
https://doi.org/10.9771/aa.v0i18.20904...
), in line with the current discussion of cities in the field of Organizational Studies (Mac-Allister, 2004Mac-Allister, M. (2004). A cidade no campo dos estudos organizacionais. Organizações & Sociedade, 11(special edition), 171-181. doi:10.1590/1984-9110012
https://doi.org/10.1590/1984-9110012...
; Saraiva & Carrieri, 2012Saraiva, L. A. S., & Carrieri, A. P. (2012). Organização-cidade: proposta de avanço conceitual a partir da análise de um caso. Revista de Administração Pública, 46(2), 547-576. doi:10.1590/S0034-76122012000200010
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-7612201200...
; Saraiva & Silva, 2021Saraiva, L. A. S., & Silva, E. J. F. (2021, October). Planejamento urbano e invisibilização racial em Belo Horizonte. Artigo apresentado no XLV Encontro Anual da Associação Nacional de PósGraduação e Pesquisa em Administração, Virtual.) and studies dealing with spatial organization and racial issues (Nascimento et al., 2015Nascimento, M. C. R., Oliveira, J. S., Teixeira, J. C., & Carrieri, A. P. (2015). Com que cor eu vou pro shopping que você me convidou? Revista de Administração Contemporânea, 19(3), 245-268. doi:10.1590/1982-7849rac20151510
https://doi.org/10.1590/1982-7849rac2015...
; Nascimento et al., 2016Nascimento, M. C. R., Teixeira, J. C., Oliveira, J. S., & Saraiva, L. A. S. (2016). Práticas de segregação e resistência nas organizações: uma análise discursiva sobre os “rolezinhos” na cidade de Belo Horizonte (MG). Revista de Administração Mackenzie, 17(1), 55-81. doi:10.1590/167869712016/administracao.v17n1p55-81
https://doi.org/10.1590/167869712016/adm...
).

In light of the above, our aim in this essay was to problematize Belo Horizonte from a racial point of view, in terms of the processes of domination and resistance, by discussing the production of black spaces through the Afro Carnival blocos, organizations of black resistance. In addition to this introduction, the text includes a discussion of the production of urban space in the Brazilian Republic, highlighting the centrality of the issue of race in this process, followed by a specific reflection on urban planning in Belo Horizonte. It then highlights how the production of black spaces takes place in the capital of Minas Gerais, with a focus on the Afro Carnival blocos. Next, we look at the research on cities in Organizational Studies, pointing out the progress made so far and how black resistance organizations operate in the production of black spaces, giving new meaning to historically exclusive sociabilities and possibilities in Brazilian cities, especially in Belo Horizonte, which can promote advances in a spatial turn in Organizational Studies. Finally, we raise some questions for reflection in the concluding remarks.

Racialization of the production of urban space in Brazil

Social space is a producer and product of social relations, such as race relations. In countries like Brazil, race relations are interwoven in society, both in their social manifestation and in their materiality. The first point we highlight is the historical production of an elitist and segregated space based on racism as a structuring element. In order to analyze how the racial dimension is spatialized in urban processes with socio-spatial differentiation, it is necessary to understand how the racial dimension manifests itself historically:

Atlantic slavery had its privileged place of realization in urban and semi-urban life. Urban slave societies, such as Brazil's, were forged from transatlantic displacements and transits, anchored in the remaking of relationships and social and spatial arrangements, based on their own unique movements, whose identity and ethnic-racial connections are not always obvious or watertight, but which encompass multiple dimensions of city-making (Pereira, 2019Pereira, J. A. (2019). Para além do horizonte do planejamento: racismo e produção do espaço urbano em Belo Horizonte (séculos XIX e XX) (Doctoral thesis). Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, SP.).

Campos (2012)Campos, A. (2012). Do quilombo à favela: a produção do espaço criminalizado no Rio de Janeiro. (5a ed.). Rio de Janeiro, RJ: Bertrand Brasil. develops the argument that during the colonial and imperial periods, the quilombos, as spaces of resistance, represented a threat to the prevailing social order (Boyer, 2015Boyer, V. (2015). Misnaming social conflict: ‘identity’, land and family histories in a quilombola community in the Brazilian Amazon. Journal of Latin American Studies, 46(3), 527-555. doi:10.1017/S0022216X14000728
https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022216X1400072...
). After abolition, the favelas and tenements began to house those who were considered the "dangerous classes," especially the former slaves, as a large contingent of them either remained in the countryside in miserable conditions, since they could not own land according to the legislation in force at the time, or sought a new life in the cities, especially in Rio de Janeiro, which became home to a large number of freed blacks after the Paraguayan War.

In the post-abolition period, as Borges (2019)Borges, J. (2019). Encarceramento em massa. São Paulo: Pólen. points out, the positioning of blacks as a working class was problematic because they were previously seen as commodities and not as sellers of their own labor. Seeing them as workers would mean making them subjects of rights. They were human beings whose humanity was denied, as Campos (2012)Campos, A. (2012). Do quilombo à favela: a produção do espaço criminalizado no Rio de Janeiro. (5a ed.). Rio de Janeiro, RJ: Bertrand Brasil. points out: blacks were freed, but subaltern. When the practice of slavery ended, the intention was to have workers whom it was fair to pay for their services - human workers - in other words, white workers.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Brazilian state implemented a nation-building project based on the ideology of whitening. In the name of progress, thousands of Europeans were encouraged to come to Brazil, not only to serve as a workforce in the post-abolitionist society, but also to physically and culturally whiten the country's population (Panta, 2020Panta, M. (2020). População negra e o direito à cidade: interfaces entre raça e espaço urbano no Brasil. Acervo, 33(1), 79-100. Retrieved from https://revista.an.gov.br/index.php/revistaacervo/article/view/1521/1435
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), thus ensuring the "regeneration" of the Brazilian people.

Black people, who were largely responsible for building the country's wealth, did not participate and were considered a central element of backwardness in Brazilian society, often forcibly removed from central areas occupied by white citizens who were more "suitable" for the proposed nation (Rolnik, 1989Rolnik, R. (1989). Territórios negros nas cidades brasileiras: etnicidade e cidade em São Paulo e Rio de Janeiro. Revista de Estudos Afro-Asiáticos, 17, 1-17. Retrieved from https://raquelrolnik.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/territc3b3rios-negros.pdf
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). The removal of blacks to the margins has since translated into their marginalization, making them a problem and a risk, as evidenced by the data on violence and homicides against blacks. However, it is a mistake to consider only the economic aspect as an expression of socio-spatial inequality (Nogueira, 2018Nogueira, A. M. R. (2018). A construção conceitual e espacial dos territórios negros no Brasil. Revista de Geografia, 35(1), 204-218. doi:10.51359/2238-6211.2018.234423
https://doi.org/10.51359/2238-6211.2018....
), since racial inequalities are reinforced by various social mechanisms. For this reason, it is necessary to have a debate that sees race as a variable in this inequality, considering, as Santos (1987Santos, M. (1987). O espaço do cidadão. São Paulo, SP: Nobel., p. 81) stated, that each individual "is worth the place where they are: their value as a producer, consumer, citizen, depends on their location in the territory."

What happened in all the cities, symbols of modernity, was an adherence to the process of urbanization, which did not mean a break with the past, since the social world remained hierarchical (Arrais, 2009Arrais, C. A. (2009). Belo Horizonte, a La Plata brasileira: entre a política e o urbanismo moderno. Revista UFG, 11(6), 63-76. Retrieved from: https://files.cercomp.ufg.br/weby/up/694/o/06_belohorizonte.pdf
https://files.cercomp.ufg.br/weby/up/694...
). The new regime, which claimed to be "libertarian, white, fraternal, egalitarian and therefore civilized like Europe" (Costa & Arguelhes, 2008Costa, A. C. S., & Arguelhes, D. O. (2008). A higienização social através do planejamento urbano de Belo Horizonte nos primeiros anos do século XX. Universitas Humanas, 5(1), 109-137. doi:10.5102/univhum.v5i1.878
https://doi.org/10.5102/univhum.v5i1.878...
, p. 111), was only fraternal and egalitarian for the ruling classes of the time. The poor population "did not fit" into the new urbanities, thus justifying their elitist, segregationist, and utopian character in all forms of exclusion of the lower classes from the urban space (Costa & Arguelhes, 2008Costa, A. C. S., & Arguelhes, D. O. (2008). A higienização social através do planejamento urbano de Belo Horizonte nos primeiros anos do século XX. Universitas Humanas, 5(1), 109-137. doi:10.5102/univhum.v5i1.878
https://doi.org/10.5102/univhum.v5i1.878...
), including the former slaves.

After more than three centuries of enslavement, the black population was relegated to a marginal place in the cities, reflecting their social and economic subalternity. The thesis of Florestan Fernandes' studies in the 1950s, that race was a residual category of slavery that would disappear with the entry of blacks into class society, proved to be wrong, since the advances of capitalist society and Brazil's late industrialization did not abolish race as a criterion of social hierarchization (Panta, 2020Panta, M. (2020). População negra e o direito à cidade: interfaces entre raça e espaço urbano no Brasil. Acervo, 33(1), 79-100. Retrieved from https://revista.an.gov.br/index.php/revistaacervo/article/view/1521/1435
https://revista.an.gov.br/index.php/revi...
). Although the category of race has no biological value, it is socially constructed, meaning that its social construction condemns non-white people to the margins of society, either physically or socially.

The production of urban space in Brazil is racialized, as evidenced by both the eugenicist policies of the 19th and 20th centuries and the racial segregation in cities, with places and nonplaces defined for blacks (Panta, 2020Panta, M. (2020). População negra e o direito à cidade: interfaces entre raça e espaço urbano no Brasil. Acervo, 33(1), 79-100. Retrieved from https://revista.an.gov.br/index.php/revistaacervo/article/view/1521/1435
https://revista.an.gov.br/index.php/revi...
). Cruz and Santana Filho (2020Cruz, C. D. S., & Santana-Filho, D. M. (2020). Racismo e direito à cidade: uma análise sobre a cidade de Salvador. Opará Etnicidades, Movimentos Sociais e Educação, 8(12), 1-15. Retrieved from https://revistas.uneb.br/index.php/opara/article/view/10749
https://revistas.uneb.br/index.php/opara...
, p. 11) argue that the reflections of urban organization based on a racist logic are explicit in the "precariousness of public spaces and streets, slums, hillside occupations, as well as the absence of infrastructure and basic services in the places where black people were forced to live." There is a perceived effort to annihilate the black body (Vellozo & Almeida, 2019Vellozo, J. C. O., & Almeida, S. L. (2019). O pacto de todos contra os escravos no Brasil Imperial. Revista Direito e Práxis, 10(3), 2137-2160. doi:10.1590/2179-8966/2019/40640
https://doi.org/10.1590/2179-8966/2019/4...
), which is reflected in historical problems of the right to the city and the usurpation of all kinds of rights through the racism that structures society and, consequently, the city.

