Although Brazil’s population is made up of about 100 million black people, more than in any nation except Nigeria, the Afro-Brazilians are still the most underrepresented. Brazil’s former president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, attempted to strides when it came to providing racial equality for Afro-Brazilians, from Affirmative Action plans, to mandating the teaching of African and Afro-Brazilian history in high schools and universities. But the job market is still hard for Afro-Brazilians to compete in, when racial discrimination is rampant.
Lula da Silva’s successor, President Dilma Rousseff, is attempting to continue the former presidents work of providing job opportunities to Afro-Brazilians. In an initiative that was started with the previous president, Rousseff says she will ask congress to pass legislation to reserve 20 percent of the nation’s government jobs for Afro-Brazilians.
Rousseff says “affirmative action is essential” for creating equal opportunities.
According to the Associated Press, Rousseff also said that by the end of next year, her government will have sent a doctor to each of Brazil’s more than 3,500 “quilombos.” Those are settlements founded by descendants of Brazil’s slaves. Brazil had more African slaves land on its shores than any other country in the Americas.