Judge Joaquim Barbos became today probably the highest ranking Black person ever in the history of Brazilian government. Barbos will head the Brazilian Supreme Court effective at the close of his current case. The judges on the court elect the member to lead the Supreme Court.
This move demonstrates the continued rise of Brazilian blacks in a nation known quite often for its desire to ignore race. While some would say ignoring race is a positive, it is all but clear to any visitor to Brazil, that large numbers of Blacks life in desperate poverty and powerlessness. Given Brazil has the largest population of African descent, second only to Nigeria, this stark reality about Black live has lead intellectuals for decades to question Brazil’s claim to being a “racial democracy” where one’s race does not ultimately decide one’s future.
Hopefully, Barbos’ appointment will help motivate young and old Blacks and those who care about the future of all Brazilians.
It must also be noted that Barbos’ appointment is significant because he does hail from an impoverished background. He is an inspiration for all of those who seek to work to achieve success in a nation known for its deep gulf between the haves and have nots.