One of my favorite things about visiting Brazil is regarding the African influence on the culture. The food, the rythms, the dance the clothing, the lengends; it gives me a truly warm feeling inside. Coming from a Zimbabwean family, these aspects of Brazil bring back fond memories of my childhood experiencing those same things. Even the way the guitar is played sometimes reminds me of the way it is played in Zimbabwe’s Chimurenga music. I feel the African culture lives very strongly in Brazil, and in other Latin American countries. This is why I was very excited when I found out that PBS is doing a documentary series on the African influence and people in Central and South America.
Black in Latin America is showing on PBS on Tuesdays, April 19-May 10, 2011, 8-9 p.m. ET. They are also posting some (if not all) of the full episodes on their site. Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. narrates in countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, and Peru, as he goes through Black history in these areas, and explores how people of African descent identify themselves in their respective countries. This is a must-watch for those interested in Brazilian culture. Even Brazilians might be surprised by how much Africa has influenced their culture. I’ll let the preview of this series speak for itsself below:
Interesting fact: Did you know that Brazil is the world’s second largest black nation? Despite this, they were the last country in the West to abolish slavery. See more cool facts on this timeline by the series.
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