Explaining Brazil #112: Lifting the lid on a Brazil divided by race

Race in Brazil is self-determined — and the lines are often quite blurry. The color of one’s skin — to themselves and to others — often depends more on social issues than ethnicity per se. And our social construction in Brazil has crushed the identity of people of color. As our columnist on racial issues Bruno Rico wrote, “black and multiracial people in Brazil do not see themselves as a united ethnic group.” 

Our team here at The Brazilian Report recently took a DNA test to allow us to find out about our heritage, where we all come from. And the results say a lot about how Brazilian society is structured.

gustavo ribeiro jornalista dna
laura quirin dna
euan marshall dna
racism dna natalia scalzaretto
lucas berti dna
brenno grillo dna

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On this episode:

  • Leonardo Monasterio is a professor at Brazil’s Public School of Administration, where he serves as Data Sciences coordinator. He holds a Ph.D. in Economic Development and is a researcher for the Brazilian Institute of Applied Economics (Ipea).
  • Ricardo di Lazzaro is a founding partner of genetics lab Genera — which offers DNA tests that allow us to trace our origins. Genera kindly provided us with the lab tests that were used in this episode. 
  • This episode was written and produced by reporter Natália Scalzaretto.

Background reading:

Explaining Brazil is made by:

  • Gustavo Ribeiro, editor in chief of The Brazilian Report. He has extensive experience covering Brazilian politics. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets, including Veja, Época, Folha de S.Paulo, Médiapart, and Radio France Internationale.
  • Euan Marshall, editing. Euan is a journalist and translator who has lived in São Paulo, Brazil since 2011. Specializing in Brazilian soccer, politics and the connection between the two, his work has been published in The Telegraph, Al Jazeera, The Independent, among others.

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