Black in Latin America: Brazil’s Complex View of Race and Color

In the PBS series Black in Latin America, The Root's editor-in-chief, Henry Louis Gates Jr., examines the complexities of race and color in the places where 95 percent of African slaves ended up: South America and the Caribbean. First up: Why slavery was more brutal in Brazil than in the U.S.


Brazil once touted itself as free of racism. It turns out that the truth was more complicated — a lot more complicated. In his new PBS series, The Root‘s editor-in-chief examines the complexities of race and color in Brazil, the country with the second-largest number of people of African descent in the world after Nigeria — far more than the United States. Check out the video below and those to the right to find out why the scope of slavery was so much larger in Brazil, and what prompted Gates to say, “I knew how barbaric slavery was in the United States, but it was even worse in Brazil.”

Plus, there’s more coverage of the black experience in Latin America on The Root.