This paper explores the literature about the interface of race and national identities by comparing Brazil and South Africa in light of the recent and strong transformations in racial orders in both countries. By relying on surv ey data as well as in-depth interviews, it discusses the interactions of the multiple dimensions of national and racial identities (e.g. public, political, socioeconomic, and cultural) and investigates how Brazilians and South Africans make sense of national racial ideologies while defining their racial and national identifications.