November 20, marked the annual celebration of Black Awareness Day in Brazil. The nationally recognized occasion has been observed since the 1960s. The day originally was held on May 13th, (the day slavery was abolished in Brazil) but later moved to November 20 in remembrance of Zumbi a leader of escaped slaves in colonial Brazil.
Just two days before Brazil celebrated Black Awareness Day, more than 10,000 women marched the streets of the Brazilian capital for the first ever Marcha Das Mulheres Negras. Statistics have shown that although Afro-Brazilian women make up 25% of the population they are also the most likely to face discrimination. A study done by the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences states violence against black women increased by 54% wherease violence against white women dropped to 10%. Organizers of the march aimed to emphasize the importance of the mobilization of black women:
In a society that holds on to both a legacy of racial democracy and deems black women seemingly invisible, this mobilization is especially powerful because it displays a gathering of thousands of women reaffirming their blackness, awareness of the discrimination they face because of this identity and their ability to react and organize around these issues.
From the Marcha Das Mulheres Negras website:
We black women in Brazil, twinned with the women of the world affected by racism, sexism, lesbophobia, transphobia and other forms of discrimination, we are on the march. Inspired by our ancestry are living with a legacy that says a new civilizing pact.
Us girls, adolescents, youth, adult, elderly, straight, lesbian, transsexual, transgender, maroon, rural, black women of forests and waters, residents of the slums, the suburbs, the stilts, homeless, on the streets.
Are domestic workers, prostitutes / sex workers, artists, professionals, rural workers, extractive field and forest, seafood, fishers, river, entrepreneurial, culinaristas, intellectuals, artisans, of recyclable materials, yalorixás, pastors, agents pastoral, students, communicators, activists, parliamentarians, teachers, managers and many more.
The ancient wisdom we have inherited from our ancestors is reflected in the design of Good Living, which founded and constitute the new collective management concepts and the individual; nature, politics and culture, which provide meaning and value to our existence, footwear in utopian to live and build the world of all (the) and all (the).
Provided protagonists offer to the State and the Brazilian Society our experiences as a way to collectively build another dynamic of life and political action, which is only possible by overcoming racism, sexism and all forms of discrimination, responsible for denial of the humanity of women and black men.
We declare that the construction of this process starts here and now.
Share your thoughts on the march and Brazil’s Black Awareness Day below!