2017 - 2020
The Portuguese colonisation and the Atlantic Slave Trade are the historical reasons at the bases of the presence of black African people in Brazil. From the XVI century, African black people — mostly from the Western African region — where captured and deported to Brazil to work as slaves in the plantations and the mines.
Despite the law that abolished slavery is dated 1888, today, with more than 50% of the population that is Afro Brazilian, Brazil is a racist country. It is said that the country suffer a structural racism, a kind of discrimination perpetuated by the state as well as by the population that don’t allow Afro Brazilian to access to position/institution which have always been “occupied” by the elite and a constant verbal discrimination through denigration of Afro Brazilian.
The Quilombos are Brazilian settlement founded by people of African origin; most of the founders of these communities were escaped slaves. Especially with President Lula da Silva, the rights of the Quilombolas (ownership of the lands and right of been recognised as communities) were finally recognised. They represent the living witness of the existing of Slavery in Brazil.
In the last 20 years, the Brazilian Governments tried to fight the racism introducing racial quotas for the Universities and protecting and valorize the Afro Brazilian Culture. The Government recently elected inverted the direction, in fact it is ready to be voted a law that eliminates the racial quotas, there is a plan to reduce the amount of land occupied by Quilombolas and the President did racist claims against Afro Brazilian: during his campaign, Mr Bolsonaro claims “I have visited a Qui- lombo. The slimmer Afro-descent weighted 7 arrobas” (around 15 kg, the arroba was a unit of weight used during the sla- very period). “They do nothing. I think they aren’t good even for procreation. the Brazil waste more than 1 billion of Reais with them”.
There is an expression said by the Quilombolas all around Brazil: Estamos na luta, we are in the fight. This said is not only a declaration of fight for their rights and for the injustices their communities are currently living, it is a way to remember they are carrying on the fight for freedom started by their slave ancestors.