Friday, 17 November 2017

Black Awareness Day

"To deny the existence of racism is to contribute in the most perverse and hypocritical way for its perpetuation."

Black Awareness Day is celebrated on November 20 in Brazil. On this day we remember that our greed, our immeasurable ambition, our lack of humanity enslaved other people. These people were deprived of everything we could call life. After a long time of suffering, they were abandoned to their own fate in what is sarcastically known as abolition. It means that they were not slaves anymore but, they were not citizens, they had nowhere to live, nowhere to work, they had no way to keep themselves or their families, their children could not attend school or learn a profession, a life of misery was destined to the ones who survived. It was another form of slavery even tough they were called FREE. Such state of poverty and its consequences remains until today. In Brazil, the great majority of poor people are black, the great majority of people who do not have opportunities to grow, to study, to socially ascend are black. On this day, as society we should feel ashamed of ourselves to have allowed and to still allow such unfairness to perpetuate.
To learn more about Black Awareness Day in Brazil 

Carolina Maria de Jesus is an example of how generation after generation of enslaved people were and still are neglected in Brazil. She wrote important books such as The Trash Room and Child of the Dark where she describes how many people live in the slums of the country. Her biography can be found on


Lazaro Ramos is a very famous and talented Brazilian actor and also a writer. In his participation in FLIP Paraty International Literary Festival  he was moved by the testimonial of a retired black teacher whose history have touched us all. I was there and will never forget the words of a 77-year-old retired teacher Diva Guimarães,


I would like to finish my humble contribution to this day by sharing with you one of my favorite authors: Maya Angelou performing I Still Rise. I also would like to remind us all of our responsibilities to improve the world we live in as well as life for all people no matter the color of their skin, their gender, their faith (or if they have none). All diversity is welcome if we want to share a world of peace. 

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