Jessica Graham speaks on Brazilian history and Bolsonaro’s election

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On Oct 31, Jessica Graham, Assistant Professor at the University of California San Diego, visited Soka University to present “Black Internationalism in Brazil in the 1930s.”  Speaking to a packed room, Dr. Graham explored striking contrasts and continuities with contemporary Brazil and thus was particularly engaging only a week after the election Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s controversial President-elect.  One fascinating continuity is the way that politics and race frame the other.  In the 1930s, the battle between the (fascist) integralistas and communists helped reconfigure conceptions of race and build international bridges.   Likewise, race played an important role in recent Bolsonaro’s election, with most Brazilians who identify as “black” voting against Bolsonaro.  Five Brazilian undergraduate and graduate students attended, all wearing the yellow and green of Brazil’s flag.  Dr. Graham’s last slide was of Marielle Franco, a Rio de Janeiro Councilperson who was assassinated in 2014.  Franco was vocal advocate of Brazil’s own “Black Lives Matter” movement.

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