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."

The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.