Rio de Janeiro
African Diaspora in Brazil
You might have heard of Black Lives Matter, but in Brazil, the movement is known as Vidas Negras Importam, and it is forcing people to have a conversation about racism in this country. The idea is similar: a movement that looks at a country and world that puts down Black people and often takes away their lives through police violence and by failing to provide equal opportunities in health care, housing, education, and so much more and declares that Black people have the right to exist and thrive. In Brazil, racism is apparent across many parts of life. In Rio de Janeiro alone, police killed 1,230 people, most of whom were Black and poor (Perry). Eighty percent of people who have died of COVID-19 in Rio came from the areas of the city where the most poor and Black people live (Freelon). These effects demonstrate the long effects of slavery and how, even after its abolition 150 years ago, one's chances in life are still largely determined by the color of their skin. However, just like during slavery, people are fighting back in the face of this oppression. The movement Vidas Negras Importam has led to protests of thousands of people, more Afro-Brazilians running for office, and successful court cases against the police (Ramiro). The problems that they are facing are extreme, but the resolve of these activists show what it means to fight for freedom at any cost.
Freelon, Kiratiana. “How the Police Killing of a Black Brazilian Teen Sparked a Movement.” YES! Magazine, 16 Sept. 2020, https://www.yesmagazine.org/social-justice/2020/08/27/brazil-movement-for-black-lives.
Perry, Keisha-Khan Y. “‘We Still Have a Lot of Struggles Ahead’: A Conversation with Anielle Franco.” NACLA, 4 Jan. 2022, https://nacla.org/news/2022/01/04/marielle-franco-anielle-solidarity.
Ramiro, Joana. “Vidas Negras Importam .” Dissent Magazine, 17 July 2020, https://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/vidas-negras-importam.