Explaining Brazil Podcast #11: Racism in Brazil

One hundred and thirty years ago, Brazil abolished slavery – becoming the last country in the Americas to do so. Since then, however, little has been done to promote the inclusion of Black communities into Brazilian society. Racism remains a reality. Blacks account for nearly 80 percent of those living below the poverty threshold in Brazil, and just 17 percent of the rich. They also make up two-thirds of the prison, population and are the group affected by unemployment. Yet Brazilians tend to overlook all of this. In 2013, anthropologist Lilia Schwarcz published a book about race relations. She conducted a poll that revealed 97 percent of those surveyed said they were not racist – but 98 percent said they know someone who is racist. How can a country be racist ‘without’ having racists? 

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On this podcast

Gustavo Ribeiro has extensive experience covering Brazilian politics. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets, including Veja, Época, Folha de São Paulo, Médiapart and Radio France Internationale. He is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Abril Prize for outstanding political journalism. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science and Latin American studies from Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris.

Ivan Siqueira is a professor at the Communications and Arts School of the University of São Paulo. He is the head of the University’s Research Center of Studies about Afro-Brazilians (Neinb), created in 1996. This center studies racism and how Black Brazilians are positioned in society – and how Brazil might work to become more inclusive of its Black citizens.

This podcast was produced by Maria Martha Bruno. Maria Martha is a journalist with 14 years of experience in politics, arts, and breaking news. She has collaborated with Al Jazeera, NBC and CNN, among others, and worked as an international correspondent in Buenos Aires. Do you have a suggestion for our next Explaining Brazil podcast? Drop us a line at [email protected] Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.