Charting a Path toward Racial Health Equity in Brazil: Health Activism, the State, and Policy Development
While Brazilian affirmative-action programs in university admission and employment have been the subject of numerous research studies in recent years, health policies for the Black population have received less scholarly attention. This article examines the development of health policies for the Black population at the federal level in Brazil and the debates that have ensued regarding the suitability of such policies given Brazil's longstanding image as a racially harmonious society. The analysis focuses on the development of health policies within larger shifts in state engagement with racial issues from the1990s onward, particularly during the Cardoso and Lula administrations and following the 2001 World Conference against Racism. It also explores how the concept of institutional racism has been employed in Brazil and how debates about the appropriateness of health policies for the Black population and other race-conscious public policies have shaped recent legislative and policy developments.