Home Institution

Pomona College

Publication Date

Spring 2005

Program Name

Brazil: Culture, Development, and Social Justice


The following research focuses on a major health crisis that exists within the black Brazilian population, that of identity and self esteem. The study will deals with the possibility of reconstructing black identity, through dance. Children are being socialized into a society whose system practically equivocates anything of Afro-descent, anything black, with negativity. This is a serious problem that is cultivated in a culture of violence, which is profoundly detrimental to the social and psychological development of a people. As such this is an offense to human kind. By using participant-observation and interviews the research traces how some empowerment, consciousness, and identity theories are practiced in Fundação Cidade Mãe’s dance class, and how these affect the dance students’ sense of identity and self-esteem. The research found that dance, if taught in a conscientious manner, provides children with the space and tools needed to truly reconstruct their identity and gain consciousness. In sum, the research poses the question: Can dance reconstruct black identity? The research then demonstrates the process and discusses the results.


Cognition and Perception | Race and Ethnicity


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