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TB

Sokoloff

Research Report

January 10, 2018

During my family interview, my mother was not able to give me a lot of detail on my

grandparents past. Because of this, I decided to choose a research topic that interested me. I

chose to research the topic of racism and slavery in Latin America. The thesis I began to

become more exposed to was the thought that many people emigrate from their home country

to another for a better life.

The idea of a better life includes more skill based and greater pay jobs, more support for your

family, and a stronger education. In the article on Gallup News, the authors stated, “It seems

that job satisfaction in Latin America matters more than job availability in terms of driving

migration intent. A follow-up question asking employed respondents whether they are satisfied

with their current jobs produces an important distinction: 39% of those who are dissatisfied

would like to emigrate, versus 24% of those who are satisfied,” This article began explaining

how more people in Latin America were unsatisfied with their current employments. This would

be a factor in their act for change. Many of the sources I collected explained how unfairly people

were being treated based on the color of their skin. The complexion of these people’s skin

quickly determined how their life would turn out. Having to base their lives off the pigment of

their skin deferred them from doing the things that they needed or even wanted.
Poor living conditions forced people to lack in an education and job in Latin America. A section

of a Wikipedia article focuses on how people were treated specifically in Brazil. Racism in Brazil

has been going on since the colonial era, or from around 1500 to 1815. During this time, black

slaves were picked through a process based on skin color, gender, and nationality. Although

slavery then came to an end and people began believing that racial democracy was true, people

soon began to not believe in it. It began with the majority of the country’s Pardo, or mixed,

people seeing more non European Brazilians on television and in musical groups. In telenovelas

on televisions, dark skin people began being shown as low socioeconomic workers. From there

it became harder for people with darker skin to find the same job and education opportunities

non Pardo people had. Based on Rios and Crabtree’s article, this hardship forced 31% of their

poll responders to want and encourage Latin American people to move and 21% of the

responders families to actually begin moving.

Throughout Latin American, your eligibility to obtain a job is depicted upon the amount of

melanin throughout your skin and your ethnicity. As I continued to research the treatment

people received in Latin America, I began to view stories from people who face racism in their

own countries. On August 14, 2017, George Warner interviewed Pedro Attila on his experience

of being Pardo in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. During the conference Petro explains his daily life and

how much the new job he was about to interview for would benefit not only himself but his family

as well. The source explained that government jobs began to take people with darker skin. As

Warner explains to listeners why Brazil treated dark people the way they did he says, “Brazil's

racist project was to whiten its population, to offer jobs and opportunities to Europeans like

Pedro's dad. And Pedro, by all the racial science at the time, should've been born

lighter-skinned.” Although Brazil had the intention to help people with light skin, they began
taking opportunities away from the Pardo people. According to the article written by Lulu

Garcia- Nararro, in 2014 the government in Latin America required that government jobs have

20% of their staff to be dark or pardo people. In the end, Pedro was accepted by the

commission for the job. As the interview closed out he explained how joining the fight for equal

job and education opportunities made him feel “more connected,” This interview allows listeners

to under the struggle pardo people in Brazil faced for simple life necessities. It allows us to

empathize with Pedro and people like himself to realize why moving away from these conditions

was what many latin americans dreamed of doing.

People should not receive or lack opportunities based on the color of their skin but by the quality

of their character. After conducting this research, I’m grateful to have access to new doors that

lead me to new good fortunes and learning experiences regardless of the way people portray

me. Not only have I learned about governmental issues in Latin America, but this research

allowed me to empathize with people facing these issues.