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Black In Latin America: Brazil: A Racial Paradise?

Airs Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. with capoeira group, Brazil.

"Black In Latin America," a new four-part series on the influence of African descent on Latin America, is the latest documentary film from renowned Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., presenter and writer of the acclaimed PBS series "African American Lives" (2006), Oprah’s "Roots" (2007), "African American Lives Two" (2008), "Looking For Lincoln" (2009), and "Faces Of America" (2010).

Photo Gallery

View photos from Professor Gates' time in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Brazil, Mexico and Peru.

Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and MV Bill, a Brazilian rapper, Brazil.
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Above: Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and MV Bill, a Brazilian rapper, Brazil.

Ladies getting ready for the Carnaval in Salvador, Brazil.
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Above: Ladies getting ready for the Carnaval in Salvador, Brazil.

Professor Gates’ journey discovers, behind a shared legacy of colonialism and slavery, vivid stories and people marked by African roots. He introduces viewers to the faces and voices of the descendants of the Africans in six Latin-American countries, who created these worlds. He shows the similarities and distinctions between these cultures and how the New-World manifestations are rooted in, but distinct from, their African antecedents.

A quest he began 12 years ago with "Wonders Of The African World" comes full circle in "Black In Latin America," an effort to discover how Africa and Europe combined to create the vibrant cultures of Latin America, with a rich legacy of thoughtful, articulate subjects whose stories are astonishingly moving and irresistibly compelling.

"Brazil: A Racial Paradise?"

In Brazil, Professor Gates delves behind the façade of Carnaval to discover how this ‘rainbow nation’ is waking up to its legacy as the world’s largest slave economy.

Up Next:

"Black In Latin America: Mexico & Peru: The Black Grandma In The Closet" will air on Tuesday, May 10, at 9 p.m.

Interactive Feature

Timeline: Brazil

Above: A timeline of key events in Brazil's history.

Video

Series Preview: Black In Latin America

Watch the full episode. See more Black in Latin America.

Above: In "Black In Latin America," Professor Gates’ journey discovers, behind a shared legacy of colonialism and slavery, vivid stories and people marked by African roots. He introduces viewers to the faces and voices of the descendants of the Africans in six Latin-American countries, who created these worlds. He shows the similarities and distinctions between these cultures and how the New-World manifestations are rooted in, but distinct from, their African antecedents.

Video

Interview With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Above: In "Black In Latin America," Professor Gates' journey discovers, behind a shared legacy of colonialism and slavery, vivid stories and people marked by African roots. He introduces viewers to the faces and voices of the descendants of the Africans in six Latin-American countries, who created these worlds. He shows the similarities and distinctions between these cultures and how the New-World manifestations are rooted in, but distinct from, their African antecedents.