The Decolonial in Practice, Quilombismo, and Black Brazilian Politics in “Postneoliberal” Times

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  • Alexandre Emboaba Da Costa University of Alberta



anti-black racism, anti-racism, decoloniality, postneoliberalism, educational policy, quilombismo, Brazil


Through an examination of anti-racist and decolonial politics in education in the Brazilian and Latin American contexts, this paper outlines underlying features shaping black political-epistemological struggles and the difficulties of reform via the state in an anti-black society. The article first situates emerging anti-racist legislation and multicultural policy in the region within larger discussions of the progressive Left Turn among governments and the emergence of postneoliberalism. The paper then examines how racism and state violence against black people have persisted within this leftward postneoliberal turn, shaping the manner through which anti-racist and decolonial politics seek to both contest and mobilize within state discourses and institutions to improve the situation of black people. In the last section, the paper proposes to understand black movement struggles of decolonial orientation through Abdias do Nascimento’s black Brazilian praxis of quilombismo, a praxis that consciously reflects both the predicaments and future possibilities presented by working for political-epistemic and cultural transformation within and beyond an anti-black state. The paper demonstrates quilombismo as the decolonial in practice through an analysis of anti-racist education legislation focused on curriculum reforms. 


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Author Biography

Alexandre Emboaba Da Costa, University of Alberta

Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Policy Studies


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How to Cite

Da Costa, A. E. (2018). The Decolonial in Practice, Quilombismo, and Black Brazilian Politics in “Postneoliberal” Times. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 5(1), 27–40.



Original Manuscript
Received 2018-02-22
Accepted 2018-06-01
Published 2018-06-23