The Afro-Brazilian Struggle for Equality

For many Brazilians of African ancestry, equality remains an elusive concept.

Posted: 11/20/2013 05:18 PM EST
Filed Under Global News, Brazil, soccer

Beyond the glittering careers and international adoration of Brazil's football superstars such as Pele and most recently Ronaldinho, there are millions of Afro-Brazilians whose contributions have also shaped Brazilian culture but are struggling for recognition and equal rights in Brazil. 

November 20, 2013, marks “The Day of Black Awareness,” established to promote Black pride in Brazil. The day also commemorates the life of Zumbi dos Palmares, the last leader of a fugitive community of escaped slaves known as the Quilombo dos Palmares.

Today, for many Brazilians of African ancestry, equality seems to be an elusive concept. Whilst Afro-Brazilians are estimated to make up over half of the population, their economic participation is only 20 percent of GDP according to “Minority Rights Group International.” 

In stark comparison, unemployment among the country’s Afro-Brazilian community is 50 percent higher than it is among whites. “The Institute for Applied Economic Research” is a division of Brazil’s central government. It found that in Rio De Janeiro Black Brazilians are twice as likely to be shot dead by police. 

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(Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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