Being born with the last name of Brazil I find this very interesting. I know very little about the Brazil side of my family and how our last name was come to be. I would truly love to find out more.
how do i get the timeline to slow down…ironically this is what i am doing for the thinkshow in memphis, tn… i would like to show this timeline…how fascinating…
Telling the stories and the history of being Black in Latin America is LONG over due. As an African American, I feel like we only think of slavery happening just in the United States and not in other countries. I believe exploring the black history of Latin America is imporant to African Americans because it’s the untold or continuation of our heritage and who we are as a people. Two years ago, I had the opportunity to visit & volunteer in Bahia, Brazil and absolutely loved the rich history and people. Bahia used to be one of the biggest slave ports in Brazil and it is said that most of Brazil’s culture (Samba, Coperia, etc.) originated there. Hopfeully, Professor Gates visits the wonderful city of Bahia in his journey arcoss Brazil.
Try taking the cursor off the video – worked for me.
Christina, you use the slider rather than the ‘play’ button.
Brazil awesome!!!!! Oh how I love these people. I have been there 3 times. 1983,1988,2001. Every since I was a kid growing up in LA. I saw the movie (Black Orpehus). I said I’m going there someday to be in the Carnival. I feel the only difference between us and them. There slave ships landed South America ours North America. And in between Islands and such. I do envy there African Culture. That was stripped away from us. When you are there on the surface. It seems like a race less society a false sense of tourism. During Carnival you get pulled into some kind of hedonistic frenzy with the people of the favella’s. SambaDrome trace!!!!! Bahia is also the heartbeat of Afro desendents. There food there is for the Gods!!!!! St. so and so mostly females. Pallagasmic flavors of the Mother land. How I so love the beat of the drums,smells of the cities. Beauty of the people at large. Mostly very poor just like the main Mother land Africa. Stripped the wealth of the indigenious people. Enslaved Africans just like our ancestors. Beautiful birds,waterfalls,rain forest being depleted so on and so on——Brazil
Sometimes an attempt at giving people information can be very miss-leading, remember.
Why hide the truth in the number of slaves that were taken from Africa and the number of slaves that made it to Brazil? This was something I also witnessed at the AfroBrazilian musuem in Pelorino, Bahia that only 4million African slaves had made it to Brazil. What!? Unfortunately no black history is taught in Brazilian school curriculums! White historians have estimated more than 15million slaves were taken from Africa during the Atlantic slave trade & more than half went directly to Brazil. Please do the math. Disregarding nearly 4million other slaves is wrong!! This is not counting how many slaves died on the journey!! The second largest BLACK population is in BRAZIL, en toun!
I’m an African-Brazilian activist in the Black Consciousness movement in Brazil, and a longtime member of the Institute for the Study of Black Culture-IPCN. I participated in the organization of numerous conferences workshops, and demonstrations in Rio de Janeiro. I lived and worked in Mozambique-Africa and spent time in different Countries in Europe and now in the United States, meeting with members of the African-American communities from W.D.C. to California. I hope this program will bring a perspective on racial issues in Brazil that is rarely heard in the context of social movements in Latin America specially Brazil. The reality is Brazil is the Apartheid in the Americas. The killing of black youth in the ghettos and on the streets of Rio de Janeiro need to be stooped Networking building, information sharing across cultures in my view can be used as a powerful tool. I look forward to watch Blacks in Brazil-PBS..
As an African American it is surprising to discover the degree to which Europeans have agreed to keep Africans in perpetual darkness. Thank Allah, the light is growing among the Africans of the Diaspora experience to learn their history as contributors to the development of the New World and not only as slave labor, although that seems to be the only contribution that the world appears to acknowledge. Once Africans and the world move beyond the arrogance of racism and accept the truths of the oneness of humanity, which it seems the Cuban Revolution was growing towards until intervention by the United States, the world will be a better place because its inhabitants will begin to address the real issues that confront and oppress, for the color of my skin has nothing to do with that fact that most of the world is impoverished and controlled by a few.
