sábado, 15 de setembro de 2007

NAACP lawyers visit their Brazilian counterparts.

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Brazil in Black and White

The Issue

As one of the most racially diverse nations in the world, Brazil has long considered itself a colorblind "racial democracy." But deep disparities in income, education and employment between lighter and darker-skinned Brazilians have prompted a civil rights movement advocating equal treatment of Afro-Brazilians. In Brazil, the last country in the Western Hemisphere to abolish slavery, blacks today make up almost half of the total population -- but nearly two-thirds of the nation's poor. Institutions of higher education have typically been monopolized by Brazil's wealthy and light-skinned elite, and illiteracy among black Brazilians is twice as high as among whites. Now, affirmative action programs are changing the rules of the game, with many colleges and universities reserving 20% of spots for Afro-Brazilians. But with national surveys identifying over 130 different categories of skin color, including "cinnamon," "coffee with milk," and "toasted," who will be considered "black enough" to qualify for the new racial quotas?

The Film

"Am I black or am I white?" Even before they ever set foot in a college classroom, many Brazilian university applicants must now confront a question with no easy answer. BRAZIL IN BLACK AND WHITE follows the lives of five young college hopefuls from diverse backgrounds as they compete to win a coveted spot at the elite University of Brasilia, where 20 percent of the incoming freshmen must qualify as Afro-Brazilian. Outside the university, WIDE ANGLE reports on the controversial racial debate roiling Brazil through profiles of civil right activists, opponents of affirmative action, and one of the country's few black senators.
U.S.-Brazil Connection
Photo of Umberto Adami
Lawyers from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the oldest and most influential civil rights organization in the United States, visit Brazilian civil rights leaders in Rio de Janeiro, including lawyer Humberto Adami (pictured here), to discuss the legal challenges of affirmative action. Read transcript (pdf).
Inside This Site
Test your knowledge of race relations in Brazil with our Quiz. Explore Capoeira and its roots in slavery in our Handbook. Go behind-the-scenes with filmmaker Adam Stepan and learn more about the challenges he faced while making this film.
Brazil in Black and White
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Is it fair to implement affirmative action policies to solve questions of racial inequality?
What do all human beings share? How did the United Nations establish a Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Discuss the issue!
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