Blacks Become Majority in Brazil, But Power Remains with Whites

Brazilian blacks The news is out. Brazil, with a population of 191 million people, is no longer a country of white majority. The credit now belongs to the 49.6% black or mulatto population compared to the 49.4% defined as white and this is set to increase in coming years with that percentage increasing to 54, according to a recent report from the Rio do Janeiro Federal University.

Professor Antonio Paixão from the Rio University's Economy Institute believes that since Brazil is no longer a white majority country, "we need a policy of diversity," which is a great challenge for the political establishment.

The black birth rate is also higher than that of the whites or Europeans descendents, so the big question is whether Brazil is prepared to face the fact that blacks and mulattos are becoming a solid majority, and how this will influence legislation, asks Paixão.

But current reality shows another picture, with a considerable degree of discrimination for the blacks: the basic food basket for a black person demands 76 hours of work compared to the average 54 hours for a white person.

Similarly illiteracy among blacks runs as high as 20%, but only 6% for whites.

Since Brazil was the last country in the region to grant slaves freedom in 1888, blacks have always been at a disadvantage in education and work opportunities, points out Paixão.

Similarly, access to tertiary education for blacks is far more up road, since most of them are condemned to work to subsist, while white families can afford to pay for their children's education.

The administration of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is credited with having invested heavily in the social and economic integration of the black people, for example by imposing a policy of quotas for blacks in universities.

Nevertheless power in Brazil rests with the whites who hold the strategic posts in politics and the economy.

But some blacks have had outstanding careers, mainly in sports and the arts. One of them is the world famous former football star Pelé and another the musician-composer Gilberto Gil. Both have held cabinet posts, but as a white initiative towards supporting diversity.

Mercopress

Tags:

Ads

You May Also Like

A Night of Awards for Brazilian Topnotch Exporters

The Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex) promoted last night, November 23, in ...

US and the Rich Urged in Brazil to Cancel Poor Nation’s Debts

The Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP), the biggest ever global mobilization to ...

It’s Our Chance to Become the Planet’s Breadbasket, Says Brazil’s Lula

The President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, launched in Curitiba, capital of ...

All Ready for Pan American Games. Now Brazil Wants to Host the Olympics

The Americas will be focused in Brazil starting this coming Friday, July 13, when ...

Foreign Investors Keep Selling Brazilian Assets and Stocks Are Down 15% in 2010

Bovespa, Brazil’s  stock index and the real, the Brazilian currency, lost ground for a ...

Already World’s Number 1, Brazil Expands Beef Export

Egypt and Saudi Arabia were among the ten main buyers of Brazilian raw cattle ...

China, the New US of Latin America and Brazil

President Bush’s current trip to China underscores Washington’s vital interest in comprehending that emerging ...

WTO Meeting Will Fail If Europe Can’t Do Better, Says Brazil

The Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, believes that the determination of a ...

Florida’s Jeb Bush Joins Brazil in Promoting Ethanol in the Americas

At a press conference today, Florida governor Jeb Bush; Roberto Rodrigues, former Brazilian Minister ...

Stronger Ties

"This is an exhilarating time in the Brazil-U.S. relationship: a time of change, a ...