Pardo Brazilians

Multiracial Brazilians account for 44.2 % of Brazil’s population making them the second largest ethnic group behind white Brazilians.

The term Pardo (brown) is used in the Brazilian census to represent all mestiço Brazilians regardless of racial mixture, the same way Coloured is used in the South African census.

However like many multiracial people around the world they face pressure to abandon their mixed identity in order for a more politically correct one.

Pardo to Preto

The above video shows how Pardo’s like Coloureds in South Africa, are being encourage to identify as preto(black) via affirmative action programs. The program mentioned in the video only allow students to identify as either white or black, with students identifying as black(preto) being given preference for university admission.

However this creates issues as many students who select to be black can some times be declined based on their appearance like the applicant in the below video. Fortunately for the applicant he was able to “prove” his blackness with photo evidence of his family.

This has also affected government positions. Lucas Siqueira who identifies as Pardo was rejected from a job at the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for not looking “Afro-brazilian”.


The term afro-brazilian is now being used to describe any Brazilian with even partial black heritage. Its use is inspired by the one drop rule and hypodescent used in the United States Jim Crow era. The term is being used to discourage multiracial identity and promote blackness in its place.

This is something the black movement in Brazil promotes as they are against miscegenation.


One thought on “Pardo Brazilians

  1. My gosh having to go to a dermatologist to prove your blackness – this screams ‘Pencil Test’ which coloureds of SA may understand. There’s no doubt the need to level the playing field in universities and other sectors which holds a disproportionate occupancy by that of white people, but having seen this system in process i can’t help but feel it’s problematic. Should Government focus more on impoverished backrounds as a means of admission – surely the end result will be achieved by focusing on the economic status of the individual rather than race?


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