Brazil racial statistics and my 38th birthday

Today is march 20th, it is my birthday!

One hundred and thirty years have passed since slavery was banished from my country but it is still crazily far from race equality. We, black people represent 55,8% of the country but opportunities, salaries, studies and access is given to the other 44,2% half. 75% of the deaths caused by police actions are young black men. Only 60% of black student are able to graduate from high school. Around 56% of young black people of age 18-24 are able to reach college, while the rate of white people of the same age are around 80%.

Unemployment also is an issue that strikes black community more than others. For instance, from the people that are between jobs or with no job at all 64% are black. Payment of white people is around 75% higher than what is paid to a black person. 29% of the managers or those that occupy leadership roles are someone of collor.

If you are black in Brazil you have 2,7 more chances of being killed than anybody else around you, not to mention domestic violence, drugs and divorce. Access to arts, culture, sports, music and other social areas that are less available if you are black.

I have been extremely lucky in my life and have beaten every single one of those odds. It is with gratitude and humbleness that I recognize the role of friends, family and church in my life. I have had good examples, instruction and guidance that led me this far and kept me away from the dangers that are a constant in every young black man´s life.

During the last 38 years I was not shot or arrested, nor was I a father at sixteen. I do not use drugs, never drank alcohol and have not smoked cigarretes or any hallucinogens. I was not a victim of a stray bullet, nor was I mistaken for a thief or anything of that sort. I have never been beaten by the police, or was framed unfairly. I grew up during the 90´s AIDS spike and did not fall victim to it. I have not suffered child abuse, rape or domestic violence. I was raised by a father and mother that eventually got divorced but only when I was already an adult.

I got married (to a woman) and remained as such for the past 16 years (Thanks Irê Torres). I have 3 children I wanted them since day one – they didnt come by accident. I speak 3 languages, have a degree and master in engineering. Have traveled the world and influenced people. My professional opinion is respected and well paid.

I´m a lucky guy, all of those things above are common and incredibly more frequent in a black person life than in any other group of brazillian society. To be born black and poor in Brazil and to live fully until now and to remain alive despite all the statistics is indeed a miracle !!! Happy Birthday to me !!! 38 years sticking it to the man !!! Beating the odds since 1982!

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