Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

From the New Wave: '€˜Black Rio'€™ influenced Brazilian culture in '€™60s and '€™70s

November 9th, 2016

By Hannah Dean

In his Thursday (Nov. 3) lecture on the ‘€œBlack Rio‘€ soul music movement, Tulane associate professor Christopher Dunn of the School of Liberal Arts outlined the history of a movement in 1960s and ‘€™70s Brazil, which originally sought to distance itself from political commentary ‘€” only to later become a sociocultural form of dissent against the military regime that ruled the country until 1985.

Dunn read a chapter from his new book Contracultura: Alternative Arts and Social Transformation in Authoritarian Brazil and played clips of various songs from the soul movement to illustrate its evolution. Dunn began by clarifying that in this era, in part due to race-relations rhetoric employed by the military regime, Brazil saw itself as a ‘€œhappy counterpoint‘€ to the racial strife occurring in the United States. Afro-Brazilians who participated in the early soul movement distanced themselves from black power and the demand for black political participation that constituted important aspects of the African-American soul movement.
In one of the clips that Dunn played, Brazilian singer Gerson King croons that ‘€œwe are only here to enjoy the sounds.‘€

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