It is common to hear in Brazil that white Brazilians are not white in the USA. What can sociology say about this? What about the Black Brazilians? Historically, the big field of race relations has not paid attention to the meaning of race as it applies to Brazilians who immigrate to the United States. At the same time, the research focusing specifically on Brazilian immigrants in the North American country does not highlight race issues substantially. It usually emphasizes how components of Brazilian culture are (re)-negotiated in the USA. In this presentation, I address the meaning of ‘Race’ for Brazilian immigrants who live in Chicago. With this in mind, I intend to dialogue with both the classical literature about race relations in Brazil and the Brazilian immigrants living in the United States. My primary goal is to reflect on how Brazilians deal with being categorized as ‘Latino’ in the Chicago context. Guided by a transnational approach, I aim to accomplish two particular objectives: a) To see how they deal with the ethnic classification of ‘Latino’ in light of the racial classifications that they brought from Brazil, and b) To analyze the implications of this reality in their interactions with other racial groups in Chicago.
Jefferson Belarmino de Freitas holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). He is a Werner Baer Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Illinois and a researcher associated with the Group for Interdisciplinary Studies of Affirmative Actions (GEMAA). His research focuses on race relations theory, racism, gender, race, and class inequalities.