The planned city in the republican imagination: to whom does Belo Horizonte belong?

Almeida (2020Almeida, S. L. (2020). Racismo estrutural. São Paulo: Jandaíra., p. 55) states that "the different processes of national formation of contemporary states were not produced by chance alone, but by political projects." The establishment of the Brazilian Republic allowed the country to progress and move away from colonial stereotypes, a process in which the emergence of cities in the image and likeness of European cities, the ultimate symbols of progress, was important, even though progress was uneven depending on who you were. Blacks, for example, while enslaved, were seen only as work units, but when freed, they remained tied to the racial classifications responsible for defining social hierarchies. As for whites, they remained legitimate in the administration of state power and economic development strategies. This discrepancy reveals structural racism as a historical process (Almeida, 2020Almeida, S. L. (2020). Racismo estrutural. São Paulo: Jandaíra.).

According to Passos (2016)Passos, D. O. R. (2016). A formação do espaço urbano da cidade de Belo Horizonte: um estudo de caso à luz de comparações com as cidades de São Paulo e Rio de Janeiro. Mediações - Revista de Ciências Sociais, 21(2), 332-358. doi:10.5433/2176-6665.2016v21n2p332
https://doi.org/10.5433/2176-6665.2016v2...
, urban planning in republican Brazil was based on sanitary ideas that valued freedom and diverse flows in a highly organized urbanity, in which streets, avenues, and squares had a new function that radically broke with the urban model that had existed until then. Priority was given to urban circulation, with wide, tree-lined boulevards surrounded by hygienic buildings. The constructions and renovations sought to facilitate the transit of people and order through spaces classified according to social functions and needs, since "it was necessary to trace with a ruler and compass a harmonious, unitary social order, where there was no place for the socalled 'urban disorder'" (Passos, 2016Passos, D. O. R. (2016). A formação do espaço urbano da cidade de Belo Horizonte: um estudo de caso à luz de comparações com as cidades de São Paulo e Rio de Janeiro. Mediações - Revista de Ciências Sociais, 21(2), 332-358. doi:10.5433/2176-6665.2016v21n2p332
https://doi.org/10.5433/2176-6665.2016v2...
, p. 338).

Built through state intervention in a modernizing layout inspired by European urban experiences (especially Haussmann's reform in Paris), Belo Horizonte can be thought of from the perspective of the republican logic and the modern city. In the first perspective, the national context stands out, which included the relocation of the old capital. Modernity, on the other hand, refers to European influences on the urbanization process of large cities in the 19th century (Calvo, 2013Calvo, J. (2013). Belo Horizonte das primeiras décadas do século XX: entre a cidade da imaginação à cidade das múltiplas realidades. Cadernos de História, 14(21), 71-93. doi:10.5752/P.22378871.2013v14n21p71
https://doi.org/10.5752/P.22378871.2013v...
; Passos, 2016Passos, D. O. R. (2016). A formação do espaço urbano da cidade de Belo Horizonte: um estudo de caso à luz de comparações com as cidades de São Paulo e Rio de Janeiro. Mediações - Revista de Ciências Sociais, 21(2), 332-358. doi:10.5433/2176-6665.2016v21n2p332
https://doi.org/10.5433/2176-6665.2016v2...
). The new capital of Minas Gerais was "built to be the symbol of a new era, marked by the wave of modernization that hit the country in that period, the construction of Belo Horizonte and the transfer of the capital is directly associated with the positivist and republican ideological universe" (Arrais, 2009Arrais, C. A. (2009). Belo Horizonte, a La Plata brasileira: entre a política e o urbanismo moderno. Revista UFG, 11(6), 63-76. Retrieved from: https://files.cercomp.ufg.br/weby/up/694/o/06_belohorizonte.pdf
https://files.cercomp.ufg.br/weby/up/694...
, p. 70).

The city was planned and designed by the civil engineer Aarão Reis together with the New Capital Construction Commission (CCNC), idealized as a rational and fully planned city, created to lead Minas Gerais to political, economic, and social ascent in the new scenario of the nascent Republic. The logic of order and progress prevailed at the end of the 19th century and was translated into an urban configuration marked by straight lines and square corners, different from the baroque, colonial, and slave-owning past materialized in the winding and narrow streets of the old capital, Ouro Preto (Salgueiro, 2001Salgueiro, H. A. (2001). O pensamento francês na fundação de Belo Horizonte: das representações às práticas. In H. A. Salgueiro (Org.), Cidades capitais do século XIX: racionalidade, cosmopolitismo e transferência de modelos (pp. 135-181). São Paulo, SP: EDUSP.).

Belo Horizonte was therefore conceived as a new intellectual center, a radiating focus of civilization, the first planned city of the recent Brazilian Republic (Calvo, 2013Calvo, J. (2013). Belo Horizonte das primeiras décadas do século XX: entre a cidade da imaginação à cidade das múltiplas realidades. Cadernos de História, 14(21), 71-93. doi:10.5752/P.22378871.2013v14n21p71
https://doi.org/10.5752/P.22378871.2013v...
). Officially inaugurated on December 12, 1897, although its construction extended until the mid-1910s, the capital of Minas Gerais broke with colonial traditions and embraced a new regime: "after all, not only was a capital being built, but a Brazilian Republic was also being built, both expressions of a shared common code: a desire to renew society" (Senra, 2011Senra, M. (2011). A cidade moderna: história, memória e literatura - Paris, Belo-Horizonte. Revista Univap, 17(29), 62-79. doi:10.18066/revunivap.v17i29.13
https://doi.org/10.18066/revunivap.v17i2...
, p. 73).

According to Arrais (2009Arrais, C. A. (2009). Belo Horizonte, a La Plata brasileira: entre a política e o urbanismo moderno. Revista UFG, 11(6), 63-76. Retrieved from: https://files.cercomp.ufg.br/weby/up/694/o/06_belohorizonte.pdf
https://files.cercomp.ufg.br/weby/up/694...
, p. 64),

[...] the city [of Belo Horizonte] still sustains in its plan the dream of building a harmonious city, whose tradition goes back to the urban utopias of Plato, Campanella, Morus etc., and enshrines the ideal of controlling nature and men in a single movement.

As a result of modernity, the capital of Minas Gerais reflects the action of government power over the individual, radiating from the center, capable of "creating its citizens" (Arrais, 2009Arrais, C. A. (2009). Belo Horizonte, a La Plata brasileira: entre a política e o urbanismo moderno. Revista UFG, 11(6), 63-76. Retrieved from: https://files.cercomp.ufg.br/weby/up/694/o/06_belohorizonte.pdf
https://files.cercomp.ufg.br/weby/up/694...
, p. 74). The city was planned for the various levels of the civil service. They were given free plots of land and houses that differed in size and style according to their position in the bureaucratic hierarchy. The largest buildings were intended for the highest ranking officials and the smallest for those with less qualified jobs (Costa & Arguelhes, 2008Costa, A. C. S., & Arguelhes, D. O. (2008). A higienização social através do planejamento urbano de Belo Horizonte nos primeiros anos do século XX. Universitas Humanas, 5(1), 109-137. doi:10.5102/univhum.v5i1.878
https://doi.org/10.5102/univhum.v5i1.878...
; Passos, 2016Passos, D. O. R. (2016). A formação do espaço urbano da cidade de Belo Horizonte: um estudo de caso à luz de comparações com as cidades de São Paulo e Rio de Janeiro. Mediações - Revista de Ciências Sociais, 21(2), 332-358. doi:10.5433/2176-6665.2016v21n2p332
https://doi.org/10.5433/2176-6665.2016v2...
). The very layout of the buildings throughout Belo Horizonte's urban space was an allegory of social hierarchization, with an ordering of the spaces of power that promoted a concrete representation of social places. Even the naming of various streets and squares highlights the idea of order and hierarchy, as in the case of the squares that were given names that drew from the symbolic universe of the Brazilian Republic, such as Praça da Liberdade, Justiça, Progresso, Federação, Tiradentes, Benjamim Constant, and so on (Arrais, 2009Arrais, C. A. (2009). Belo Horizonte, a La Plata brasileira: entre a política e o urbanismo moderno. Revista UFG, 11(6), 63-76. Retrieved from: https://files.cercomp.ufg.br/weby/up/694/o/06_belohorizonte.pdf
https://files.cercomp.ufg.br/weby/up/694...
).

