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Razib Khan Aug 2023 blog post- People In Brazil Are Quite “Mixed-Race”

Quote:Probably the most famous Brazil American is Gisele Bündchen, erstwhile supermodel and ex-wife of Tom Brady. Bündchen is a German Brazilian, and all the media I see say she is purely German. She grew up in a predominantly German town in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, which is often contrasted with the black-dominated areas of northeastern Brazil. About 80% of people in Rio Grande do Sul identify as white, about 10% mixed-race, 5% black and the remaining 5% indigenous, Asian, etc.

These sorts of facts are often used to recapitulate American racial dynamics in Brazil, except here you have a black majority and a white minority, though the latter are still socially, culturally and economically dominant. This is in contrast to the model that Brazilians themselves promoted in the 20th century of being a multiracial and mixed-race society, albeit defined by a fair amount of naked anti-black bias.

The main problem with the first narrative is it is just a plain fact that most Brazilians are mixed-race in the American context. Bündchen is the exception, not the rule. This has been hard to ascertain because of the lack of high density SNP array surveys in the early years of this blog, but I decided to go back and check now that these chips are very cheap, and a paper with 6,500 Brazilians typed on 370,000 SNPs exists to illustrate the ancestry distributions within: A minimum set of ancestry informative markers for determining admixture proportions in a mixed American population: the Brazilian set.
[Image: 41431_2016_Article_BFejhg2015187_Fig2_HT...C101&ssl=1]

The admixture plot shows that under “11,” sampled in the far southern Brazilian city of Pelotas, only a few individuals on the right portion of the distribution show trace amounts of non-European ancestry. The prevalence of low but widespread Amerindian ancestry is not surprising in Brazil, where the early European settlers seem to have absorbed the natives. Second, under “12” you see samples from the city of Salvador, where 80% of people identify as mixed-race or black. Here you see lots of African ancestry, but only the individuals at the far left of the distribution are as African as the average African American (the rightmost panel is from a central Brazilian city).

This pattern is even more clear on PCA:
[Image: 41431_2016_Article_BFejhg2015187_Fig1_HT...=701&ssl=1]

What’s the takeway? By American standards most Brazilians are black, because they have African ancestry. This includes a majority of self-identified “white” Brazilians.
anti-racist on here for kicks and giggles

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Razib Khan Aug 2023 blog post- People In Brazil Are Quite “Mixed-Race” - by okarinaofsteiner - 11-20-2023, 06:14 AM

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