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The Color of SoundRace, Religion, and Music in Brazil$
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John Burdick

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814709221

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814709221.001.0001

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The Flags of Jesus and Brazil

The Flags of Jesus and Brazil

Body, History, and Nation in Samba Gospel

(p.103) 3 The Flags of Jesus and Brazil
The Color of Sound

John Burdick

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on the ethnoracial meanings of gospel samba. This scene's self-identified negro musicians place little emphasis on ethnic blackness, as gospel samba is closely associated in the imagination of its artists with the imaginary place of the Brazilian nation as a mestiço (racially mixed) nation. Gospel samba echoes the national myth of “race mixture,” a story not of conflict or domination but of exchange, creativity, pleasure, and cordiality. More complex is gospel samba's relationship to the body and its attendant ethnoracializations, which the chapter expounds at length. Together, these cultural forces mean that in gospel samba, evangelical Christianity's general lack of enthusiasm for ethnoracial boundary marking has maximum room for play. The identity that emerges from the gospel samba scene is less a bounded blackness and more a nationalist mixedness.

Keywords:   gospel samba, mestiço nation, race mixture, ethnoracializations, evangelical Christianity, ethnic blackness

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