Black Women, Cultural Citizenship, and the Struggle for Social Justice in Brazil
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Maria Ilma Ricardo’s and Valdete da Silva Cordeiro’s life experiences and social activism exemplify the multiple levels on which poor black women struggle for full citizenship in Brazil. When I interviewed both women in the city of Belo Horizonte in 1997, they were in their fifties and had dedicated much of their lives to improving the status of poor women and children. At the time of our interview, Maria Ilma had worked in domestic service for over four decades and had been active in the local women’s movement, the black movement, and the Partido dos Trabalhadores (Worker’s Party, or PT) for several years. Much like Maria lima, Valdete was involved in multiple forms of social activism. In addition to serving as a leader in her home community, the favela Alto Vera Cruz, Valdete was also active in the local women’s movement, the black movement, and the Partido Communista do Brasil (Communist Party of Brazil, or PC do B).
KeywordsBlack Woman Domestic Worker Work Relationship Domestic Service Brazilian Society
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