Reflecting back on the semester, I have learned a lot about Brazil. Perhaps more influential than some of the major topics we covered in readings, were the small conversations we had about Brazilian culture, like what to wear at the beach, or not having a big service after someone passes away. For the sake of this post, however, I will list my three biggest takeaways from the semester.
1: One thing I really enjoyed learning about was the history of slavery in Brazil, and how it led to the country claiming it was a racial “democracy”
2: Reading Making Samba helped open my eyes to the history of Brazil’s Afrocentric roots, being able to learn about a large part of the diaspora through music was gratifying for me, especially under the context of my Jr. IS
3: Lastly, learning about class differences in Brazil was a big takeaway for me. Learning more about the favelas and the police brutality that goes on there as well as other problems were harrowing and interesting at the same time.