Black consciousness day in Brazil - A Dica do Dia. Dia da Consciência Negra no Brasil

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20th of November is Black Awareness Day in Brazil, a day to celebrate the awareness by the black community about their great worth and contribution to the country and society.

When is Black Awareness Day in Brazil?

Days of the week Date Month Year
Wednesday 20 November 2019
Friday 20 November 2020
Saturday 20 November 2021
Sunday 20 November 2022
Monday 20 November 2023
Wednesday 20 November 2024
Thursday 20 November 2025
Friday 20 November 2026
Saturday 20 November 2027
Monday 20 November 2028
Tuesday 20 November 2029

The Black Awareness Day in Brazil

The date of Black Awareness Day in Brazil was chosen because one of  the greatest civil rights activist in Brazil: Zumbi dos Palmares. This is the date of his death. He fought bravely against slavery. The date was established in 2003, but was only made official in 2011.

More than just a celebration, it is a day to think about the position that Black people have in the society then and now. The past generations have suffered (and still suffer) through racist acts, even after the abolition of slavery. It’s a day dedicated to fight racism and defend Black people’s rights and respect.

The National Black Awareness Day is only a public holiday in some Brazilian states such as Rio de Janeiro, Alagoas, Amazonas, Amapá, Mato Grosso do Sul and Rio Grande do Sul.

Zumbi dos Palmares

The leader in the fight against slavery in Brazil was Zumbi dos Palmares and he was born in a Quilombo. Quilombos where places that the people who were enslaved and escaped lived together in freedom. There, he fought, until his death, in defense of his people against the oppressors who enslaved them.

Quilombo dos Palmares was located on a long strip of land, about 200 kilometers wide; near the coast and in between the Cape of Santo Agostinho in Pernambuco, and the northern part of the São Francisco River, now in the state of Alagoas. Zumbi dos Palmares died on November 20, 1695, at the age of 40.

Black Awareness and its History

The various African groups who came to Brazil in the early 16th century did not recognize themselves as black (as we recognize today), but as Bantos, Hauzas, Kanembus, Fulas, and so on. These were group names referring to the ethnic groups to which they belonged.

After the formal abolition of slavery on May 13, 1888, freed black people had to now confront a new fight: the fight for equal and civil rights.

This feeling of discrimination alienated black people from society, education, and consequently marginalized them in the labor market. Over time, the discrimination has decreased and black people began to have opportunities in sports, in the arts, but not particularly to a higher class.

The Black population opted for a symbolic celebration of the constant struggle for their release, and for the end of discrimination and prejudice. The creation of Black Awareness Day in Brazil is a way to value the brave people that contributed so much to the Brazilian culture and who were unjustly enslaved by the white man.

As of January 2003, the Federal Law 10,369 established National Black Awareness/Consciousness Day in the school calendar and teaching Afro-Brazilian culture became a part of the curriculum for all schools in the country, making typical activities and projects that celebrate the history of African American.

Additionally, there is also the intention to make the population aware of the importance of black people socially, historically and culturally in Brazil.

An important reminder! Unlike many other languages, in Portuguese the word NEGRO is not offensive!

Where to celebrate?

If you want to have an immersive and true experience during this holiday, you can go to various events happening all over the country. You can learn Portuguese while having fun and learning about this holiday. Here are some suggestions in Rio:

Cortejo da Tia Ciata: The procession of Tia Ciata is a tribute to Tia Ciata, considered to be one of the most influential people for the emergence of samba carioca. It is a multicultural event involving various groups and art collectives.
Where? Rua Camerino,5 –  Centro
When? November 20th.

Batuques de Lá: In this event you can find a roda de samba (a group that plays live samba) and a lot of fun and drinks!
Where? Rua General Luís Mendes de Morais, 210 – Santo Cristo.
When? November 19h, 20:00.

Roda de Samba Dia da Consciência Negra: Here we also have an amazing roda de samba. They claim that “Samba is joy but it’s also resistance.” So beautiful, right? So, come have fun with them.
Where? Rua Joaquim Silva,11 – Centro.
When? November 20th, 12:00 am.

If you want to learn more about this holiday and also get to know the suburbs of Rio, come to the Roda de Conversa do Dia da Consciência Negra at Centro Cultural João Nogueira. There you’ll find organized talks and speeches about important subjects regarding Black culture and community.
Where? Rua Dias da Cruz, 170 – Méier
When? November 20th,17:00.

Conheça a Pequena África is an incredible event. There they’ll do a tour in a part of Rio called Little Africa and you’ll get to know its history. And, of course, it will be filled with culture and samba!
Where? Museu de Arte do Rio.
When? November 24th, 10:00 am.

Don’t forget to buy your tickets in the links above.

Vocabulary of the Black Awareness Day in Brazil

Luta Fight
Escravidão Slavery
Sociedade Society
Preconceito Racist act
Líder Leader
Quilombo Village of outlaw slaves
Abolição Abolition
Libertos Freed
Igualdade de direitos Equal rights
Discriminação Discrimination
Marginalizado Marginalized
Libertação Release
Cultura afro-brasileira Afro-Brazilian Culture
Currículo escolar School Curriculum
Conscientizar To aware
Ofensiva Offensive
 Gerações Passadas Past generations 
 Racismo Racism 
Alienar To alienate
 Oportunidades Opportunities 
 Valorizar To value 
Lei Federal Federal Law

That’s it! Did you like knowing a bit more about Brazilian History and Culture? Have you ever celebrated the Black Consciousness Day in Brazil?

See you in the next Dica, alright?

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