Brazil in Black and White

Posted in Brazil, Campus Life, Caribbean/Latin America, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, Videos on 2013-11-12 02:09Z by Steven

Brazil in Black and White

Wide Angle
Public Broadcasting Service

About 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?

About 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.

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Brazil’s top court backs racial quotas in universities

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Campus Life, Caribbean/Latin America, Law, New Media, Politics/Public Policy on 2012-05-01 18:10Z by Steven

Brazil’s top court backs racial quotas in universities

The Australian

BRAZIL’s Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that racial quotas used in universities are constitutional and are meant to redress inequalities stemming from centuries of slavery.

The ruling issued by the 10-member court concerned the case of the University of Brasilia which in 2004 set up quotes to reserve 20 per cent of admissions to black, mixed-race and indigenous students…

…The court ruling followed an appeal lodged in 2009 by the right-wing DEM party which argued that the University of Brasilia quota policy ran counter to the principle of equality and fostered racism by creating privileges based on racial criteria.

But the judges countered that quotas were a legitimate method to redress slavery-derived inequalities and discrimination that still continues to affect Afro-Brazilians…

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Endogenous Race in Brazil: Affirmative Action and the Construction of Racial Identity among Young Adults

Posted in Brazil, Campus Life, Caribbean/Latin America, Economics, Media Archive, Papers/Presentations, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2010-07-26 23:11Z by Steven

Endogenous Race in Brazil: Affirmative Action and the Construction of Racial Identity among Young Adults

Working Paper

Andrew M. Francis, Professor of Economics
Emory University

Maria Tannuri-Pianto, Professor of Economics
University of Brasilia

Brazil is not only characterized by racial diversity but also by socioeconomic inequality. This complexity, plus the recent adoption of racial quotas by a handful of universities, makes Brazil an ideal place to study the construction of racial identity. In this paper, we examine applicants and students of the University of Brasilia, which established racial quotas in July 2004 reserving 20% of available admissions slots for students who self-identified as black. Using admissions data as well as a student survey conducted by the authors, we explore the determinants of racial identity, including socioeconomic status, parents’ race, academic performance, and quotas in admissions. We find that, holding skin tone constant, socioeconomic status and academic performance vary inversely with black identity. The evidence suggests that young adults in mixed race families are more likely to identify with their mother’s race than their father’s, and that this pattern relates to gender and father’s absence during childhood. We also find that quotas in university admissions increased the likelihood that applicants and students self-identified as non-white, and that this phenomenon was attributable, in part, to actual change in racial identity.

Read the entire paper here.

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