In this chapter we survey the complex relationships among races in Brazil. Ethnoracial discrimination against black and Indigenous people continues to exist despite extensive intermixing of races. With the story of Chico Rei, we introduce a discussion of slavery and manumission practices in Minas Gerais. We show how these practices dramatically influenced societal norms and artistic production. Drawing a parallel between African cultural iterations in Minas Gerais and in Pernambuco, we present a detailed overview of the music of congada and maracatu and their function as tools for Afro-affirmation. In the Up Close section, we share the meaningful social and musical work of percussionist Mestre Lua in Recife, Pernambuco, and the all-female percussion group As Calungas in João Pessoa, Paraíba.