I always find it interesting that very little of greatness in women’s contributions is reported by male historians. Mr. Gates is guilty of this. As far as the timeline goes – I’d call this history ‘lite’. You report nothing in the timeline about about the slave rebellions, the ‘quilombos’ (enclaves of escaped slaves who held off the Portuguese and remained free) that still exist today as functioning communities for people of color, the plantation mentality that continues to be a problem today, etc.
Those “Sambo” dolls that you showed in the Cuba episode are still being made today in Brazil – many by Black artisans! As a Black American woman who loves the people and geograhpy of Black Brazil (mostly Salvador da Bahia) I can tell you that racial relations there and around the country are at about the same point of development as the United States was in the ’50’s to ’60’s. There isn’t de facto Jim Crow but I notice that even for working Blacks in Brazil with graduate school degrees the wages they’re paid are incredibly low and many are priced out of the market for decent housing. Racism is rampant, systemic and obvious (like it’s becoming more obvious in the States).
I would love to see them make a documentary on the only English Speaking Country in South America Guyana…and their many different cultures and influences
Why do African-Americans always have to try to relate things to their experience to their personal experience? The slaves taken to Brazil were from completely different cultures and ethnic groups than the slaves brought to the United States and have developed completely different in Brazil than they have in the USA. Besides the content of melanin in their skin, there is really nothing in common between the Afro-Brazilian experience and the African-American.
There is more racism in the USA then in brazil. The problem in brazil is the power elite that own everything 2% of the population own everything and that includes some black folks too. Its not a matter of race anymore its a matter of who controls the finances. Brazil is lucky to have African influence, it makes the country vibrant. And what causes real poverty is everything thinking they should procreate. If you hate your life don’t have a child. LIVE FREE OR DIE!!!!! plain and simple
Being Born in Brasil ( the correct way of spelling the country) I have realized in Brasil the brasilian black community is not like the American Black community. They do not use the race card guilt trips and demand $$$$$$$, for something that happened along time ago.
Please I hope the truth came out on who brought them over as slaves.. the people who owned the slaves ships were Jewish belief, so if anyone needs $$$$ go after the family whose name is connected too those who created slavery.
also Both white and black people were slaves… its time too realize the truth on both sides.
Brazil was the last country in the Americas to abolish slavery, in 1888, and forced labor for both blacks and whites continued throughout the 20th century in some rural areas.
Being Black in Brazil is deep. As a black woman from the U.S., I have been able to experience living in Rio de Janeiro and take off my tourist lens and get a glimpse of what it feels like to be a black women there. I have been to Salvador da Bahia also, but the feeling I get there is different because black pride is so strong there. The situation in Rio de Janeiro, which I believe is the same all over Brazil, is intense, racially. I have been discriminated in restaurants, places of employment, shopping malls, and of course by the police. I never experienced this in the United States before I traveled to Brazil. Speaking the language makes a huge difference in regards to understanding Brazil in general. My experience in Brazil changed my life for the better. It made me more conscious and thankful for the opportunities the civil rights movement have made possible for me as black female in the United States. I also feel a stronger pride for my unknown African origins, something I never really felt connected to before I traveled to Brazil.
The opportunity for social mobility for black people in Brazil is almost non-existent. Being a domestic worker is a common profession for most black women. They can’t help themselves because the education they recieve in school is so poor that they cannot compete with those that have. They wages they are paid are so low that they are almost doomed to poverty. They are struggling to survive, so they have no time to think about a movement for better opportunity. Being black in Brazil means you are poor and dumb. It’s sad, but its true. Black people there have a primitive mentality because their family tree is not far removed from slavery. There are black people who overcame obstacles and made a name for themselves in Brazil and those are the people who need to encourage the ones in dire poverty to rise up. Like the U.S., the blacks who have something don’t want to be associated with the ‘I’m black and I’m dumb stereotype’. As a tourist, I found myself having to prove myself more that I do in the United States…and black Brazilians are shocked to here about my accomplishments, because a person like me is rare in Brazil. The black people and Brazilians in general have so little information about how blacks in America overcame the struggle of segregation, as a result, they have no idea that there is a whole world of successful black people thriving outside their country. Because of lack of information from foreign lands, Brazilians don’t have that strong collective spirit to rise up and demand social equality. Brazilians love TV…and TV is a tool used to keep them down…especially black people. The civil rights movement of the U.S. is something to be held on a pedestal!! Brazil is stuck in the segregation era the U.S. once had…without to overt segration laws…everything is done covertly there…so to Brazilians, there is no issue. Its sad!
