Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Brazil Initiative

Erica Williams ─ Ancestralidade e Aquilombamento: Black Feminist Activists Occupying Spaces of Power in Bahia

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

12:00pm – 1:30pm

Watch on Watson's YouTube Channel. Joukowsky Forum, 111 Thayer Street

There has been a ground swell of black feminist activism sweeping across Brazil in the last decade. Based on ethnographic research started in 2013, this lecture interrogates how black feminists in Bahia have adapted to the political and economic crises in Brazil. It explores not only how black feminist activists have “weathered the storm” and resisted efforts to silence their voices, but also how they have used it as an opportunity to aquilombarse – to come together and unite in a metaphorical quilombo – which allows them to gather their strength to combat racism, sexism, and lesbofobia. How do black women activists draw upon their ancestralidade to face the challenges of this political conjuncture?

Erica Lorraine Williams is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Spelman College.