Class, Place And Blackness In São Paulo's Gospel Music Scene

John Burdick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


As public discussion of racial politics and affirmative action heats up in Brazil, it becomes increasingly important to ask what black Evangelical Protestants have to contribute to the debate. This paper argues that two recent variants of black music increasingly performed in São Paulo's Evangelical churches–black gospel and gospel rap–exert a significant influence over how their artists think about their own blackness. Black gospel, by placing their musicians’ racial and class experience into the context of North American black churches, encourages a strong collective black identity; while gospel rap, in placing race and class experience into the context of Brazil's poor peripheral neighborhoods, dilutes the racial content of subjectivity, replacing it with a strong class identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-169
Number of pages21
JournalLatin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Brazil
  • Class
  • Evangelicalism
  • Music
  • Racial identity
  • Space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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