This chapter analyzes the historical context of the domestic fields in which black movements emerged. It aims to highlight the magnitude of this shift from mestizaje to black rights, and to explain why different conceptions of blackness became institutionalized in each case. It also situates the race-making ideologies of Colombia and Brazil within a broader political field. It shows that in both Colombia and Brazil, mestizaje ideologies brought with them the idea that the prevalence of race mixture at once produced, and evinced, a society in which race was not a problem. Even while dominant nationalist discourse was full of contradictions, the political fields of both Colombia and Brazil came to stigmatize critique of the ethno-racial order as irrelevant and as inherently unpatriotic. This ideological constraint, however, did not mean that discourses of race mixture were completely hegemonic or static over time.
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