Research Project

For my research project, I will be examing colorism is Brazil. More specifically, how it manifests itself within the music industry. My interest in this project comes from my experiences as a young Black man, as well as some of the dialogues I’ve had in a few of my classes, such as the Intellectual History of Black America. Despite its diverse Afro population, colorism is known to be exceedingly present in Brazil. One could even make the argument that it is more prevalent in Brazil than America. While that could be a potential argument I make in my article, the overarching question I seek to answer is “why?” In order to get to the “why” my research will put Brazil’s racial past in context with America’s. By starting with the slave trade in both countries and taking into account the similarities and differences, I hope to find some answers to my question

In order to achieve fulfilling research on both the historical and contemporary narratives of Brazil and America, I will have to employ a diverse amount of resources, from historical documents to critical race theories about colorism, interviews, and music videos. Originally inspired by the Anitta video we saw in class, another interesting article came out recently, in which Beyonce’s father claimed that her, as well as many other black female artists, would not be as successful as they if they were darker skinned.

We have already touched upon racism and colorism in class, but I believe my research will be significant because it will show the arc of colorism has evolved over time in Brazil, and how it compares with colorism in the United States. By looking at colorism through the lens of the music industry, particularly Pop, I believe that it will not only give one a good perspective as to how far-reaching colorism affects those in Brazil but how integral a part it is in modern society.

My research project will be historically significant because it highlights how the slave trade has evolved over time in Brazil. By contextualizing the evolution of slavery and colorism in Brazil to the United States I believe it will help broaden one’s understanding as to multiple layers and depths of the negative effects the slave trade caused in a global context.


“Telles-Introduction-from-Race-in-Another-America.Pdf,” accessed February 13, 2018,;
Anitta, Sim Ou Não – Anitta Feat Maluma, accessed February 13, 2018,;
Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America, 3 edition (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2009);
“J. Cole: I Might Not Be as Successful If I Had Dark Skin,”, accessed February 13, 2018,;
Canal Super Teen, Iggy Azalea – Switch Feat. Anitta, accessed February 13, 2018,;
“Dain-Borges-Puffy-Ugly-Slothful-and-Inert-Degeneration-in-Brazilian-Social-Thought-1880-1940.Pdf,” accessed February 13, 2018,;
Linda M. Burton et al., “Critical Race Theories, Colorism, and the Decade’s Research on Families of Color,” Journal of Marriage and Family 72, no. 3 (2010): 440–59;
Travis M. Andrews and Amber Ferguson, “Beyoncé’s Father Takes on ‘Colorism’: He Dated Her Mother Because He Thought She Was White,” Washington Post, February 5, 2018, sec. Morning Mix,;
Anitta, Anitta, Mc Zaac, Maejor Ft. Tropkillaz & DJ Yuri Martins – Vai Malandra (Official Music Video),
accessed February 13, 2018,; Frederick Julius Pohl,