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2016 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

The Genesis of the Race and Democracy in the Americas Project: The Project and Beyond

Author: David Covin

Published in: Race and the Politics of Knowledge Production

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan US


In 1986 K. C. Morrison and David Covin attended a conference of the Association of Caribbean Studies in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. For both, it was their first trip to Brazil. Although each was active in the National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS), they had not met until earlier in the year when they presented papers on the same panels at both the National Council for Black Studies (NCBS) and the NCOBPS annual conferences. By the time they arrived in Salvador, they were fast friends. Neither spoke, read, wrote, or understood Portuguese. Nevertheless, within two days each found himself in the close company of Brazilians. Morrison was befriended by two young Afro-Brazilians, Antônio Rosário de Lima and Júlio Romário da Silva. De Lima was fluent in English and was self-taught in the language by listening to R & B records from the United States (his favorite artist was Sam Cooke), by listening to English language radio broadcasts, and by practicing on black tourists from the United States. Covin was befriended by Laís Morgan, a white Brazilian married to a black college professor from the United States. Over the course of several days both men were introduced to people and places they never would have had access to on their own.

The Genesis of the Race and Democracy in the Americas Project: The Project and Beyond
David Covin
Copyright Year
Palgrave Macmillan US