The slogan the Brazilian tourism board promotes: Brasil…um pais de todos…(Brazil..everyone’s country) is an ironic statement. Brazil wants to be known as a racial democracy because racial mixing is so rampant(heavily among the lower class in society, which is the largest class)…but the racial democracy stops right there…at procreation. Brazil loves to export the beauty and pride they supposedly have of their racially mixed people….but those are the people shunned in Brazilian society. European beauty is most prized in Brazil(blond hair, blue eyes)….while black and racially mixed people are not held on a pedestal or prized in society.
Because Brazil is known for rampant racial mixing, the country has created a culture where racially mixed people don’t define themselves in black & white, but by the shade of their skin. This obviously causes confusion and hesitancy to claim one race. As a result, it is hard to start any social movement based on race alone, because social issues transcend race. The people on the bottom of society in Brazil are black and mixed race.
I admire that Brazil recognizes and acknowledges the African influence on Brazil culture. The influence is not hidden or denied..its seen through the food, music, customs, and of course the people (through racial mixing).
In spite of the social issues in Brazil, I love the beauty of the country and the warmth of some of the people. I can write so much more…..but you have to go to Brazil an experience it for yourself. Brazil cannot be defined in black and white….in spite of the fact that obviously looking black people have their own unique struggle. A social movement is needed there…but the movement will have to include all Brazilians and not just the black people…that is the hardest part of starting a moving…creating unity and a collective message that resonates to all Brazilians.
I love what Dale said….because Brazil is definately where the United States was in the Jim Crow era…without any formal government law. I am black and experienced racism in Rio de Janeiro that I have never experienced in the United States. Racism is alive and well in Brazil…BIG TIME! Speaking Portuguese in Brazil and blending in really well had a profound impact on my experienc there.
Brazil is a complex country because the goverment made it that way. The goverment has created the illusion of a racial democracy to kill the collective spirit of a black uprising. The slogan the goverment created “Brasil..um pais de todos” is ironic. Yes, Brazil is a country made up of beautiful mixes of races……..but everyone can’t live to their full potential because the goverment only supports the interest of the elite. It’s not fair to categorize Brazil in a black and white context because Brazil is not just black and white. There are unique struggles that black people in Brazil face…but it’s so difficult for blacks to share a common identity since they are led to believe that they are different not by their ‘ethic make up’, but by the color of their skin. Since they are so many shades of skin among people of color in Brazil, its hard to classify things in black and white. The Brazilians have been brainwashed to believe they live in racial democracy. The Brazilians on the bottom of society (black &mixed raced) know that they don’t live in a racial democracy, but they are struggling to survive that they have no time to form a social movement and demand social equality. European beauty (blond hair, blue eyes) is prized in Brazil, in spite of the fact that Brazil exports its racially mixed society to the rest of the world. Brazil is country of contradictions. It is going to take some foreign influence to change that country, so black people and all races in Brazil can be afforded the right to social mobility. Brazil needs a revolution FAST. I hope the Olympics & World Cup will shed light on this social issue in Brazil. Brazil has isolated itself from the influence of foreign cultures for a long time….which was pivotal to the fact that many Brazilians do not have a collective spirit to demand a better way of life…they don’t have any inspiration to spark change. Outside cultural influence to Brazil is very recent….. so any inspiration to shape people’s way of thinking will be slow. Lack of education is a huge issues…..so absorbing positive influence and taking it for what is ..is another challenging thing for the Brazilian people. I can write a book about this ……..go to Brazil…the experience will change your life.
Life-hood in Brazil is quite complicated. Thing may look good, however, all make pretend it feel alright … When it’s certainly not.
There is hardly any respect towards Human rights; no matter SEX, Color, status, Philosophy, ideas or Believe.
One good example I can quickly mention: We may all be familiar now with the Song released by ‘Lady Gaga’, “BORN THIS WAY”. I spend the entire month of March in Rio de Janeiro (had been listening to this song in NYC for weeks prior). The song was released there at about the end of that month. While playing in RADIO, Part of the Chorus quoted on Lyrics bellow, (REVOLUTIONARY!!) was completely banned and eliminated from the streaming…!
