History of South America

Black Consciousness

The Black Consciousness is an expression that designates the historical and cultural perception that black people have of themselves.

It also represents the struggle of black people against racial discrimination and social inequality.

Day of Black Consciousness

The Day of Black Consciousness, November 20 is celebrated throughout the country. This date was chosen because it was the day of the death of the black leader Zumbi, who fought against slavery in the northeast.

The celebration recalls the importance of reflecting on the position of blacks in society. After all, the generations of Afro-Brazilians who succeeded the time of slavery suffered (and still suffer) from different levels of prejudice.

The date was established by Law No. 10,639, on January 9, 2003. However, it was only in 2011 that the law was enacted (Law 12,519/2011) by then President Dilma Rousseff.

In some states of the country, Black Awareness Day is a holiday , as in Rio de Janeiro, Alagoas, Amazonas, Amapá, Mato Grosso and Rio Grande do Sul.

See also:Black Consciousness Day:November 20

Black Awareness Day Story

The different African nations did not recognize themselves as black, but as Bantu, Haúças, Niams, Fulas, Kanembus, etc.

The first Africans brought to Brazil as slaves arrived here in 1532, and the end of the slave trade took place in 1850 by the Eusébio de Queiroz Law.

After the formal abolition of slavery on May 13, 1888, the search for equal rights for blacks never ceased.

Discrimination, felt in all areas, made black people excluded from society, education and, consequently, from the job market.

This exclusion, through much struggle, gradually diminished, and black people found a place in sports and the arts, but did not have access to university, for example.

Thus, it took a day to remember this constant manifestation that blacks perform, to be accepted in the same way as whites in Brazil.

See also:Racism in Brazil

Creation of Black Awareness Day

The creation of a commemorative day for Black Consciousness is a way of remembering the importance of valuing a people who contributed to the development of Brazilian culture.

On January 9, 2003, Federal Law 10,639 instituted the "National Black Awareness Day" , in the school calendar. In this way, the teaching of Afro-Brazilian culture became part of the school curriculum throughout the country.

During the November period, several activities and projects are carried out in schools across the country to commemorate the struggle of Afro-descendants.

In addition, it aims to make the population aware of the importance of these people in the social, historical and cultural formation of our country.

See also:Black Movement

Zumbi dos Palmares and Black Consciousness

Zumbi dos Palmares, born free in a quilombo (a village made up of runaway slaves), fought to the death to defend his people against slavery.

From slavery, Zumbi only knew the terrible stories that his elders were always telling. They remembered death in the hold of ships, the darkness of slave quarters, forced labor and the punishments suffered.

Quilombo dos Palmares was situated on a long strip of land 200 kilometers wide. It was parallel to the coast, located between Cabo de Santo Agostinho, in Pernambuco, and the northern part of the upper course of the São Francisco River, today in the state of Alagoas.

In one of the battles between Portuguese settlers and Quilombo, Zumbi was killed. As was customary at the time, his body was exposed in a public square to serve as an example so that no one would try to go against the colonizers.

Even so, his example of struggle was passed from generation to generation and he ended up being chosen as a hero for the Brazilian black people.

See also:Quilombos

Quotes about Black Consciousness

To reflect on black consciousness, here are some sentences:

  • Black people in Brazil are born forbidden to be intelligent .” (Paulo Freire)
  • What irritates me the most is black people asking black people for rights. Negroes don't have to ask, they have to conquer. ” (Wagner Moura)
  • We will not be satisfied as long as a single Negro in Mississippi cannot vote or a Negro in New York believes he has no reason to vote .” (Martin Luther King Jr.)
  • I don't need to have ambitions. There's only one thing I really want:that humanity live together... blacks and whites all together .” (Bob Marley)
  • Freedom made a black man into a favela, unable to live by the sea, they made their homes on the hills and organized themselves in their own way .” (Rafael Silveira)
  • Look again:there are no whites, there are no yellows, there are no blacks:we are all rainbows .” (Ulysses Tavares)

See also :

  • Quotes for Black Awareness Day
  • Poems to reflect on Black Consciousness
  • How Black Awareness Day came about

There are more interesting texts on this topic for you :

  • Abolitionism
  • Racial Quotas
  • Main Features of Afro-Brazilian Culture
  • Inspiring Black Women
  • Black Brazilian Personalities