From Avenida do Contorno, Belo Horizonte was sectored and organized into urban, suburban, and rural areas, thus defining the spaces that belonged to each social group (Calvo, 2013Calvo, J. (2013). Belo Horizonte das primeiras décadas do século XX: entre a cidade da imaginação à cidade das múltiplas realidades. Cadernos de História, 14(21), 71-93. doi:10.5752/P.22378871.2013v14n21p71
https://doi.org/10.5752/P.22378871.2013v...
). The rural area, a green belt where the colonial settlements were located that supplied the capital with fruits, vegetables, and raw materials for its construction, functioned as a border separating urban and suburban life, where housing was poor and services precarious, but outside the limits of Avenida do Contorno. The urban area, on the other hand, circled by the avenue, was the modern and ordered space reserved for the ruling classes of Minas Gerais. It had wide, straight, geometric avenues, sanitary and technical infrastructure, an area that was supposed to reflect the most modern cities in the world (Passos, 2009Passos, D. O. R. (2009). A formação urbana e social da cidade de Belo Horizonte: hierarquização e estratificação do espaço na nova Capital mineira. Temporalidades, 1(2), 37-52. Retrieved from https://periodicos.ufmg.br/index.php/temporalidades/article/view/5350
https://periodicos.ufmg.br/index.php/tem...
; Senra, 2011Senra, M. (2011). A cidade moderna: história, memória e literatura - Paris, Belo-Horizonte. Revista Univap, 17(29), 62-79. doi:10.18066/revunivap.v17i29.13
https://doi.org/10.18066/revunivap.v17i2...
; Lott, 2018Lott, W. P. (2018). A salvaguarda do patrimônio negro na cidade de Belo Horizonte. Projeto História: Revista do Programa de Estudos Pós-Graduados de História, 61, 49-83. doi:10.23925/2176-2767.2018v61p49-83
https://doi.org/10.23925/2176-2767.2018v...
). In relation to this sectorization, it was said that:

[...] One [city], built to urban standards with an entire infrastructure, considered modern for the early 20th century, made for civil servants from the former capital of Minas Gerais, Ouro Preto, and the upper classes who could afford to pay the high prices of real estate speculation for urban land; the other, beyond the limits of Avenida do Contorno, formed by the poorest population (construction workers and their families), as well as former residents of Curral Del Rei and immigrants from all over the state in search of new opportunities. (Brandão, Luiz & Souza, 2018Brandão, E. D. A., Luiz, I. T., & Souza, A. C. S. (2018). A influência do modelo higienista francês no planejamento urbano de Belo Horizonte no final do século XIX e início do século XX. E-Xacta, 11(1), 1-18. doi:10.18674/exacta.v11i1.1947
https://doi.org/10.18674/exacta.v11i1.19...
, p. 15)

Avenida do Contorno played the role of a social boundary between urban and suburban life, a frame that decorated the sense of segregation brought by the new capital of Minas Gerais (Barros, 2000Barros, J. M. (2000). De fronteira a corredor: a Avenida do Contorno na cidade de Belo Horizonte. Estudios del Hábitat, 2(7), 35-46. Retrieved from http://sedici.unlp.edu.ar/bitstream/handle/10915/40085/Documento_completo.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
http://sedici.unlp.edu.ar/bitstream/hand...
; Senra, 2011Senra, M. (2011). A cidade moderna: história, memória e literatura - Paris, Belo-Horizonte. Revista Univap, 17(29), 62-79. doi:10.18066/revunivap.v17i29.13
https://doi.org/10.18066/revunivap.v17i2...
). There was a stratification of society that allowed for social differentiation, at the same time as there was the possibility of harmonious awareness between the higher ranking civil servants and those who performed simpler functions, such as manual and mechanical workers (Costa & Arguelhes, 2008Costa, A. C. S., & Arguelhes, D. O. (2008). A higienização social através do planejamento urbano de Belo Horizonte nos primeiros anos do século XX. Universitas Humanas, 5(1), 109-137. doi:10.5102/univhum.v5i1.878
https://doi.org/10.5102/univhum.v5i1.878...
).

The same concessions for civil servants were not given to the poor people who arrived in Belo Horizonte, especially those who came to build the new city or those who already lived in the old Curral Del Rey. Unlike Ouro Preto, which was built exclusively by enslaved blacks, the new capital of Minas Gerais was influenced by the labor of poor immigrants, especially Italians, Spaniards, and Portuguese (Calvo, 2013Calvo, J. (2013). Belo Horizonte das primeiras décadas do século XX: entre a cidade da imaginação à cidade das múltiplas realidades. Cadernos de História, 14(21), 71-93. doi:10.5752/P.22378871.2013v14n21p71
https://doi.org/10.5752/P.22378871.2013v...
). Costa and Arguelhes (2008)Costa, A. C. S., & Arguelhes, D. O. (2008). A higienização social através do planejamento urbano de Belo Horizonte nos primeiros anos do século XX. Universitas Humanas, 5(1), 109-137. doi:10.5102/univhum.v5i1.878
https://doi.org/10.5102/univhum.v5i1.878...
state that free and paid work was given to European immigrants and not to the population already living in the country, former slaves, which was guided by a progressive discourse that the "civilized" Europeans would bring their culture and help develop the nation, since blacks were condemned to the bestiality of enslavement.

According to Pereira (2019)Pereira, J. A. (2019). Para além do horizonte do planejamento: racismo e produção do espaço urbano em Belo Horizonte (séculos XIX e XX) (Doctoral thesis). Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, SP., the erasure of the black population from historical records should also be taken into account, both in the expropriation of 430 houses owned by mostly black landowners in Curral del Rey, and the black workforce in the construction of the planned city. Thus, in an enterprise that aimed to harmonize hygienic conditions in the construction of a large city, its people and customs are treated as obstacles to be eliminated (Barros, 2000Barros, J. M. (2000). De fronteira a corredor: a Avenida do Contorno na cidade de Belo Horizonte. Estudios del Hábitat, 2(7), 35-46. Retrieved from http://sedici.unlp.edu.ar/bitstream/handle/10915/40085/Documento_completo.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
http://sedici.unlp.edu.ar/bitstream/hand...
).

Botelho (2007)Botelho, T. R. (2007). A migração para Belo Horizonte na primeira metade do século XX. Cadernos de História, 9(12), 11-33. Retrieved from http://periodicos.pucminas.br/index.php/cadernoshistoria/article/view/2906/3146
http://periodicos.pucminas.br/index.php/...
informs us that historiography has established the thesis that Belo Horizonte arose from the destruction of the Curral del Rey arraial, and that the population that settled there was entirely accidental. The author disagrees with this statement, considering that "although foreign immigration was fundamental in the city's early years, it was the migration of miners and other Brazilians that sustained the rapid growth of the city [of Belo Horizonte]" (Botelho, 2007Botelho, T. R. (2007). A migração para Belo Horizonte na primeira metade do século XX. Cadernos de História, 9(12), 11-33. Retrieved from http://periodicos.pucminas.br/index.php/cadernoshistoria/article/view/2906/3146
http://periodicos.pucminas.br/index.php/...
, p. 12). Thus, in the initial years of its construction, Belo Horizonte acted as a pole of attraction for European immigrants arriving in Minas Gerais, but the volume of European immigrants declined in the following decades. If we compare the decrease in immigrants with the significant increase in the city's population in its first decades - "from 13,000 inhabitants in 1900, the city grew to more than 17,000 in 1905, around 40,000 in 1912 (1940 census), and 352,000 in 1950 (Botelho, 2007Botelho, T. R. (2007). A migração para Belo Horizonte na primeira metade do século XX. Cadernos de História, 9(12), 11-33. Retrieved from http://periodicos.pucminas.br/index.php/cadernoshistoria/article/view/2906/3146
http://periodicos.pucminas.br/index.php/...
, p. 12) - we realize that other peoples played a decisive role in the constitution of the state capital, which leads us to the internal migration in Minas Gerais, the end of slavery, and the migrations from the Northeast. Therefore, it was a much less European and white city than the narratives of the city's construction record.

Pereira (n.d., p. 5) explains that the records of the Santa Casa de Misericórdia and the police documentation of the Police Chief's Fund indicate "an outline of the racial composition of the population of Belo Horizonte in the period: [...] a constant, growing and predominant presence of 'mestizos' and 'blacks'." Botelho (2007)Botelho, T. R. (2007). A migração para Belo Horizonte na primeira metade do século XX. Cadernos de História, 9(12), 11-33. Retrieved from http://periodicos.pucminas.br/index.php/cadernoshistoria/article/view/2906/3146
http://periodicos.pucminas.br/index.php/...
reinforces this argument with data on marriages obtained from parish registers. Thus, the black migrant population, once small, became increasingly significant with the industrialization of Belo Horizonte from the 1920s.

According to research carried out by Pereira (2020Pereira, J. A. (2020). A eloquência dos silêncios: racismo e produção de esquecimento sobre a população negra em narrativas das cidades. Revista da ABNP, 12(34), 439-462. Retrieved from https://www.abpnrevista.org.br/index.php/site/article/view/1145
https://www.abpnrevista.org.br/index.php...
, p. 452), the very existence of the black population in the constitution of Belo Horizonte and in its initial development can be read as a "counter-project to modernity based on exclusionary foundations and informed by the structuring racism of society, since the origins of the capital," in a confluence of Afro-diasporic ancestral knowledge. In this way, the city was built by black hands and, even if the official historiography tries to erase them, Belo Horizonte is black.

Despite its specificities, Belo Horizonte, like the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, was concerned with controlling the social masses. The street, although it promised leisure (the parks) and different ways of earning a living, was also a place of insecurity, especially for the working classes, since they had to deal with the arbitrariness and violence of the police in the public space (Passos, 2009Passos, D. O. R. (2009). A formação urbana e social da cidade de Belo Horizonte: hierarquização e estratificação do espaço na nova Capital mineira. Temporalidades, 1(2), 37-52. Retrieved from https://periodicos.ufmg.br/index.php/temporalidades/article/view/5350
https://periodicos.ufmg.br/index.php/tem...
).

The new capital copied the modern style of the cosmopolitan way of life, but remained conservative in its customs by perpetuating the barriers between the dominant and popular classes. Faced with the valorization of immigrant labor and the erasure of black protagonism (Pereira, 2019Pereira, J. A. (2019). Para além do horizonte do planejamento: racismo e produção do espaço urbano em Belo Horizonte (séculos XIX e XX) (Doctoral thesis). Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, SP.), even with the end of slavery, many freedmen submitted to a situation analogous to slavery and, consequently, to subalternity in order to survive the new order (Gomes, 2019Gomes, N. L. (2019). O movimento negro educador: saberes construídos nas lutas por emancipação. Petrópolis, RJ: Vozes.), a process that produced dispersion, fragmentation, the breaking of associative ties, and physical and symbolic death in the urban context (Simas & Rufino, 2018Simas, L. A., & Rufino, L. (2018). Fogo no mato: a ciência encantada das macumbas. Rio de Janeiro, RJ: Mórula.).

Despite this exclusion and constant silencing, black bodies stand out as carriers of memories and wisdom that have invented other daily lives, territories, and possibilities for survival in diaspora in the form of the power of life. The body that was objectified and disenchanted by colonialism is the same body that dribbles and strikes the dominant logic through its knowledge embodied in body schemes that recreate worlds (Simas & Rufino, 2018Simas, L. A., & Rufino, L. (2018). Fogo no mato: a ciência encantada das macumbas. Rio de Janeiro, RJ: Mórula.). Such transgression can be seen in cultural manifestations such as the Afro Carnival blocos. Specifically, in the case of Belo Horizonte, these blocos help us understand how black resistance has taken place in the city.

