November 20 is the national day of Black consciousness. That is a critical date in Brazil.
Brazil was the destiny of half of 12 million black people that were kidnapped from Africa by Europeans businessmen to be sold as slaves in the Americas.
That is why Brazil has the second largest Black population, behind of Nigeria.
Fighting for freedom, Black workers ran away from slave owners and established free areas called “quilombos”. The most famous one is “Quilombo dos Palmares”, led in its last days by Black leader “Zumbi dos Palmares”.
It gathered around 20-30 thousand Black workers all over the area around “Serra da Barriga” in Brazilian northeast. It took one hundred years for the Portuguese colonialists to destroyed it on November 20, 1695.
One hundred and thirty years ago, slavery was abolished. Nevertheless the heavy racist heritage of slavery times survives till our days.
The Black population are the majority among the poor, their living conditions are worse, they make less money and have less access to education and healthcare. That is why in average they live 2 years less than their white counterparts.
On top of that the young Black people are the broad majority among the 60,000 people that are violently killed in Brazil every year in what is called the genocide of the Black youth.
Black workers organizations are holding protests along this month. One of them is CSP-Conlutas affiliated “Quilombo Race and Class” which organizes the “Marcha da Periferia” (Poor Neighbourhood marches) in 25 cities across the nation.
It started in Sao Luiz in Maranhao state, in Brazilian northeast, one of the centers of “Quilombo” descendants’ struggles.
In Sao Paulo alone, 4 marches are schedule: the first one was held in the Black neighbourhood of “Cidade Tiradentes” on November 20. The other three will be in “Capao Redondo”, “Vila Brasilandia” and “Jaragua” which will be together with native-Brazilians.