Looking for a Motherland: African Cultural Preservation Among Afro-Brazilian Communities

  • Claudine A. Kuradusenge-McLeod George Mason University


Based on 33 interviews conducted in three different cities in Brazil (Sao Paulo, Salvador de Bahia, and Rio de Janeiro), this article explored the narratives of identity and social consciousness of Afro-Brazilians. The research aimed to understand how these communities have created a sense of self as well as their position in the Brazilian society. Moreover, it intended to explore their connection to Africa, the land of their ancestors, as we as the impact of the Brazilian Racial Democracy politics on their social and political identities. In a series of interviews and field work, I examined the different narratives and stories of identity, cultural affiliations, and social consciousness told by Afro-Brazilians. In the current political and economic instabilities, race and poverty are becoming major factors that influence the Brazilian social structures and problematized the different group's sense of selves and construction of meaning-making.