PBS recently began a fantastic new series called "Black in Latin America," hosted by Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr, a well known African American scholar and writer. I was surprised to discover that I learned more in the Brazil episode than I did in the Dominican Republic episode, and considering the complexity of Brazilian race relations, I thought they did a great job.
The Brazil episode, entitled Brazil: A Racial Paradise? focuses not only on history, but also on identity, culture, and stereotypes. Gates travels to Bahia, Pernambuco, Minas Gerais, and Rio de Janeiro to interview professors, activists, cultural icons, and historians to learn about Brazil's complicated history of race and to discover if there is such a thing as a racial democracy. Naturally, it's hard to fit so much information into just an hour, but it was very well done. On the website, they also put together a brief timeline about slavery and race relations:
One of the best things about the series? All of the episodes are available free online (at least for now). Watch the full episode right here!
What did you think?