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Afro-Brazilian.com Launches to Bridge Gap Between Afro-Brazilians, African Americans

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Lagrant Communications announced the launch of the first website dedicated to educating African Americans on Afro- Brazilian culture. The website is part of the agency’s commitment to enriching the understanding of the diversity of the Latino and African American culture.

Afro-Brazilian.com will celebrate Afro-Brazilian culture through the development of original content by highlighting the history, culture and historical struggles of Afro-Brazilians. The website will also feature facts on Afro-Brazilians; Brazilian events taking place in the US and Brazil; updates on Brazilian politics; and the upcoming World Cup and the Olympic Games. Afro- Brazilian.com will also feature articles from noted Brazilian and African American reporters across the US.

Brazil has made international headlines over the past several months with the election of its first woman president and the announcement of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.

Although Brazil has been a major tourist destination for decades, many do not know much about the country, the people nor its culture. According to MercoPress, an independent online news agency, Afro- Brazilians represent the largest ethnic group in Brazil, making up more than 49 percent of the population. Afro-Brazilians have a cultural influence on Brazil that spans from cuisine, literature, sports, and art, among others.

Some of the little known facts on Afro-Brazilians include:

• 49.6 percent of Brazilians are black, mulatto or pardo

• In Brazil, people of African descent are categorized through several groups, mainly pardo, black and mulatto

• Afro Brazilian ancestry belongs to two major groups— West African and Bantu; West African include the Yoruba, Ewe, Fanti-Ashanti, Ga-Adangbe, Igbo, Fon and Mandinka tribes; The Bantu tribe was brought mainly from Angola, Congo, Zimbabwe and Mozambique

• Slavery in Brazil was officially abolished on May 13, 1888

• As of 2007, the largest Afro-Brazilian metropolitan area is Salvador, Bahia, with more than 1.8 million (53.8%) pardos and 990,375 blacks (28.5%) [Total: 82.3% or 2.859 million people]; The state of Bahia also has the largest percentage of pardos (62.9%) and blacks (15.7%)

• Although Afro- Brazilians are mainly Catholics, many also practice Candomblé and Umbanda

• Capoeira, one of the most iconic symbols of Brazilian culture, was developed by African slaves from Angola and Mozambique

• Many influential Brazilian authors are of African Brazilian descent, including Machado de Assis, Lima Barreto and João da Cruz e Sousa

• African culture has been instrumental in the development of Brazilian cuisine. Feijoada, Brazil’s staple dish, was developed by African slaves

• Blacks and pardos have a low representation on Brazilian television. In 1996 Taís Araujo was the first and only black actress to be featured as a protagonist in a telenovela

• The International Federation of Football History & Statistics Player of the Century lists 15 Afro-Brazilian players among their 20 best Brazilian players list

In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Rodrigo Pederneiras, the principal choreographer to the world-renowned Brazilian dance troupe Grupo Corpo, said, “The influence of African culture is tremendous in everything in Brazil, in all parts. In the music, in paintings, in the religion like candomblé, in the food, in the dance rhythms.”

“Although Afro-Brazilians have a significant and influential presence in Brazil, they are grossly underrepresented by the media,” said Paulo P. Lima, editor- at-large of Afro- Brazilian.com. “The website was created to raise awareness of the unique and rich Afro-Brazilian culture and the historical parallels it shares with the African American community. “

Afro-Brazilian.com will debut with three original articles spotlighting culture, religion and cuisine.

The articles, written by Lima, introduce some of the most colorful, insightful and tasty aspects of Afro-Brazilian culture. The articles also establish a foundation for a deeper analysis on the complicated history and future of Afro-Brazilians.

Afro-Brazilian.com will also provide partnership opportunities for companies interested in reaching the Brazilian market.

The website will provide a series of advertising opportunities that include web banners, editorial features, background sponsorships and contests, among others.

“Our goal is to educate and encourage African Americans to establish a brotherhood and explore the rich African influences in Brazil. Many do not know that Brazil has the largest population of African descendants outside of Africa,” said Kim L. Hunter, president/CEO of Lagrant Communications.

“Brazil will remain in the international spotlight for many years to come, so understanding the Brazilian people, specifically Afro-Brazilians, is crucial to any American planning to travel and explore business opportunities in Brazil.”

For more information on the culture and history of Afro- Brazilians and their impact on Brazil, visit www.Afro- Brazilian.com.

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