Afro Carnival blocos and the production of black spaces in Belo Horizonte

The planning of Belo Horizonte did not suit the black population (Saraiva & Silva, 2021Saraiva, L. A. S., & Silva, E. J. F. (2021, October). Planejamento urbano e invisibilização racial em Belo Horizonte. Artigo apresentado no XLV Encontro Anual da Associação Nacional de PósGraduação e Pesquisa em Administração, Virtual.), having observed "the old colonial struggle over the control of bodies - based on the idea of the transgressive body that can only find redemption in the expiation of sin and the partying body that must be disciplined as a productive tool of labor" (Simas, 2021Simas, L. A. (2021). O corpo encantado das ruas (8th ed.). Rio de Janeiro, RJ: Civilização Brasileira., p. 99). Blacks were allowed access to the city only as exploited labor. At the end of their working day, they had to leave the city promptly. This partial urban access for black bodies can be thought of through the classification of hard areas, soft areas, and black spaces, whether implicit or explicit:

The "hard" areas of color relations are: 1) work and in particular the search for work; 2) the marriage and flirtation market; 3) contacts with the police. [...] The "soft" areas of social relations are all those spaces where being black doesn't make things difficult and can sometimes even bring prestige. There is the domain of leisure in general [...]. These spaces can be considered implicit black spaces, places where being black is not an obstacle. Then there are the more defined and explicit black spaces, the places where being black is an advantage: the Afro bloco, the batucada, the candomblé terreiro, and capoeira. (Sansone, 1996Sansone, L. (1996). Nem somente preto ou negro: o sistema de classificação racial no Brasil que muda. Afro-Ásia, (18), 165-187. doi:10.9771/aa.v0i18.20904
https://doi.org/10.9771/aa.v0i18.20904...
, p. 183)

In addition to black spaces, we also highlight the existence of black territories. The black territories discussed by Rolnik (1989)Rolnik, R. (1989). Territórios negros nas cidades brasileiras: etnicidade e cidade em São Paulo e Rio de Janeiro. Revista de Estudos Afro-Asiáticos, 17, 1-17. Retrieved from https://raquelrolnik.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/territc3b3rios-negros.pdf
https://raquelrolnik.files.wordpress.com...
are physical spaces in cities that the black population has occupied or has been allowed to occupy. In this context, throughout history, there have been strongly structured Afro-Brazilian communities confined to particular territories. Territories are responsible for preserving history and traditions. In the case of black territories, in addition to the history of exclusion, there is also the construction of uniqueness and the development of a common repertoire. Despite the conceptual distinction between black spaces and black territories, we emphasize that the existence of black spaces is facilitated to the extent that black territories ultimately bring together the black population and provide them with the conditions to organize themselves.

Here we are interested in the explicit black spaces indicated by Sansone (1996)Sansone, L. (1996). Nem somente preto ou negro: o sistema de classificação racial no Brasil que muda. Afro-Ásia, (18), 165-187. doi:10.9771/aa.v0i18.20904
https://doi.org/10.9771/aa.v0i18.20904...
. These allow for possibilities in a dream city that transcends the planned and exclusionary city: "[...] if colonialism built the cross as the aegis of its project of domination, here we reinvent the world, transforming the cross into a crossroads and practicing it as a field of possibilities" (Simas & Rufino, 2018Simas, L. A., & Rufino, L. (2018). Fogo no mato: a ciência encantada das macumbas. Rio de Janeiro, RJ: Mórula., p. 20). For these authors, the intersections emerge as ethical and aesthetic, poetic and political principles for re-signifying life in everyday life forged in the furnace of racism/colonialism. That is, we take the production of black spaces as this field of possibilities capable of re-signifying and resisting the logic of how a segregating city works.

Morales (1991)Morales, A. (1991). Blocos negros em Salvador: reelaboração cultural e símbolos de baianidade. Caderno CRH, 4, 72-92. doi:10.9771/ccrh.v4i0.18844
https://doi.org/10.9771/ccrh.v4i0.18844...
recalls that since the period of enslavement, black people have used their cultural and ethnic manifestations to negotiate for social spaces with the dominant sectors. If, on the one hand, the production of cities is marked by segregation, the forms of (re)existence of black people continue to resonate in space-time in other struggles for rights, identities, and respect for culture, as in the case of the Afro Carnival blocos, which re-signify the marginalization of black bodies only for work. Ipiranga and Lopes (2017Ipiranga, A. S. R., & Lopes, L. L. S. (2017). O organizar da estética espacial: uma história táctil da Praça dos Leões. Sociedade, Contabilidade e Gestão, 12(1), 130-153. doi:10.21446/scg_ufrj.v12i1.13402
https://doi.org/10.21446/scg_ufrj.v12i1....
, p. 144) had already evoked the organizational and aesthetic character of black spaces in cities when they talked about the Brotherhood of Our Lady of the Rosary of Black Men in Fortaleza and how they "reorganized the spaces of the Rosário Church as a central meeting place for the group, with a social, religious, and cultural reference to counter those who sought to control the Church, the ecclesiastical and state authorities."

Although the festive practices of this Brotherhood are related to religious celebration, they transcend it by creating spaces of sociability involving people from all classes and which are also spaces of appropriation for those who practice black culture in the city of Fortaleza. In this context, black people assumed a position of relevance and, in parallel, a multiplicity of operations was forged, for example, with the appropriation of new spaces and learning, the construction of new identities, of different sociabilities in the affirmation of black culture (Ipiranga & Lopes, 2017Ipiranga, A. S. R., & Lopes, L. L. S. (2017). O organizar da estética espacial: uma história táctil da Praça dos Leões. Sociedade, Contabilidade e Gestão, 12(1), 130-153. doi:10.21446/scg_ufrj.v12i1.13402
https://doi.org/10.21446/scg_ufrj.v12i1....
). "In this sense, the 'Festas dos Pretos' symbolized atavistic and ancestral historical manifestations of African culture, forming hybrid, festive, and religious practices that expressed, through aesthetic elements, transgressions and politics of resistance" (Ipiranga & Lopes, 2017Ipiranga, A. S. R., & Lopes, L. L. S. (2017). O organizar da estética espacial: uma história táctil da Praça dos Leões. Sociedade, Contabilidade e Gestão, 12(1), 130-153. doi:10.21446/scg_ufrj.v12i1.13402
https://doi.org/10.21446/scg_ufrj.v12i1....
, p. 147). There are some intersections between the "Festas dos Pretos" and the Afro blocos, as both, in addition to having an organizational character, use of aesthetic elements and place black people in a place of (re)existence.

The type of carnival organization known as the Afro bloco emerged in the city of Salvador in the 1970s. Salvador's popular culture can be seen in the streets, avenues, and squares, not coincidentally in the same places where the Afro blocos were founded and continue to be founded to this day (Dantas, 2016Dantas, M. (2016). Liderança em organizações étnico-culturais: o caso do carnaval da Bahia. In R. C. D. P. Alves, & C. O. C. Nascimento (Orgs.), Formação cultural - sentidos epistemológicos e políticos (pp. 237-259). Belo Horizonte, MG: Fino Traço.). They emerged as a mixture of various other organizations that were present not only in the Bahian Carnival, but also in the social life of the place. Using percussion, but now influenced by the drums used in candomblé, all the aesthetics, rhythm, and music of these blocos were linked to African cultural roots, as the goal was to show the ancestral customs of the black diaspora spread throughout the world, especially across the Atlantic (Vergara, 2017Vergara, K. R. G. (2017). Que bloco é esse? Posicionamento do bloco afro Ilê Aiyê no carnaval de Salvador e o movimento do samba reggae. Revista Brasileira do Caribe, 18(34), 91-106. doi:10.18764/rbc.v0i0.7504
https://doi.org/10.18764/rbc.v0i0.7504...
).

Young blacks who were once not accepted in the traditional soteropolitan Carnival blocos found in the Afro blocos an alternative way of participating in Carnival, based on a discourse of racial valorization, as well as using an ethnic reference that gave these blocos great symbolic strength and was responsible for their great power of aggregation (Morales, 1991Morales, A. (1991). Blocos negros em Salvador: reelaboração cultural e símbolos de baianidade. Caderno CRH, 4, 72-92. doi:10.9771/ccrh.v4i0.18844
https://doi.org/10.9771/ccrh.v4i0.18844...
). The blocos, therefore, can be characterized as self-defined groups as carnival entities for the preservation of black culture, which present themselves as a way of life, in other words, blackness is experienced in the daily life of the bloco, which exists throughout the year and not just during the Carnival period (Silva, 2007Silva, A. C. C. (2007). Novas subjetividades e “onguização” nos movimentos negros de Ilhéus, Bahia. Ilha Revista de Antropologia, 9(1-2), 47-67. Retrieved from https://periodicos.ufsc.br/index.php/ilha/article/view/6287
https://periodicos.ufsc.br/index.php/ilh...
).

Afro blocos are politicized organizations positioned in a socially critical way, based on an ideology rooted in ethnicity (Dantas, 1996Dantas, M. (1996). Três organizações afro-baianas, três modelos, três estilos de liderança. In T. Fischer (Org.), O carnaval baiano: negócios e oportunidades (pp. 105-120). Brasília, DF: SEBRAE.) and black resistance (Siqueira, 1997Siqueira, M. L. (1997). Ancestralidade e contemporaneidade de organizações de resistência afrobrasileira. In T. Fischer (Org.), Gestão contemporânea: cidades estratégicas e organizações locais (2nd ed.) (pp. 133-150). Rio de Janeiro, RJ: FGV.). The Ilê Aiyê bloco, the first to declare itself an Afro bloco, is very representative because it was born at a time in Brazilian history (1974) when the dream of social ascension came up against the concrete impediments of the reality of an income-concentrating economic model designed by a military dictatorship (Dantas, 2016Dantas, M. (2016). Liderança em organizações étnico-culturais: o caso do carnaval da Bahia. In R. C. D. P. Alves, & C. O. C. Nascimento (Orgs.), Formação cultural - sentidos epistemológicos e políticos (pp. 237-259). Belo Horizonte, MG: Fino Traço.). "The appearance of Ilê coincides, quite rightly, with the moment of affirmation of the industrialization process, the installation of the Petrochemical Complex, which causes very strong socio-economic transformations in the city of Salvador" (Dantas, 2016Dantas, M. (2016). Liderança em organizações étnico-culturais: o caso do carnaval da Bahia. In R. C. D. P. Alves, & C. O. C. Nascimento (Orgs.), Formação cultural - sentidos epistemológicos e políticos (pp. 237-259). Belo Horizonte, MG: Fino Traço., p. 254). Moreover, the centuries-old antecedents of racism had not been dispersed in the economic modernity of the hegemonic discourse of the elites: despite economic advances, Brazil continued to be exclusionary towards black people.

