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Department for Afroamerican and African Studies pres.

Lelia Gonzalez's Black Diaspora Feminist Project in the Americas

Keisha-Khan Y. Perry, Africana Studies, Brown University

Lelia Gonzalez is oftentimes remembered in Brazil as one of the most important black feminist scholars and activists of the twentieth-century. My lecture will explore her political life shaped by her international travel throughout Africa and the Americas, and how she formulated a transnational understanding of black culture, gendered anti-black racism, and the movement for black liberation. I will explore Gonzalez’s idea of “Amerifricanidade” that expresses a common black identity in the Americas that centers African heritage and that challenges the erasure of blackness and indigeneity in the construction of Latin Americanness. Gonzalez is traveling, writing, and carrying out her political activism at the same time as Abdias Nascimento and Molefi Asante, for example, but she has received little attention in the scholarship on the global black radical and feminist traditions. The political life and work of Gonzalez reminds scholars of the African diaspora precisely why black Brazilian women should be given more intellectual attention in black radical thought and why Africana Studies requires a refocus on Brazilian scholars and social movements.
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