Brazil – Slavery and struggle for racial equality – 2 videos

Here are two video documentaries on Brazil

Brazil – An Inconvenient History – BBC

This  is a documentary of Slavery in Brazil abolished on May 11, 1888,. the last country to officially abolish this practice  in the Americas.  Brazil,in 400 years,imported over four million slaves, mostly from Angola, its colony in South West Africa. 

 Brazil in Black and White | PBS  


Published on Mar 11, 2012

“Am I black or am I white?” Even before they ever set foot in a college classroom, many Brazilian university applicants must now confront a question with no easy answer.

BRAZIL IN BLACK AND WHITE follows the lives of five young college hopefuls from diverse backgrounds as they compete to win a coveted spot at the elite University of Brasilia, where 20 percent of the incoming freshmen must qualify as Afro-Brazilian. Outside the university, WIDE ANGLE reports on the controversial racial debate roiling Brazil through profiles of civil right activists, opponents of affirmative action, and one of the country’s few black senators.

Affirmative Action in Brazil

Posted: 03 Aug 2013 – St Stanislaus College Georgetown website

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  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 08/02/2013 at 3:49 pm

    Thanks for sharing these videos, Cyril.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 08/06/2013 at 8:29 am

    What I gleaned from the videos is that in Brazil, the colonization was essentially male. You could count on one hand the number of European women as opposed to the number of European men at its inception. Therefore, the biological integration of the African woman with the European man was natural. There was none of the ethnic exclusiveness that took place in the USA. Brazil is the world’s leader in inequality, they pointed out. Ten percent of the population – mostly whites, have the economic power and privileges; while the non-whites share the poverty. I also picked up that the racial identity of non-whites in Brazil is obscured by their religious beliefs. In case you want to question whether I have taken this out of context, just check out the laws that required all slaves to be baptized in the Roman Catholic Church, for one; then everything that flowed from that little number.

    Now, Brazil in Black and White; and Affirmative Action in Brazil poses a paradoxical solution. In other words, it seems to me that they are imposing an American-styled solution ‘Affirmative Action’ to a Brazilian issue of inequality with a South African twist, whereby, one set of twins are split – one is declared white, while the other is declared non-white. So, I just wanted to put in my two-cents about racial harmony in Brazil – My foot!!

    • Thinker  On 08/06/2013 at 2:45 pm

      Brazil is no different from anywhere else in the Christian/Islamic world in terms of racial identity being obscured by religious beliefs. If fundamentalists insist on believing that Middle-Eastern Adam was the first man and made in the image of God, psychologically most believers will cling to some nebulous claim to whiteness. Hence shadeism and the wide range of names for people of mixed race in Latin America. Or the sort of one drop rule which makes people believe that one drop of “white blood” makes you white (Mali or Dominican Republic). Recently, I attended an event where black Christians were singing a hymn requesting to be made “whiter than snow”. The concept of Blacks as essentially servants (abd) is rife in the Islamic world. So Northern Sudanese mixed with Arab blood can look down on Southerners. Let us not even mention “varna” in Hinduism.

  • Thinker  On 08/06/2013 at 2:06 pm

    The fundamental issue is that he racial harmony/”democracy” in Brazil was built on the backs of Afro-descendants. Once the latter “knew their place”, all would be well. Condescension was the order of the day.”Meu niga” was supposedly a term of endearment. Ask any member of the Brazilian elite, including civil servants, if they went to a public school. The answer would be an overwhelming “no”. Public school teachers are underpaid and usually need a second job. The public school system is a mess. Hardly any hope of upward social mobility. Soap operas give the image of a totally white country. In fact the first Brazilian movie with a substantial number of Blacks was “Quilombo” (1984) dealing with escaped slaves.

    Changing that situation is only possible through the educational system. The twin situation was unfortunate. Income levels of parents should also be taken into consideration.

    • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 08/06/2013 at 4:05 pm

      Thinker, it sounds like you have spent some time in Brazil.
      Other terms of endearment for individuals with darker shades of brown: Neginha and Pretinha.

  • Thinker  On 08/06/2013 at 6:48 pm

    They will all disappear soon with upward social mobility. Does anyone try to address the President of the Brazilian Supreme Court in that fashion? I guess not. Only goes to show how condescending it really is. No self-respecting Black should put up with that. But as someone in the video say lots of black Brazilians don’t want to consider themselves black. Everybody is a mulatto. Only when they get to the US do they see the light.

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