Despite the singularities of blacks from Bahia in relation to blacks from Minas Gerais, what is striking is the fact that, despite their ethnic origin, black people have culturally manifested themselves in the negotiation for social spaces since the time of enslavement. Currently, in the city of Belo Horizonte, there are dozens of Afro blocos that have been created mainly since the 2000s. Although most of them were created recently, one in particular is over forty years old. Founded in 1980 after a provocation by the singer Gilberto Gil, who asked the bloco's creator why Belo Horizonte still didn't have an Afoxé, and inspired by the Afoxé Filhos de Gandhi from Bahia, the pioneering Afro bloco in the capital of Minas Gerais, Afoxé Ilê Odara, was born.

A striking characteristic of an Afro bloco is its connection with peripheral territories: Ilê Aiyê, for example, was created in Salvador's Curuzu neighborhood; Olodum, in Maciel-Pelourinho. This dynamic is also repeated in Belo Horizonte, except for a single bloco, Angola Janga, which, subverting what is expected of peripheral people, decided to occupy the city's hypercenter with the discourse that the black territory is also the black body itself. Founded on November 20, 2015, Angola Janga is an Afro bloco that held its first parade in 2016. It was created when the founding couple noticed the absence of black people in Belo Horizonte's street carnival blocos. With the pioneering Afro blocos in Bahia as a reference, the couple wanted to create a bloco so that black people could also enjoy Carnival in Belo Horizonte.

After it was founded, the bloco began its rehearsals under the Santa Tereza Viaduct in the center of the city. The choice to rehearse at this location was deliberate, since it is a place of great cultural importance for black and peripheral manifestations in Belo Horizonte, due to the cultural movements that take place there and that implement the right to the city. It is also close to a subway station, the cheapest form of transportation in the city and one that gives access to many peripheries. Finally, the choice of location was also justified by the fact that the founders of Angola Janga believe that black territory can be established wherever there is a black body. Rolnik (1989)Rolnik, R. (1989). Territórios negros nas cidades brasileiras: etnicidade e cidade em São Paulo e Rio de Janeiro. Revista de Estudos Afro-Asiáticos, 17, 1-17. Retrieved from https://raquelrolnik.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/territc3b3rios-negros.pdf
https://raquelrolnik.files.wordpress.com...
, for example, states that as an enslaved person, the space of the black person was the slave quarters. And it was in this place that African ancestry created a sense of community between people who had no other kind of bond than their bodies.

[...] It was through it [the body] that, in the slave quarters, the enslaved affirmed and celebrated their community bond; it was also through it that the collective memory could be transmitted. In this way, the senzala courtyard, a symbol of segregation and control, was transformed into a terreiro, a place for celebrating forms of community bonding. (Rolnik, 1989Rolnik, R. (1989). Territórios negros nas cidades brasileiras: etnicidade e cidade em São Paulo e Rio de Janeiro. Revista de Estudos Afro-Asiáticos, 17, 1-17. Retrieved from https://raquelrolnik.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/territc3b3rios-negros.pdf
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, p. 77)

These are the same bodies that managed to Africanize Bahia's Carnival in the 1970s with the pioneering Afro bloco Ilê Aiyê. Today, Afro blocos like Angola Janga continue to proudly display their blackness and put the black body, the same subalternized and stigmatized body, on the street as the protagonist of its own destiny. When Simas and Rufino (2018Simas, L. A., & Rufino, L. (2018). Fogo no mato: a ciência encantada das macumbas. Rio de Janeiro, RJ: Mórula., p. 50) propose that we think of black bodies as terreiros, we need to consider that this body is a settlement of knowledge that, when "[...] properly activated, reinvents the possibilities of being/practicing/enchanting the world as a terreiro." As the terreiro body practices its knowledge in everyday life, it reinvents life and the world.

Although Angola Janga is not the first Afro bloco in Belo Horizonte, it stands out as the only one that takes place in the center of the city. The bloco gathers on Avenida Amazonas, where it meets Rua São Paulo. The fact that the bloco remains in the central region was guaranteed only after much conflict with the public authorities responsible for managing Carnival in the capital of Minas Gerais. Although Belo Horizonte's Carnival is spread over the city's nine regional areas, it is concentrated in the south-central region, where most of the parades and blocos are non-Afro. Unlike other Afro blocos in Belo Horizonte, by occupying and (re)existing in the streets of the city center, which are only receptive to black bodies when they go to work, Anglo Janga ends up reinforcing the maxim that black territory is also the black body itself, which provides the conditions for negotiating new social spaces for the black community.

Another moment of occupation of the city center by the Afro blocos of Belo Horizonte takes place during Kandandu, a festival based on the valorization of black culture, which is responsible for opening the city's official Carnival. This event is the result of an achievement of the Association of Afro Blocos of Minas Gerais (Abafro), when it was still chaired by the same president of the Angola Janga Afro bloco, and it became part of the city's Carnival festivities calendar thanks to Abafro’s collaboration with the City Council - after much insistence from the Association - and civil society. Kandandu is the gathering of Afro blocos in Belo Horizonte, which takes place on the first two nights of the city's official Carnival (Prefeitura de Belo Horizonte [PBH], 2019Prefeitura de Belo Horizonte (2019, May 24). Kandandu, encontro de blocos afro, marca a abertura do feriado de Carnaval. Retrieved from https://prefeitura.pbh.gov.br/noticias/kandanduencontro-de-blocos-afro-marca-abertura-do-feriado-de-carnaval
https://prefeitura.pbh.gov.br/noticias/k...
). It is the moment when the various Afro blocos come together to inaugurate the festivities. The event has been held since 2017 and in 2018 was recognized by the Ministry of Human Rights as one of the largest and most important actions to promote racial equality in the country (PBH, 2018Prefeitura de Belo Horizonte (2018, November 14). “Kandandu” recebe homenagem por promoção da igualdade racial. Retrieved from https://prefeitura.pbh.gov.br/noticias/kandandurecebe-homenagem-por-promocao-da-igualdade-racial
https://prefeitura.pbh.gov.br/noticias/k...
). The event takes place on the main stage of the Carnival, in Praça da Estação.

Praça da Estação is located in the center of Belo Horizonte, next to a subway station and close to many bus lines, making it one of the city's most easily accessible points, especially for those coming from the outskirts. However, in addition to the ease of access, the fact that Kandandu takes place in Praça da Estação is very significant, as it is the main stage of Belo Horizonte's Carnival. To be on the main stage of Carnival is to put Afro blocos, and by extension, black people in a place that is denied them throughout the year, a place of belonging and protagonism in the city. When an Afro bloco has its parade in the center of Belo Horizonte, or when Abafro manages to create Kandandu, the black population is invited by other blacks to enjoy the city beyond the traditional urban relations. It is therefore important from a symbolic point of view to have an Afro bloco occupying the city, since it reclassifies the black body that frequents that space during the year - as a worker, who goes there to work, protest, and/or strike, who is beaten and dies during the night, who does capoeira, who occupies informal jobs, or who is in a situation of social vulnerability - producing other sociabilities.

The fact that Belo Horizonte was planned along the Avenida do Contorno facilitates the type of Carnival that exists in this city, since everything within the boundaries of this avenue is "close by," which is interesting for the local Carnival, since revelers can move around more easily without having to travel long distances. With regard to the characterization of the Belo Horizonte Carnival, it is worth highlighting the fact that the party is completely free, i.e. in the capital of Minas Gerais, there is no need to buy an abadás or make any payment to take part. The blocos that parade in Carnival are not blocos de trio (as in Salvador), but blocos com trio. This means that some blocos may use electric trios in their parades, but they don't hierarchize the occupation of public space by using cordons or booths to separate paying and non-paying revelers. This dynamic allows revelers to experience the parades freely (being able to move between various blocos) and free of charge.

In Belo Horizonte, there is no obligation for street parades to be registered with the competent municipal authorities. However, those that choose not to do so cannot count on the infrastructure provided by Belotur1 1 The City of Belo Horizonte has a relationship with the cultural producers involved in the city's carnival through Belotur, the Belo Horizonte Municipal Tourism Company, which is responsible for managing the carnival festivities of the capital of Minas Gerais. , such as chemical toilets, road closures, advertising, security, and cleaning. In addition, only registered blocos can take part in the Subsidy Notice, which offers financial support for the parades. Few of Belo Horizonte's street parades receive enough private sponsorship to cover all the costs of a Carnival parade, which in practice establishes a relationship of dependency between the parades and Belotur.

The street parades have been the most prominent organizations in the city's Carnival in recent years, although there are also samba schools and caricature parades in the city. However, the recent revival of the Carnival is thanks to popular manifestations (Rezende & Saraiva, 2022Rezende, A. F., & Saraiva, L. A. S. (2022). Carnaval de rua de Belo Horizonte: ontem e hoje. Revista Eletrônica do Arquivo Público da Cidade de Belo Horizonte, 9(9), 33-50. Retrieved from https://prefeitura.pbh.gov.br/sites/default/files/estrutura-de-governo/fundacao-municipal-decultura/2023/reapcbh_v9_n9_2022.pdf
https://prefeitura.pbh.gov.br/sites/defa...
). One of the explanations for the reappearance of street carnival festivities in the city is linked to a movement that is independent of any support from the public authorities, a form of resistance to the curtailment and occupation of city space (Dias, 2015Dias, P. L. C. (2015). Sob a “lente do espaço vivido”: a apropriação das ruas pelos blocos de carnaval na belo Horizonte contemporânea (Master’s dissertation). Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG.). On December 9, 2009, the mayor at the time, Márcio Lacerda, decreed that it was forbidden to hold of any kind of event in the recently revitalized Praça da Estação (Migliano, 2013Migliano, M. (2013). Praia da estação como ação política: relato de experiências, envolvimentos e encontros. Redobra, 4(11), 43-54. Retrieved from http://www.redobra.ufba.br/wpcontent/uploads/2013/06/redobra11_05.pdf
http://www.redobra.ufba.br/wpcontent/upl...
). The justification for this ban was that the municipal government would have difficulty limiting the number of people attending events held there, as well as ensuring the preservation of public property that had been damaged as a result of recent events in the square (Oliveira, 2012Oliveira, N. N. (2012). Africanidades espetaculares dos blocos afros: Ilê Ayê, Olodum, Malê Debalê e Bankoma para a cena contemporânea numa cidade transatlântica. Revista Repertório, (19), 103-113. Retrieved from https://periodicos.ufba.br/index.php/revteatro/article/view/6869/4724
https://periodicos.ufba.br/index.php/rev...
; Melo, 2014Melo, T. M. (2014). Praia da estação: carnavalização e performatividade (Master’s dissertation). Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG.).

