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Tempo Social

versão impressa ISSN 0103-2070versão On-line ISSN 1809-4554


GUIMARAES, Antonio Sérgio Alfredo. The racial question in Brazilian politics (the past fifteen years). Tempo soc. [online]. 2001, vol.13, n.2, pp.121-142. ISSN 1809-4554.

In this article, I analyze how the racial question has marked Brazilian politics in the past fifteen years. I start by showing what the idea of racial democracy meant to the process of reconstruction of the Brazilian nationality, and go on to review the studies on the voting behaviour of the Brazilian Black population and discuss the emergence of Black social movements and their incorporation into the political system. I understand that we must see "racial democracy" as a political and social compromise of the Brazilian modern republican state, which was in power from the Vargas' New State until the end of the military dictatorship. This compromise which at present is in crisis, consisted of the incorporation of the Brazilian Black population into the work market, of the expansion of formal education, in other words, of the making of the infra-structural conditions of a society of classes that would do away with the stigmas created by slavery. The image of the Black person as one of the people and the banishment from Brazilian social thought of the concept of "race" which was replaced by those of "culture" and "social class" are the main expressions of this compromise.

Palavras-chave : racial democracy; black movement; racial question; Brazil.

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