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August 29th, 2006
Ransom City
Photo Essay: The many shades of Brazil

Characterizing the racial breakdown of Brazil is even more complex than characterizing that of America. For more than 500 years, the intermarriage of indigenous Indians, Europeans, and Africans has produced a Brazilian culture of uniquely blended ethnicities, where almost 40 percent of the population is mulatto (mixed white and black). Despite a wide range of complexions, religions, and histories, and some racial discrimination and tensions throughout history, Brazilian society remains for the most part unified. However, recent bills proposing job-preferment quotas for people of African ancestry, akin to Affirmative Action policies in the U.S., may introduce new racial dividing lines. WIDE ANGLE presents a photo essay of the faces, the identities, and the shades of modern Brazil.

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