With the new legislation and the consequent deprivation of the consolidated right to use the community meeting and leisure area (Migliano, 2013Migliano, M. (2013). Praia da estação como ação política: relato de experiências, envolvimentos e encontros. Redobra, 4(11), 43-54. Retrieved from http://www.redobra.ufba.br/wpcontent/uploads/2013/06/redobra11_05.pdf
http://www.redobra.ufba.br/wpcontent/upl...
), a movement began that, a month later, became the event called Praia da Estação (Oliveira, 2012Oliveira, N. N. (2012). Africanidades espetaculares dos blocos afros: Ilê Ayê, Olodum, Malê Debalê e Bankoma para a cena contemporânea numa cidade transatlântica. Revista Repertório, (19), 103-113. Retrieved from https://periodicos.ufba.br/index.php/revteatro/article/view/6869/4724
https://periodicos.ufba.br/index.php/rev...
), a leaderless movement, with horizontal and non-partisan organization, held in a public space, open and free. In the calls for the meeting, the population was invited to come dressed in bathing suits and to bring children, dogs, and objects they would normally use on a sunny day at the beach. The invitation incited a playful-political action in the square, as the idea was to occupy the public space to experience a day at the beach, with meetings and conversations about the decree. This occupation was intense between January and May 2010, resurfacing in December of the same year and continuing until January 2011, when it celebrated its one-year anniversary (Oliveira, 2012Oliveira, N. N. (2012). Africanidades espetaculares dos blocos afros: Ilê Ayê, Olodum, Malê Debalê e Bankoma para a cena contemporânea numa cidade transatlântica. Revista Repertório, (19), 103-113. Retrieved from https://periodicos.ufba.br/index.php/revteatro/article/view/6869/4724
https://periodicos.ufba.br/index.php/rev...
). After a while, this movement gave rise to the Praia da Estação Carnival bloco, which had the intention of promoting a procession that would start at Praça da Estação and continue for about 1.2 km to the City Hall, where the symbolic washing of the steps would take place in the name of yet another protest against the curtailment of public spaces (Migliano, 2013Migliano, M. (2013). Praia da estação como ação política: relato de experiências, envolvimentos e encontros. Redobra, 4(11), 43-54. Retrieved from http://www.redobra.ufba.br/wpcontent/uploads/2013/06/redobra11_05.pdf
http://www.redobra.ufba.br/wpcontent/upl...
).

Here we have a scenario of carnivalesque manifestations reappearing in the capital of Minas Gerais (Rezende & Saraiva, 2022Rezende, A. F., & Saraiva, L. A. S. (2022). Carnaval de rua de Belo Horizonte: ontem e hoje. Revista Eletrônica do Arquivo Público da Cidade de Belo Horizonte, 9(9), 33-50. Retrieved from https://prefeitura.pbh.gov.br/sites/default/files/estrutura-de-governo/fundacao-municipal-decultura/2023/reapcbh_v9_n9_2022.pdf
https://prefeitura.pbh.gov.br/sites/defa...
), and another phenomenon common to carnivals in many other cities: the festival moves from prohibition/rejection by the public authorities to acceptance/subsidization. Currently, in the same region, it is possible for revelers to come into contact with different cultural manifestations, such as an Afro bloco, a pagode bloco, a heavy metal bloco, or a forró bloco, which contributes to making Belo Horizonte's Carnival different from those of other capitals, since this diversity makes it difficult to monetize the party in the sense of creating circuits, as happens in Salvador's street Carnival. Although there has been speculation about the creation of a Carnival circuit in Belo Horizonte, where the blocos could hold their parades in a controlled space, no action has yet been taken in this direction.

The producers of Carnival, especially the founders and members of the street blocos and cultural producers, have expressed their opposition to the possible privatization of the festival at various times, including during the negotiations between the street blocos and Belotur, recalling that in the past the Belo-Horizontinos have already been banned from enjoying their own city, and that privatizing the Carnival, through paid circuits or any other initiative along these lines, would be a new way of depriving the local population (especially the poorest) from enjoying the city during the days of revelry. In addition, some representatives of the city's Afro blocos argue that the whole discussion about the "carnival product" and by extension the "street blocos product," the "caricature blocos product," and the "samba schools product," is very costly, even more so for the people who make up the Afro blocos, since blacks were effectively treated as commodities in the not so distant past.

For black bodies in particular, occupying the city center marks the need to be visible in spaces where their place in everyday life is subordinated. Beyond the streets of the periphery, where the racist city expects black bodies to stay, it is necessary to be precisely in these central streets to demarcate a field of possibilities (Simas & Rufino, 2018Simas, L. A., & Rufino, L. (2018). Fogo no mato: a ciência encantada das macumbas. Rio de Janeiro, RJ: Mórula.). The procession of an Afro bloco in the central region implies, even for a moment, a break with the way in which the city is expected to be appropriated by black people. By putting a crowd of people on the street, with black people playing a leading role, the Afro Carnival bloco ultimately makes urbanity actually composed of subjects who are denied the city. Carnival thus also presents itself as one of those moments when the population has the right to the city, to urban spaces, the right to simply exist there without any specific productive purpose.

In addition to being a black welcoming space, an Afro bloco can be an organization capable of "[...] converting victims of oppression into political actors who lead the resistance and struggle" (Gomes, 2019Gomes, N. L. (2019). O movimento negro educador: saberes construídos nas lutas por emancipação. Petrópolis, RJ: Vozes., p. 11). By forging itself as a social movement that re-signifies and politicizes race, the Afro bloco gains an emancipatory and non-inferiorizing treatment (Gomes, 2019Gomes, N. L. (2019). O movimento negro educador: saberes construídos nas lutas por emancipação. Petrópolis, RJ: Vozes.), while at the same time attributing to the black body a transgressive character that exchanges with the differences of entering the game of symbolic seduction and festive enchantment, provided that it can, from there, resist and expand (Sodré, 2019Sodré, M. (2019). O terreiro e a cidade: a forma social negro-brasileira (3a ed.). Rio de Janeiro, RJ: Mauad X.).

During Carnival, the Afro blocos institute an exception that brings with it a promising possibility of a rule: that black people can produce urban spaces that look like them, that respond to their needs and characteristics, without having to remain in segregated spaces or confined to the peripheries. The parades emphasize racial pride, affirm differences, and present the possibilities of collective gains for the city as a whole, in practice, with the cross becoming a crossroads (Simas & Rufino, 2018Simas, L. A., & Rufino, L. (2018). Fogo no mato: a ciência encantada das macumbas. Rio de Janeiro, RJ: Mórula.), as the power of the world, that is, the possibility of reinventing life, where there is not just one path, but a field of possibilities. The Angola Janga Afro bloco and the Kandandu initiative show the power of the crossroads in producing the lives of black bodies as a field of possibilities based on everyday resistance.

Black resistance organizations and their contribution to the spatial turn in Organizational Studies

In various sciences, we can observe a movement known as the spatial turn, with a privileged analysis of the city and the production of social space (Frehse, 2013Frehse, F. (2013). O espaço na vida social: uma introdução. Estudos Avançados, 27(79), 69-74. doi:10.1590/S0103-40142013000300006
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0103-4014201300...
; Frehse & O'Donell, 2019Frehse, F., & O’Donnell, J. (2019). Quando espaços e tempos revelam cidades. Tempo Social, 31(1), 1-9. doi:10.11606/0103-2070.ts.2019.153111
https://doi.org/10.11606/0103-2070.ts.20...
). Administrative science, especially Organizational Studies, is also concerned with the urban phenomenon. We can initially highlight Fischer's (1997) understanding of the city as a "complex set of organizational webs with diversities and singularities that generate a strong multiplication of projects, cooperative games, exclusions and conflicts, alliances and rejection. The city is order and disorder, actually or virtually produced" (Fischer, 1997Fischer, T. (1997). A cidade como teia organizacional: inovações, continuidades e ressonâncias culturais Salvador, BA, cidade puzzle. Revista de Administração Pública, 31(3), 74-88. Retrieved from https://bibliotecadigital.fgv.br/ojs/index.php/rap/article/view/7906
https://bibliotecadigital.fgv.br/ojs/ind...
, p. 76). In this approach, the city is seen as a mega-organization, full of complex, diverse, singular, plural, and contradictory elements, in which urban culture influences the construction and reinforcement of identities.

Subsequently, Mac-Allister (2004)Mac-Allister, M. (2004). A cidade no campo dos estudos organizacionais. Organizações & Sociedade, 11(special edition), 171-181. doi:10.1590/1984-9110012
https://doi.org/10.1590/1984-9110012...
and Saraiva and Carrieri (2012)Saraiva, L. A. S., & Carrieri, A. P. (2012). Organização-cidade: proposta de avanço conceitual a partir da análise de um caso. Revista de Administração Pública, 46(2), 547-576. doi:10.1590/S0034-76122012000200010
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-7612201200...
conceptualize and problematize the concept of city-organization, which goes beyond the social organization previously discussed by Fischer (1997)Fischer, T. (1997). A cidade como teia organizacional: inovações, continuidades e ressonâncias culturais Salvador, BA, cidade puzzle. Revista de Administração Pública, 31(3), 74-88. Retrieved from https://bibliotecadigital.fgv.br/ojs/index.php/rap/article/view/7906
https://bibliotecadigital.fgv.br/ojs/ind...
and also treats it as the location of this organization, a spatial dimension that goes beyond physical space (Mac-Allister, 2004Mac-Allister, M. (2004). A cidade no campo dos estudos organizacionais. Organizações & Sociedade, 11(special edition), 171-181. doi:10.1590/1984-9110012
https://doi.org/10.1590/1984-9110012...
). This allows for an analysis that includes "social organization" and "spatial organization," in an "organizational view of urban dynamics, which opens up possibilities for observing organized social life" (Mac-Allister, 2004Mac-Allister, M. (2004). A cidade no campo dos estudos organizacionais. Organizações & Sociedade, 11(special edition), 171-181. doi:10.1590/1984-9110012
https://doi.org/10.1590/1984-9110012...
, p. 178). In addition, Saraiva and Carrieri (2012Saraiva, L. A. S., & Carrieri, A. P. (2012). Organização-cidade: proposta de avanço conceitual a partir da análise de um caso. Revista de Administração Pública, 46(2), 547-576. doi:10.1590/S0034-76122012000200010
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-7612201200...
, p. 551), in their study of the city of Itabira, consider that the city-organization includes "a project for the production of urban space in a geographical context permeated by a territorial socio-symbolic dynamic," in which social groups and/or individuals integrate and interact, which ends up building an urban culture marked by common identities.