“No matter gay, straight, or bi,
Lesbian, transgendered life
I’m on the right track baby I was born to survive
No matter black, white or beige
Chola or orient made
I’m on the right track baby I was born to be brave”
I am a 32 year-old (Brazilian) and don’t foresee stability in Brasil anytime soon.
Good luck. I certainly contribute as I can!
I am a quarter Afro-Colombian and very much enjoyed watching this episode on Brazil. I think that this series is great because it brings attention to the presence of persons of African descent in Latin America. I think that people in the U.S. are aware of Afro-descendants in Haiti, but no so much in the other countries. I really wish Dr. gates would have made a trip to Colombia. Colombia has the third largest population of persons of African descent in the Western Hemisphere (after Brazil and the United States). Afro-Colombians still face a wide variety of problems and issues. I encourage everyone to visit http://news.afrocolombians.com/Afro-Colombian%20News/Main%20Page.html, http://www.usofficeoncolombia.org/Afro-Colombian%20Groups/, and to do an internet search about Afro-Colombians.
Good shows, I find myself thinking about how black Latino Baseball players are looked down on by African American baseball players, I remember hearing an African American sports reporter once retelling an experience about how a former Texas Rangers baseball player spoke about his teammate who was a black latino was not a real brother, and obviuoslly he did not have the AfroAmerican experience growing up but I’m sure had very much the Black experience, the name of the reporter escapes me. Good that these shows tell the story about being black in the Americas.
Mr. Gates presents a very interesting documentary on each country of the Black in Latin America series. I have thoroughly enjoyed the documentaries as an African Caribbean man. In my opinion, the people who really need to view and digest the documentary are those in the very country that Mr. Gates has visited. The very people in the ruling class who ignore the black impact and contribution in their country. Moreover the individual documentaries should be shown in the schools and universities of their respective country in an effort to educate the young people who will ultimately make a change. For example, It is important for the brazilians to recognize and acknowledge the fact that they are no black faces in political offices or no representations on the cover of their magazine in respect to their portion of the population.
i think its safe to say Brazilian culture would not be exotic, interesting, exciting, beautiful and intrigueing without African and Indeginous People of south American culture being apart of it. It would be so boring and standard old European, which is okay, but not different, not refreshing and new
When in Salvador Brazil I wish he would have known about Daniela Mercury and how much love and passion for things African she has.
I am surprised he did not delve in the racism that excisted in the most Brazilian of passions, Futbol or Soccer as we call it. Their attitude toward black players was like the USA and Basket ball. You played enough to win. Players would put on make up to appear white like the one actress that played the slave. Then they said ok Blacks can play but the have to be litterate. So they would teach players to write their name. If the name was long or difficult to spell or the player could not remember then they would name the player DeSilva. All this change in 1958 after Pele and other black players help Brazil finally win the World Cup. Pele talked alot about racism in the autobiography. I wished he has interviewed him. Quite possible the most famous Brazilian of all time and a black man. He talks about on time walking home at night and someone said why did you not flag a ride. And he answered who would pick up three black kids at night. He spoke of a undercurrent of racism that exists in Brazil that is waiting to be tapped.
I think this video fails to prove the history of the black population in its entirety. Furthermore, we attempted to summarize a secular history, and does not use the best examples.
