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AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum Archive

Re: Back from Brazil :)
In Response To: Back from Brazil :) ()

Thanks to all of you for your comments!

I will continue to put up pictures - and will begin work on a more academic piece on race/color/class in Brazil in the months ahead.

Some interesting things I learned were:

The last former slave died in Brazil in 2001. Most Brazilians have an ancestor (recent) who was a slave - and those Brazilians I met around my age, or a few years older, who are classified as "white" openly speak of a "black" or enslaved grandparent and knew them.

Brazil embarked upon a "whitenization" program right after slavery was abolished - importing peasants from Europe (many were Italians) to take over the backbreaking work on coffee plantations.

The figures you see in population statistics for Brazil that list the "white" population would be quite different if that census was taken here. Two thirds of African Americans here in the States would be listed as white, or pardo (mixed).

Brazil actively enforces a law against open racial discrimination with up two years in jail without parole and a hefty fine - during a soccer match between Brazil and Argentina - an Argentinian player was arrested for calling a Brazilian a "monkey".

On the other hand - slave labor still exists in remote Amazon regions of Brazil where migrant workers are held for years at a time working in rainforests clearing trees and growing soybeans. Much of this is linked to US corporations (no surprise here).

Many Brazilians I met are avid genealogists. We had many interesting discussions - Cuz Art my friend Maria is a member of a rural family that has reunions with 60,000 members (they set up a camp with tents) Maria says you are invited to her reunion :)


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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