City dwellers, sometimes citizens or quasi-citizens, depending on their belonging and exclusion, seek to appropriate the city and take part in it. We understand that this is a central element in the work of Organizational Studies dealing with spatiality and raciality. Nascimento et al. (2015)Nascimento, M. C. R., Oliveira, J. S., Teixeira, J. C., & Carrieri, A. P. (2015). Com que cor eu vou pro shopping que você me convidou? Revista de Administração Contemporânea, 19(3), 245-268. doi:10.1590/1982-7849rac20151510
https://doi.org/10.1590/1982-7849rac2015...
deal with race relations and the socio-spatial segregation that results from them, considering shopping malls as private spaces where certain social groups, characterized by their dark skin color, are symbolically excluded. In another study, Nascimento et al. (2016)Nascimento, M. C. R., Teixeira, J. C., Oliveira, J. S., & Saraiva, L. A. S. (2016). Práticas de segregação e resistência nas organizações: uma análise discursiva sobre os “rolezinhos” na cidade de Belo Horizonte (MG). Revista de Administração Mackenzie, 17(1), 55-81. doi:10.1590/167869712016/administracao.v17n1p55-81
https://doi.org/10.1590/167869712016/adm...
highlighted the discourses of the electronic media regarding "rolezinhos," understood by the authors as practices of resistance by young people from the periphery who occupy shopping malls, expanding the boundaries of organizational spaces by highlighting a space that is notoriously exclusionary for this social group. These are fruitful possibilities for an organizational analysis of cities as spaces of contradiction and resistance.

The city, as Saraiva (2019Saraiva, L. A. S. (2019). Os estudos organizacionais e as cidades. In L. A. S. Saraiva, & A. G. Enoque (Orgs.), Cidades e estudos organizacionais: um debate necessário (pp. 21-73). Ituiutaba, MG: Barlavento., p. 22) shows us, is a "crossroads of elements and possibilities" that is appropriated in different ways depending on the social group considered. In Organizational Studies, as the aforementioned author points out, the city has been treated beyond the material dimension, taking on the dimension of lived space and the experiences of different social actors. Thus, we can speak of "making the city" as a daily action that goes beyond materiality and thought/cognition, in the interaction between these elements and people. We believe that making the city, from the perspective of making it more like us and our belonging as social beings (Sarr, 2019Sarr, F. (2019). Afrotopia. São Paulo, SP: n-1 Edições.), involves tensions, conflicts, and contradictions. It is the struggle for the heart of the city (Lefebvre, 2001Lefebvre, H. (2001). O direito à cidade. São Paulo, SP: Centauro.). Fischer (1997)Fischer, T. (1997). A cidade como teia organizacional: inovações, continuidades e ressonâncias culturais Salvador, BA, cidade puzzle. Revista de Administração Pública, 31(3), 74-88. Retrieved from https://bibliotecadigital.fgv.br/ojs/index.php/rap/article/view/7906
https://bibliotecadigital.fgv.br/ojs/ind...
alerted us to the fact that the city is "a place of citizenship and marginality," "home and meeting place, [...] the repository of society's problems, the scene of crises, the locus of impotence and disenchantment." We believe that the "disenchantment" presented by Fischer (1997)Fischer, T. (1997). A cidade como teia organizacional: inovações, continuidades e ressonâncias culturais Salvador, BA, cidade puzzle. Revista de Administração Pública, 31(3), 74-88. Retrieved from https://bibliotecadigital.fgv.br/ojs/index.php/rap/article/view/7906
https://bibliotecadigital.fgv.br/ojs/ind...
is related to the abstraction of space, the erasure of differences, and the superimposition of exchange value to the detriment of the use value of urban space (Lefebvre, 1991Lefebvre, H. (1991). The production of space. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.).

If we consider a process of disenchantment and erasure of differences and their symbolic exchanges, is there an opposite process of enchantment of the disenchanted space and rewriting of the differences in the city? In the two previous topics, we exposed a disenchanted Belo Horizonte, the result of exclusionary concepts of modernity and the Republic, especially for the black population that built it and is segregated in its daily urban life. The Afro blocos and Kandandu, in the production of black spaces, re-signify the presence of the black body in the city beyond symbolic death and all kinds of violence. The black body, in the spaces produced at the Belo Horizonte Carnival, the repository and foundation of memories that rescue Africanity, plays with difference and transgresses the space that reduces it to simple labor or commodity. The protagonism of the "black resistance organizations," in reference to Siqueira (1997)Siqueira, M. L. (1997). Ancestralidade e contemporaneidade de organizações de resistência afrobrasileira. In T. Fischer (Org.), Gestão contemporânea: cidades estratégicas e organizações locais (2nd ed.) (pp. 133-150). Rio de Janeiro, RJ: FGV., breaks down spatial barriers and reinvents the everyday life of the city: the festive bodies enrich Belo Horizonte as a space lived by black people whose purpose is to party.

However, we cannot ignore the exclusion and violence that is practiced against black people in cities. As Andrade and Rezende (2023)Andrade, L. F. S., & Rezende, A. F. (2023). Cidade, encarceramento e violência: uma geografia da sobrevivência dos negros para os estudos organizacionais. Cadernos EBAPE.BR, 21(2), 1-11. doi:10.1590/1679-395120220122
https://doi.org/10.1590/1679-39512022012...
point out, in a geography of black survival, structural racism manifested in mass incarceration and violence dates back to enslavement and the control of black bodies. It is necessary to ask whether black people can actually live in the city. The history of Belo Horizonte, beyond its modern and republican façade, is marked by the exclusion and erasure of black people, from the inhabitants of Curral Del Rey, to the black workers who built the new capital of Minas Gerais, to the black people who live in and make up the city today, exposed to the daily racism of a municipality founded on the hierarchy of races and, consequently, of their cultures and ways of existing, a point of similarity with other Brazilian city spaces. Since the black population has historically had its citizenship mutilated (Santos, 1997Santos, M. (1997). As cidadanias mutiladas. In J. Lerner (Ed.), O preconceito (pp. 133-144). São Paulo, SP: Imprensa Oficial do Estado.), we believe it is urgent to spatialize the racial issue in Organizational Studies, which can be enriched by the understanding that different social groups, especially minority groups, are systematically denied the right to the city (Lefebvre, 2001Lefebvre, H. (2001). O direito à cidade. São Paulo, SP: Centauro.).

This process of erasing differences and disenchantment does not happen without black resistance. It is possible to think and act on an oppressive reality, not only by exposing it, but ultimately by promoting ruptures in the urban social space. In this way, it is possible to think of the black person's right to the city (Rezende & Andrade, 2022Rezende, A. F., & Andrade, L. F. S. (2022). Direito do negro à cidade: de uma formação socioespacial racista à utopia lefebvriana. urbe. Revista Brasileira de Gestão Urbana, 14(e20210438). doi:10.1590/2175-3369.014.e20210438
https://doi.org/10.1590/2175-3369.014.e2...
), the participation and appropriation of city spaces by the black population, as a movement between an oppressive reality and a utopia of more just and racially equitable cities. Lefebvre's (2001) urban utopia and Sarr's (2019) Afrotopia are real and inundate black becoming in cities with power: social transformation and the use of urban space related to other forms of belonging and engagement and other identities promotes black people's right to the city as power and possibility.

We start from the understanding that the different initiatives that contribute to black people's right to the city (Rezende & Andrade, 2022Rezende, A. F., & Andrade, L. F. S. (2022). Direito do negro à cidade: de uma formação socioespacial racista à utopia lefebvriana. urbe. Revista Brasileira de Gestão Urbana, 14(e20210438). doi:10.1590/2175-3369.014.e20210438
https://doi.org/10.1590/2175-3369.014.e2...
) are important milestones for black culture, sociability, and self-esteem in the city. Siqueira (1997)Siqueira, M. L. (1997). Ancestralidade e contemporaneidade de organizações de resistência afrobrasileira. In T. Fischer (Org.), Gestão contemporânea: cidades estratégicas e organizações locais (2nd ed.) (pp. 133-150). Rio de Janeiro, RJ: FGV. believes that there is a process of reelaborated continuities in the forms of belonging through which black people associate themselves with ethnic organizations. This process involves specific temporalities and spatialities/places, from the quilombo tradition to contemporary forms of black organization in cultural, religious, and liturgical-existential elements:

It was in the context of the quilombos, from 1830 onwards, that the brotherhoods were born that would give rise to the first candomblé terreiros in Bahia recorded by official historiography. These are therefore traditional organizations: candomblé terreiros, religious brotherhoods, capoeira circles, which in turn give rise to contemporary organizations (Siqueira, 1997Siqueira, M. L. (1997). Ancestralidade e contemporaneidade de organizações de resistência afrobrasileira. In T. Fischer (Org.), Gestão contemporânea: cidades estratégicas e organizações locais (2nd ed.) (pp. 133-150). Rio de Janeiro, RJ: FGV., p. 141).

Black resistance includes different organizational nuclei, from the traditional to the contemporary, examples of the latter being the Afro blocos, Afoxés, community schools, Afro bands, and various workshops that have emerged from the traditional nuclei (Siqueira, 1997Siqueira, M. L. (1997). Ancestralidade e contemporaneidade de organizações de resistência afrobrasileira. In T. Fischer (Org.), Gestão contemporânea: cidades estratégicas e organizações locais (2nd ed.) (pp. 133-150). Rio de Janeiro, RJ: FGV.). "The contemporary organizations that have emerged from the traditional nuclei of black culture and resistance are nourished by their own original structure" (Siqueira, 1997Siqueira, M. L. (1997). Ancestralidade e contemporaneidade de organizações de resistência afrobrasileira. In T. Fischer (Org.), Gestão contemporânea: cidades estratégicas e organizações locais (2nd ed.) (pp. 133-150). Rio de Janeiro, RJ: FGV., p. 140). We can therefore think that the production of territories (Rolnik, 1989Rolnik, R. (1989). Territórios negros nas cidades brasileiras: etnicidade e cidade em São Paulo e Rio de Janeiro. Revista de Estudos Afro-Asiáticos, 17, 1-17. Retrieved from https://raquelrolnik.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/territc3b3rios-negros.pdf
https://raquelrolnik.files.wordpress.com...
) and black spaces (Sansone, 1996Sansone, L. (1996). Nem somente preto ou negro: o sistema de classificação racial no Brasil que muda. Afro-Ásia, (18), 165-187. doi:10.9771/aa.v0i18.20904
https://doi.org/10.9771/aa.v0i18.20904...
) manifests itself from the organization of black resistance, whether its materiality and location is more or less fixed or classified as traditional or contemporary.