I must confess that as a Brazilian I was a little disappointed with the series. The Brazil episode specially lacked in-depth research regarding historical facts which have been well documented in literature and film by Brazilians, Europeans and North American historians and scholars. I personally know experts born in this country, Ph.D. trained at Harvard, where Mr. Gates teach, who have done field research, written extensively on slave trade, tracing and connecting African ancestral lines in the United States, Brazil and West Africa. All done long before we dreamed of DNA testing. Here are a few examples: Gates failed to interview the most important and dominant figures of Candomble, which are women. They are the most powerful and well-known spiritual leaders in Bahia. Man actually have minor role in the Candomble. When I was a kid the President of the Country, a military oligarch, had a famous “Mae de Santo” bless the Presidential Palace to avert evil spirits. The “Maes de Santo” Mothers of Saint have maintained and preserved the integrity of the original ceremonies throughout the centuries. In fact, African religious leaders travel to Bahia to re-learn their old ceremonies and secrets of the religion which they have lost during colonization. Another example: Chica da Silva’s companion was not a diamond merchant. He held the most important position in the colony. He was appointed by the King of Portugal as the tax collector. He was a member of the Portuguese Court, an aristocrat. Even though, Chica lived like a queen and owned many slaves, she was discriminated against by the catholic church and the white elite. When she was barred from worshipping among the elite, she built the most extravagant baroque church in Diamantina. Her church is lavishly decorated with gold and precious stones and still stands today in all of its glory as a testament of history and symbol of her power. Think Oprah in 1750. Unfortunately the biggest failure was to shed light on the heroic slave resistance which is taught in grade school throughout Brazil. An ancestral member of my family was responsible for fighting and crashing a number of “Quilombos” slave resistance settlements throughout Minas Gerais. I hope Mr. Gates and the public realizes that “Black in Latin America” is not a substitute for real history. After all this was a show made for TV. As demonstrated in the other series on “Black in USA” I truly believe that Mr. Gates is a serious observer and student of the Black experience. However, I find his focus on both series a bit narrow, partially confined and encumbered by his own personal experience.
I must confess that as a Brazilian I was a little disappointed with the series. The Brazil episode specially lacked in-depth research regarding historical facts which have been well documented in literature and film by Brazilian, European and North American historians and scholars. I personally know experts born in this country, Ph.D. trained at Harvard, where Mr. Gates teach, who have done field research, written extensively on slave trade, tracing and connecting African ancestral lines in the United States, Brazil and West Africa. All done long before we dreamed of DNA testing. Here are a few examples: Gates failed to interview the most important and dominant figures of Candomble which are women. They are the most powerful and well-known spiritual leaders in Bahia. Man actually have minor role in the Candomble. When I was a kid the President of the Country, a military oligarch, had a famous “Mãe de Santo” bless the Presidential Palace to avert evil spirits. The “Mães de Santo” Mothers of Saint have maintained and preserved the integrity of the original ceremonies throughout the centuries. In fact, African religious leaders travel to Bahia to re-learn the old ceremonies and sacred rituals which they have lost during colonization. Another example: Chica da Silva’s companion was not a diamond merchant. He held the most important position in the colony. He was appointed by the King of Portugal as the tax collector. He was a member of the Portuguese Court, an aristocrat. Even though, Chica lived like a queen and owned many slaves, she was discriminated against by the catholic church and the white elite. When she was barred from worshipping among the elite, she built the most extravagant baroque church in Diamantina. Her church is lavishly decorated with gold and precious stones and still stands today in all of its glory as a testament of history and symbol of her power. Think Oprah in 1750. Unfortunately the biggest failure was to shed light on the heroic slave resistance which is taught in grade school throughout Brazil. An ancestral member of my family was responsible for fighting and crashing a number of “Quilombos” slave resistance settlements throughout Minas Gerais. I hope Mr. Gates and the public realize that “Black in Latin America” is not a substitute for real history. After all this was a show made for TV. As demonstrated in the other series on “Black in USA” I truly believe that Mr. Gates is a serious observer and student of the Black experience. However, I find his focus on both series a bit narrow, partially confined and encumbered by his own personal experience.
I found the program enlightening – it affirmed what I found to be true when I visited Brazil. It is a beautiful country, with beautiful people, and a glaring problem of racial inequity. That being said, there is no way to cover the multiple-hundred year history of Afro-Brazilians ‘in total’ in a 1-hour program, so to expect that this one would defies logic. In that amount of time, we could only hope to get an introductory slice of a few major issues of this culture and how they came to be. I believe the program hopes to do what Professor Gates seeks to do as an educator: to stimulate further thought, research and dialogue and perhaps move some souls to action. I accept this program as an ‘introduction’ to an area of Black culture that many people watching knew very little about. It’s up to us to move forward with our education and our efforts. Thanks to our Brazilian brothers and sisters (and others?) who have already contributed to this academic discourse by sharing with us more information to aid in our continued study. I look forward to learning more, doing more, and hopefully returning one day to this beautiful country!
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