Beatriz Nascimento at the UCL Institute Of Advanced StudiesThe Dialectic is in the Sea

Beatriz Nascimento (1942–1995) was a poet, historian, artist, and political leader in Brazil’s Black movement, an innovative and creative thinker whose work offers a radical reimagining of gender, space, politics, and spirituality around the Atlantic and across the Black diaspora. Her powerful voice still resonates today, reflecting a deep commitment to political organizing, revisionist historiography, and the lived experience of Black women. The Dialectic Is in the Sea is the first English-language collection of writings by this vitally important figure in the global tradition of Black radical thought.

The Dialectic Is in the Sea traces the development of Nascimento’s thought across the decades of her activism and writing, covering topics such as the Black woman, race and Brazilian society, Black freedom, and Black aesthetics and spirituality. Incisive introductory and analytical essays provide key insights into the political and historical context of Nascimento’s work. This engaging collection includes an essay by Bethânia Gomes, Nascimento’s only daughter, who shares illuminating and uniquely personal insights into her mother’s life and career.


Christen A. Smith is associate professor of anthropology and African and African diaspora studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Afro-Paradise: Blackness, Violence, and Performance in Brazil and the coeditor of Black Feminist Constellations: Dialogue and Translation across the AmericasBethânia N. F. Gomes is the daughter of Beatriz Nascimento. She is a former principal dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem and is a dance teacher and choreographer at African American dance institutions. She is the founder of the Beatriz Nascimento Foundation, which promotes Afro-Brazilian arts and education. Archie Davies is lecturer in geography and fellow of the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen Mary University of London. His books include A World without Hunger: Josué de Castro and the History of Geography.