Siqueira (1997)Siqueira, M. L. (1997). Ancestralidade e contemporaneidade de organizações de resistência afrobrasileira. In T. Fischer (Org.), Gestão contemporânea: cidades estratégicas e organizações locais (2nd ed.) (pp. 133-150). Rio de Janeiro, RJ: FGV. also highlights three central axes of black resistance organizations and two central objectives. These axes are knowledge, identity reference, and vital energy. Although the author does not elaborate on the concepts of these axes, we understand that they are Afrocentric knowledge, based on African-Brazilian continuity, which is closely related to identity reference. As Fanon (2018Fanon, F. (2018). Racismo e Cultura. Revista Convergência Crítica, (13), 78-90. doi:10.22409/rcc.v1i13.38512
https://doi.org/10.22409/rcc.v1i13.38512...
, p. 81) elucidates, when dealing with culture and racism, black people, deprived of their culture and means of existence, "are destroyed in the depths of their existence," but recovering the knowledge of their black identity promotes ecstasy with each rediscovery, in a process of permanent enchantment. Tradition is rediscovered in contemporaneity, in its own time and space. This is how the continuum between Africa and Brazil works, how "the meaning of the past is rediscovered" (Fanon, 2018Fanon, F. (2018). Racismo e Cultura. Revista Convergência Crítica, (13), 78-90. doi:10.22409/rcc.v1i13.38512
https://doi.org/10.22409/rcc.v1i13.38512...
, p. 89). Knowledge is acquired through experience, through what is lived, and knowledge occurs at the crossroads, in the field of possibilities (Simas & Rufino, 2018Simas, L. A., & Rufino, L. (2018). Fogo no mato: a ciência encantada das macumbas. Rio de Janeiro, RJ: Mórula.). This process is also related to vital energy: just as axé is planted in the terreiro so that the soil reverberates with life, black spaces and territories are impregnated with vital energy and power: deconstructing and reconstructing worlds, actions, and everyday life itself.

The central objectives of black resistance organizations are "to make their civilizational heritage more dynamic, while calling themselves Afro-Brazilians, and to seek better living conditions in society, with self-esteem and citizenship, in response to the processes of exclusion" (Siqueira, 1997Siqueira, M. L. (1997). Ancestralidade e contemporaneidade de organizações de resistência afrobrasileira. In T. Fischer (Org.), Gestão contemporânea: cidades estratégicas e organizações locais (2nd ed.) (pp. 133-150). Rio de Janeiro, RJ: FGV., p. 138), in a process of resistance to a society founded on racism, which is reflected in the cities. From quilombos to brotherhoods, from terreiros to Afro blocos, from syncretism to the clandestine rites of Congados, Congadas, and Reinados, there is a reaffirmation of black identity and an appreciation of culture and transgressive bodies.

We believe that in addition to the knowledge, identity reference, and vital energy revealed by Siqueira (1997)Siqueira, M. L. (1997). Ancestralidade e contemporaneidade de organizações de resistência afrobrasileira. In T. Fischer (Org.), Gestão contemporânea: cidades estratégicas e organizações locais (2nd ed.) (pp. 133-150). Rio de Janeiro, RJ: FGV., another central axis can be imagined: the spatiality of black resistance, which, through organizing, produces space, not just a material substrate, but a repository of memories and a place of possibilities and the meeting of differences. Understanding the production of space by black resistance organizations can contribute to the spatial turn in Organizational Studies by reflecting on the myriad ways in which black people give new meaning to their everyday lives and, in doing so, create a city in their likeness (Sarr, 2019Sarr, F. (2019). Afrotopia. São Paulo, SP: n-1 Edições.). The dimension of lived and everyday experience in the production of territories and spaces by black resistance organizations points to the centrality of the racial question not only as a response to the erasure of differences, but also as an ethical project of human emancipation and citizenship for black people, which can enrich discussions of cities in Organizational Studies.

Conclusions: the crossroads is a point of departure and arrival

In this essay, our aim was to problematize Belo Horizonte from a racial point of view in terms of processes of domination and resistance through the production of black spaces by means of Afro Carnival blocos, understood here as spaces of black resistance. After discussing the need to link the issue of race to the production of urban space in Brazil, we move on to deal specifically with the capital of Minas Gerais, a city planned to represent republican modernity and abandon imperial urban representations. The issue of race was also present in the founding of Belo Horizonte, both in terms of the erasure of the black history of Curral Del Rey and in the segregation of the blacks who built the capital, since it was simply not planned for them to inhabit the planned area.

The third part of the text deals with the Afro blocos and the production of black spaces in the context of the Belo Horizonte Carnival, a true subversion in which blackness is a condition of power and not of subalternity. In the fourth part, we indicate the contributions of reflections on the production of black spaces to a spatial turn in Organizational Studies already underway in Brazil, including research on raciality and spatiality. Specifically, we look at black resistance organizations as producers of black spaces capable of making cities rich in diversity, possibilities, and encounters. Taken together, these sections offer a glimpse into the complexity of the urban phenomenon, especially when it is crossed by racial issues that establish paths of existence or disappearance according to skin color. Black resistance organizations have emerged as an important element in reclaiming differences in cities and contributing to the right of black people to the city, in the sense of appropriating urban space and participating in the direction of Belo Horizonte.

Sarr (2019Sarr, F. (2019). Afrotopia. São Paulo, SP: n-1 Edições., p. 143), when dealing with African cities, argues that it is not enough to "reproduce faded copies of Paris, Berlin, or New York," but to make cities resemble us, reflecting who we are and who we want to be. We think that this observation is valid for America and its black diaspora, and more specifically for Belo Horizonte and its spaces as elements of a black becoming and how we want to be in the world. Does the capital of Minas Gerais reflect who we are and who we will be? If so, all of us or only some of us? Who doesn't make up the official urban portrait? The urban planning of the capital of Minas Gerais, by separating city and non-city, subjects and nonsubjects, leads us to question how much we can talk about modernity or a de facto republic. Saraiva and Silva (2021Saraiva, L. A. S., & Silva, E. J. F. (2021, October). Planejamento urbano e invisibilização racial em Belo Horizonte. Artigo apresentado no XLV Encontro Anual da Associação Nacional de PósGraduação e Pesquisa em Administração, Virtual., p. 13) point out the limits of urban planning, a European invention "conceived within universities, part of a technical and neutral knowledge, insensitive to other possibilities of existence, which leads to overlaps and erasures in the name of spatial order - a process that ends up hierarchizing existences on the basis of skin color".

The historical erasure of black people in Belo Horizonte shows which subjects are excluded from "making a city" in a project that echoes colonialism and segregation. On the one hand, we have no doubt that this city is a successful urban planning project that moves away from the images of backwardness of colonial and imperial Brazil. But at what cost? And above all, at whose expense? A city that, from the beginning, didn't even consider that black people could inhabit it, ended up inaugurating two cities simultaneously - one planned and the other excluded - by segregating spaces and possibilities of existence. This marks a city in which blacks can still circulate in the privileged areas during productive hours, but under the watchful eyes of those who tolerate them. At the end of working hours, they are expected to pile onto public transport to return to the urban areas where they are segregated and abandoned to their fate, where infrastructure and quality of life are lacking and where misery, violence, and death abound.

Of course, no victory or defeat is absolute: although the local historiography does not adequately deal with black people in Curral Del Rey or since the foundation of Belo Horizonte, these subjects have inscribed other experiences, bodies, and knowledge in the city, partially breaking the urban logic that has excluded them. In the context of Carnival, the Afro blocos occupy a special place in the capital of Minas Gerais. Alongside other urban manifestations, they are able to break, if only for a moment, with the everyday racism to which black people are subjected, showing that being black is resistance and power on the one hand, and that it is necessary to blacken the city on the other.

The main contributions of this article relate not only to the unveiling of an oppressive reality historically and spatially constructed in Brazilian cities, but also to the power of resistance as black bodies use their cultural and ethnic manifestations as a strategy to negotiate social spaces with the dominant sectors. We need to recognize that, on the other side of segregation, there are forms of (re)existence of black people who struggle to be part of this city while at the same time they seek to strengthen their Afro-diasporic identity and culture. Afro blocos or projects like Kandandu give new meaning to the marginalization of black bodies. In addition to highlighting their organizational nature, these manifestations use aesthetic elements and place black people in a place of (re)existence that signals their right to occupy the city for leisure and not just for the exploitation of their labor.

Black resistance organizations, such as the Afro blocos, are fields of possibilities that, by reaffirming themselves in other territories, including those that are not on the periphery, end up proclaiming to the city that the black body is also transgressive, capable of bringing together differences, fighting for rights, and thus evolving from victims of oppression to political actors who lead resistance and struggle in the search for the production of urban spaces beyond the peripheries, increasing the possibilities of collective gain for the city as a whole. We believe that black resistance organizations, as producers of black spaces and territories, can be read from a crossroads perspective. The crossroads is where the enchantment of the world is promoted and where differences intersect. It is a place where ancestral knowledge and contemporary ways of making cities meet, creating myriad possibilities and paths. Black resistance and the production of black spaces are in themselves crossroads, points of departure and arrival.

  • Funding
    The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, or publication of this article.

Notes

  • 1
    The City of Belo Horizonte has a relationship with the cultural producers involved in the city's carnival through Belotur, the Belo Horizonte Municipal Tourism Company, which is responsible for managing the carnival festivities of the capital of Minas Gerais.

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Associate Editor: Leticia Dias Fantinel

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    02 Feb 2024
  • Date of issue
    2023

History

  • Received
    25 Aug 2022
  • Accepted
    16 May 2023
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