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Brazil: An Inconvenient History

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Informative, Interesting Documentary Feb. 23 2009
By Daniel Blue - Published on
Format: DVD
I was really shocked as I watched this doc. I knew nothing of Brazil's past - of how the Portuguese colonists decimated the indigenous people and then the massive numbers of slaves brought there from West Africa to work on the sugar plantations - it's utterly shocking to find out that the slave trade here was so much bigger than in the USA. This film also gives a good insight into the inter-racial mix of modern Brazil and the still massive inequality between rich and poor - all down to the slave trade. Watch this and learn something new!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Documentary was great but not the DVD! Dec 29 2013
By Michelle D. McKinney - Published on
Format: DVD
The documentary was placed so deep into the DVD that we couldn't find it for our screening. Trailers and another complete short documentary ran before the main documentary was accessible. It was like watching an infomercial for a film company. That was very bad.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Informative and incontinent facts about how white folk have colonized ... Sept. 20 2014
By The Sun of Man 7 - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Informative and incontinent facts about how white folk have colonized and left a path of destruction, in Brazil (as well South America) that still resonates to this day.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Slavery South of the Equator Sept. 21 2012
By Jeffery Mingo - Published on
Format: DVD
Slavery is such a tragic and painful topic that it can be easy to avoid. However, I could get to the end because so much of what was discussed was like the US and for my slave ancestors. Like the US, the Portuguese brought slaves as the indigenous died out. Slaves were whipped and abused. White men had access to Black women's bodies any time they wanted. An abolition movement begun in the 1800s but the end of slavery did not lead to equality between races in either the US or Brazil.

However, in "Black in Latin America," Dr. Skip Gates stated that Brazilian slavery was worse than in the US. The program supports that. It said that there were few entities to prevent the abuse of slaves. Brazil imported 10 times as many slaves as the US and didn't end slavery until about 20 years after the American Emancipation Proclamation. This work suggests that there were far fewer white women in Brazil compared to the US, so miscegenation just had to happen. An anecdote about a slave woman getting her breasts chopped off is particularly saddening. The work mentions African religions and cultures being intact, although I don't recall the word "Candombl'e" coming up. I hate when conservatives claim, "Africa had slavery too, so you Black people need to stop complaining!" The narrator here said the Portuguese enslaved North Africans long before they traveled across the Atlantic. The work doesn't mention slave revolts until the 1800s. How can that be when slaves outnumbered whites down there? The work mentions Quilombos which I'm guessing US slaves didn't have, but the Brazilian slaves didn't have Canada as an alternative. It turns out that the British played a big role in ending Brazilian slavery by capturing Brazilian slave ships. However, the term I learned in college "what the English don't see" is not quoted here. Note that the Brazilians never had a bloody civil war to end the practice.

The work said more Blacks in the New World speak Brazil than any other language. I didn't know that. However, I don't think it says Brazil has more Blacks than any other country outside of Africa. I'm a little surprised about the title of this DVD because I don't think it's a secret that Brazil was a slaveholding society. This is a great work to show to Black students as elders and classes try to introduce them to pan-Africanism.

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