The spatial history of São Paulo’s Brasilândia neighborhood reveals broader truths about the city. From its origins in the early twentieth century through the 1985 Black Women’s Collective celebration of the renaming of a public plaza to the city’s plan for its newest metro stop, Andrew Britt’s work shows how African descendants in São Paulo were persistently displaced and persistently present. The racialized space of Brasilandia tells a layered story of Black enslavement, forced migration, urban redevelopment, and Black self-determination, with echoes far beyond São Paulo.
Andrew G. Britt
Andrew G. Britt is a historian of Latin America and a digital scholarship developer with a focus on contemporary Brazil. The SSRC’s International Dissertation Research Fellowship supported fieldwork for his manuscript project, “‘I’ll Samba Someplace Else’: Planning Neighborhood and Identity in São Paulo, 1930s–1980s,” in 2015, which won honorable mention for Best Dissertation in the Humanities (Antonio Candido Prize) from the Latin American Studies Association Brazil Section. Centered on the interwoven histories of three of the city of São Paulo’s most prominent ethnic neighborhoods, the project explores how ethnoracialized spaces serve both to sustain racial inequities and bolster discourses of postracialism. He has worked as a research fellow on Voyages: The Transatlantic Slave Trade Database and is currently a member of Pauliceia 2.0, a collaborative mapping platform produced by historians and computer scientists in Brazil and the United States. Britt received his PhD in 2018 from Emory University, and he is currently assistant professor in the Division of Liberal Arts at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. From 2018–19, he was Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow of Digital Humanities at Northwestern University’s Kaplan Institute for the Humanities.