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February 17, 2018

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Use of blackface in Brazil Carnival parade sparks debate

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 | 10:44 a.m.

SAO PAULO (AP) — A samba school's use of blackface in a Carnival parade is sparking debate about depictions of race in Brazil, which has only begun in recent years to grapple with a fraught racial legacy.

The storied Salgueiro school's performance in the early hours of Tuesday featured two groups in blackface in a parade that paid tribute to African culture and black women, in particular.

Many took to Twitter to express shock that the school would rely on a trope that has been used to demean black people.

But others defended the school, saying that the black-painted faces don't carry the sort of racist implication they would in the United States, where blackface was a staple of racist minstrel shows.