Black People : The Afrobrazialians Struggle So Far:

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by chuck, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. chuck

    chuck Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Affirmative Action in the Americas

    Brazil Takes Next Steps Toward Equal Opportunity for All

    April 2004

    While citizens of the United States have been making strides toward equal opportunity for decades (with much progress still needed), Brazil's African descendant citizens are at the beginning of their struggle for racial equality and equal access to education.
    Historically, Brazil was the last country in the Western Hemisphere to abolish slavery (in 1888) and in the 21st century, people of African descent continue to be treated as second class citizens. The statistics tell the story. Economically, Afro-Brazilians earn 43 cents for every dollar earned by white Brazilians. And Afro-Brazilians are twice as likely to live in households that lack basic sanitation.

    While Brazil maintains the strongest economy in Latin America, access to education for many young people in Brazil is still an obstacle. Brazil's 76 million African descendants constitute the world's largest population of people of African descent outside of Africa. Although they comprise nearly half of Brazil's population (45 percent), they comprise merely two percent of the nation's university students. Of the nearly 30 percent of Brazilians who are considered illiterate, 80 percent of those are of African descent.

    "Citizens of this vibrant and beautiful country essentially live in two separate worlds, one of privilege and access to education for those with light skin and the other world, which is full of abject poverty and little or no education for those of African descent," says Gay McDougall, executive director of Global Rights. "And while there are many activists working to break down the barriers between these two worlds, our activist partners tell us that there is still a long way to go toward ensuring racial equality for all Brazil's citizens."

    At the 2001 United Nations Conference Against Racism in Durban South Africa, black activists from Brazil represented the largest and most active group of African descendants from any region. And while Brazil's activists work to institute programs that will help establish and protect racial equality for all of its citizens, many activists are met with resistance.

    "Affirmative action is a controversial subject both in the US and Brazil," continues McDougall. "But there is hope. The current government of Brazil is taking positive strides toward implementing strong, effective affirmative action programs."

    Still, the effects of the two separate societies are felt on many levels, not the least of which is in the educational system. Despite constitutional guarantees to the right to education, critics argue that people of African descent do not enjoy equal opportunity, and those children who do attend school are often forced by economic circumstances to abandon their schooling to take up domestic work.

    Creuza Maria de Oliveria Tells Her Story
    Creuza, who began work at the age of 10, gave voice to her experiences of racial discrimination in Brazil as one of several activists from around the world to participate in Global Rights'forum held in South Africa during the 2001 U.N. World Conference Against Racism.

    "The death of my parents, the interruption of my childhood, plus unequal treatment made me reject myself for many years. The hard work prevented me from attending school and the constant humiliation blocked my childhood dreams. When my boss took his wife for a walk on Sundays, I had to walk behind them, carrying and taking care of the baby, at this time I was only ten years old. I was a child working as much as an adult, always the first to get up in the morning, always taking care of the baby and prohibited from visiting my family, making friends, going to school. I dreamed that my life would change."

    After facing physical and sexual abuse from her boss and his family, she found the courage to leave and has gone on to become an advocate for Afro-Brazilians. She says, "It is urgent and necessary to establish a commitment among Brazilians in order to end the injustices and to build a better world. It is our duty to dismantle a process of 500 years of oppression and construct a civil society for all people."

    And while there have been some improvements - between 1992 and 2001 real per capita family income among African descendants increased by 30 percent and the percentage of children between the ages of 7 and 13 years old not attending school declined by nearly 10 percent - there is still a long way to go.

    Afro-Brazilian Activists Demand Equality
    Afro-Brazilian human rights organizations such as Centro de Articulacao de Povos Marginais, Centro de Estudos das Relacoes do Trabalho e das Desegualdades, Educafro and Nucleo de Estudos Negros are working within communities to promote strong affirmative action policies affecting the education and labor sectors. Geledés, one of the first Afro-Brazilian women's organizations in the country, combines legal action and advocacy to address the double jeopardy of women of color in Brazil and create educational opportunities for African descendant youth.

    To help support these efforts, Global Rights established its Affirmative Action Affinity Group, which brings together experts and activists from Uruguay, Brazil and the United States, to analyze and discuss the legal, political, and economic components necessary for effective affirmative action programs.

    During a 10-day mission to Brazil in July 2003, Global Rights' Affinity Group members convened meetings with leading local activists and lawyers in Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and São Paulo to share affirmative action litigation strategies. Interestingly, very similar affirmative action cases were working their way through the courts of Brazil and the United States at the same time. Public universities in Brazil had established quotas for admission and the constitutionality of those quotas was being challenged in court. Fresh from a victory on a similar affirmative action case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Ms. McDougall and lawyers from the ground-breaking Michigan case traveled to Brazil to share best practices and discuss the effective implementation of affirmative action policies in education with high-level government officials at the national, state and local levels.

    Additionally, Global Rights' work in Brazil includes: hosting a hearing before the Inter-American Court; giving testimony before the United Nations Working Group of Experts on African Descendants; and pushing the Organization of American States to adopt the Inter-American Convention Against Racial Discrimination.

    "Clearly, there's no one quick fix to the situation in Brazil," concluded McDougall. "If there is to be equal opportunity for all, working with our partners, we must continue to advocate for the programs that will work toward righting the wrongs of the past. There are lessons to be learned from the US civil rights movement, not the least of which is persistence. We need to stay dedicated to the cause, bringing to the table all the key players and developing the solutions that will benefit all individuals and society as a whole."


    © Global Rights
     
  2. Corvo

    Corvo navigator of live MEMBER

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    There are lessons to be learned from the US civil rights movement, not the least of which is persistence. We need to stay dedicated to the cause, bringing to the table all the key players and developing the solutions that will benefit all individuals and society as a whole."
     
  3. Chevron Dove

    Chevron Dove Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    This is an awesome post!

    I've spoken with non-Black Brazilians years ago and while they offer little, I've still gained some sense of the racial-color divisions from them.

    I've heard that it is really bad for the Black Brazilians.

    I know that their colonization was unique in that they were colonized by the Portuguese as opposed to the other countries around them. I also heard that Angola was one strategic country in Africa in which many Blacks were taken from to become slaves in Brazil.

    Brazil has some deep, rich, history when it comes to the earliest of Black presence in the Americas and this early history has been deliberately kept from us here in North America.

    Based on my research the whole name of Brazil has been shortened to ignore much of the gut truth;

    **************** Chambrazil!!! **********************
     
  4. Ikoro

    Ikoro Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brazil has been hardcore.

    Not long ago the government had a policy called branqueamento, which was the process of telling citizens (black) to mate with whites as to make the population lighter. Needless to say, the government was white.

    Seriously, Afrikans in Brazil has seen some ill things. It's a **** shame. But somehow, these people have the most vibrant culture I have seen outside of Afrika. Such lively body language and intonation when they speak, not to mention the music. Get at it.

    One.

    - Ikoro
     
  5. chuck

    chuck Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Good afternoon, posters...

    And thank you for your comments etc.

    Just keep 'em coming!

    :10900:
     
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