This Sunday, Brazil celebrates the 51st anniversary of the first commemoration of Black Awareness Day by social organizations: an essential date for the rescue of historical memory in Latin America.
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Black Awareness Day is only celebrated in Brazil, and the date to vindicate the collective resistance of the black population rescues the figures of Zumbi dos Palmares and Dandara dos Palmares.
The Quilombo dos Palmares -the place where the slaves took refuge from the exploitation to which the plantations were subjected and where these historical figures defended their identity and rebellion- represents almost 100 years of resistance against the European system of slave colonization .
In 1971, in Rio Grande do Sul, the date of the death of Zumbi dos Palmares, November 20, 1695, was used as a symbolic mark of the collective struggle of the black population in Brazil.
The trajectory of the leader of the Quilombo dos Palmares inspired the creation of a moment to remember the fight against racism in the South American giant, although by government authorities and institutions the date would only be recognized in the country’s calendar in 2011.
In a newspaper article, the author Nara Lacerda assessed that “more than 100 years after the end of slavery, the marginalization of the Afro-descendant people is part of reality. Racism is a persistent colonial brand. In this context, Palmares is seen as a symbol of the real possibility of a community with its own economy and a life independent of thought and the colonizing power”.
Black Awareness Day
This November 20, Brazil stands up denouncing the racism of the Government of President Jair Bolsonaro.
The Black Coalition for Rights movement, in a call to raise awareness of this date and in protest of the Bolsonaro government, announced that this is “a day of mobilization, resistance and struggle.”
We will also attend the first game of the World Cup: Qatar X Equador. And he puts in his agenda that at the fifth fair, on the 24th, he will end up in Brazil. It is linked to our networks, so we will transmit some World Cup games. ⚽�� (…)+ pic.twitter.com/bjLwX9aIyM
— Official MST (@MST_Oficial)
November 18, 2022
“On Black Awareness Day, the Black Rights Coalition calls people to the streets! For food, employment, housing, respect for faith and traditional communities! It’s for black lives!” she stressed.
He remarked that “the black movement occupies streets, squares and parks to put an end to Bolsonaro’s genocidal project. It’s for black lives!”
The collectives point out that structural racism in the country reached its peak with the Bolsonaro government. In the first two years of this regime, hunger increased by 27.6 percent.
“More than half of the Brazilian population, or 116.8 million men, women and children, are currently in a situation of food insecurity. The majority are black: they are 10.7 percent of those who do not eat”, they indicated.
According to the Landless Rural Workers Movement, under the Bolsonaro regime, more than 220,000 black people lost their homes, that is, more than 140 percent than a decade ago, and there are 17.8 percent of black people unemployed.