Argentina’s players run to celebrate after teammate Maxi Rodriguez scored the last penalty as Netherlands’ players react at the end of the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina reached the World Cup final on Wednesday after beating the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout. (AP)
The World Cup will end this Sunday in Brazil, a nation with the world’s largest black population outside of Africa. Although many Brazilians think of their country as the model of race relations, racism is a hidden reality.
On the country’s Atlantic shore, the tropical city of Salvador de Bahia faces the African coastline far beyond the horizon. It’s a a city symbolic for Brazil’s African roots.
Slavery was abolished in Brazil in 1888 and here, more than anywhere else, the links with Africa are evident. In Salvador, African descendants represent more than 80 percent of the population. In Brazil, more than 50 percent of the population is of “metis,” or mixed-race – and social contact, friendships and marriage between the races are common.
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Brazil’s Oscar lies on the pitch during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. (AP)
A TV crew member holds a director’s clapboard showing the flags of semi-finalists Brazil and Germany during Germany’s training session at Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte July 7, 2014. Germany will play Brazil in their 2014 World Cup semi-final match on July 8 in Belo Horizonte. (Reuters)