Comparing social justice and autonomy for Afro-Brazilians and African Americans
Brazil has undergone great racial, gender and class transformation in recent years. Lula da Silva became Brazil’s first president from the working class in 2003. Dilma Rousseff became Brazil’s first female president in 2011. And in upcoming elections, Brazil could elect its first president of Afro descent, Marina Silva. As da Silva and Rousseff enacted measures to address issues facing Brazil’s lower and working classes, such as lack of education, income disparity and poverty, Brazil’s Afro population has dealt with similar issues, along with deep structural racism and disenfranchisement. Ruth Needleman is professor emerita of Labor Studies at Indiana University. She’ll tell us about her years of research on Brazil’s Afro peoples and compare their lives to black people in the United States.
(photo: Mother Baiana, a spiritual leader of the Candomble Afro-Brazilian religion, holds hands with Kea Inu Bake from the Hunikui Indian tribe as they protest slave labor outside the Chamber of Deputies in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, May 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)