The success of "Pelo telephone" embroiled Donga in controversy. A group of musicians claimed that he had stolen their work, and a prominent journalist accused him of selling out his people in pursuit of profit and fame. Within this single episode are many of the concerns that animate Making Samba, including intellectual property claims, the Brazilian state, popular music, race, gender, national identity, and the history of Afro-Brazilians in Rio de Janeiro. By tracing the careers of Rio's pioneering black musicians from the late nineteenth century until the 1970s, Marc A. Hertzman revises the histories of samba and of Brazilian national culture.
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