The Anti-Black City: Police Terror and Black Urban Life in Brazil (Paperback)Jaime Amparo Alves (author)
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An important new ethnographic study of Sao Paulo's favelas revealing the widespread use of race-based police repression in Brazil
While Black Lives Matter still resonates in the United States, the movement has also become a potent rallying call worldwide, with harsh police tactics and repressive state policies often breaking racial lines. In The Anti-Black City, Jaime Amparo Alves delves into the dynamics of racial violence in Brazil, where poverty, unemployment, residential segregation, and a biased criminal justice system create urban conditions of racial precarity.
The Anti-Black City provocatively offers race as a vital new lens through which to view violence and marginalization in the supposedly "raceless" Sao Paulo. Ironically, in a context in which racial ambiguity makes it difficult to identify who is black and who is white, racialized access to opportunities and violent police tactics establish hard racial boundaries through subjugation and death. Drawing on two years of ethnographic research in prisons and neighborhoods on the periphery of this mega-city, Alves documents the brutality of police tactics and the complexity of responses deployed by black residents, including self-help initiatives, public campaigns against police violence, ruthless gangs, and self-policing of communities.
The Anti-Black City reveals the violent and racist ideologies that underlie state fantasies of order and urban peace in modern Brazil. Illustrating how "governing through death" has become the dominant means for managing and controlling ethnic populations in the neoliberal state, Alves shows that these tactics only lead to more marginalization, criminality, and violence. Ultimately, Alves's work points to a need for a new approach to an intractable problem: how to govern populations and territories historically seen as "ungovernable."
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Number of pages: 320
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 38 mm
"With impeccable scholarship and ethics, The Anti-Black City offers devastating, yet beautiful, narratives of resistance against brutality, poverty, and abandonment. Jaime Amparo Alves labored for years with maternal activists to resurrect critical thinking about communities suturing against evisceration and loss. In this impressive work, fighting for lives and the memories of their slain, resolute if not always resilient captives become the political doulas to a diaspora."-Joy James, author of Seeking the Beloved Community: A Feminist Race Reader
"Jaime Amparo Alves's poignant and powerful ethnography offers a vital critique of racialized forms of governance in the anti-black city of Sao Paulo. Beyond making a profound contribution to our understanding of the racialized and gendered inequalities which shape urban life in Brazil, this theoretically provocative work of activist scholarship also shows us a way forward."-Erika Robb Larkins, author of The Spectacular Favela: Violence in Modern Brazil
"With the narrative drive of a captivating novel, the immanent critique of critical theory at its best, the empirical precision and accuracy of an anthropologist whose trust has been hard won in the field, and a bone-deep commitment to Black liberation, The Anti-Black City illustrates how police terror in the favelas of Sao Paulo constitutes a violence of genocidal proportions. This book is a game-changer in the field of anthropology."-Frank B. Wilderson III, author of Red, White & Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms