Articles in this issue study different forms of cultural and political activism in twentieth-century Brazil, Guatemala, and Cuba, as well as conflicts over the creation, representation, and authenticity of cultural forms.

Paulina Alberto examines the controversy surrounding the alleged creation of a cultural movement, called “Black Rio” (using the English term “black”), in which young Afro-Brazilians in Rio de Janeiro in the mid-1970s adopted African American soul music, dance, and clothing styles. Participants in this controversy included the secret police, intellectuals on the right and the left, and the young followers of soul music themselves. The police had to assess whether the movement constituted a threat to order and national security. Right-wing nationalist intellectuals characterized soul music as an inauthentic cultural idiom that threatened to destroy Brazil’s cherished racial harmony and mestiçagem. Leftist intellectuals, in turn, concurred with analysts from the right that soul was an imported cultural form,...

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