Caminhos da Reportagem rescues black traditions and heritage in Brazil

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134 years ago, slavery in Brazil was abolished. The country was the place in America that most received black captives: 4.86 million enslaved Africans between the 16th and 19th centuries, according to the Transatlantic Slave Trade Database, which contains information on more than 35,000 ship voyages. slavers. But to this day, slavery still echoes in Brazilian society. In the week in which this period in the country is remembered, the Reporting Paths brings a bit of history and consequences for the country, with the episode The struggle for abolitionproduced by TV Feira, a partner of TV Brazil. The program will air this Sunday (15), at 22 pm.

The main points of departure for an enslaved black who arrived in Brazil were Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. Places where, to this day, the Afro-descendant culture is strong. In Bahia, many blacks were taken to the interior, to cities like Feira de Santana. It was there that Lucas da Feira, a runaway slave, made history. Forerunner of the cangaço, he formed a band that terrorized the region and dared to defy the system of the time to live in freedom.

Lucas was eventually arrested by the police and hanged to death in 1849. But he is still a figure that symbolizes in Feira de Santana the rebellion against the slave system. “They were fighting a violent structure and this was a reaction to this structure, which tried to take away from him the right to be human and to be free”, explains historian Eliane de Jesus Costa.

In the history of freedom, the quilombos also enter, always remembered by the iconic Quilombo dos Palmares, led by Zumbi, who came to gather 20,000 escaped slaves in the interior of Alagoas. Historian Railma dos Santos came from a remaining quilombo community in Bahia, and explains that several traditions came out of these places. “These are traditions that permeate slavery and the rural black experience in Brazil, such as samba de roda, bata do feijo, among others,” she says.

When slavery was abolished, there was an expectation on the part of the black population of social inclusion. And that’s not what happened. But from there, a black movement to help black people also began to emerge. Proof of this is the Irmandade dos Homens Pretos, from Salvador, which was responsible for building the Church of Rosário dos Pretos, a symbol of religious syncretism in Pelourinho, in Salvador.

Even before abolition, the Brotherhood was already moving to support the black community. “The brotherhood begins to raise funds to buy the freedom of enslaved blacks and also to be able to take care of their burial”, explains William Justo, first secretary of the Brotherhood, which still exists today.

Capoeira is also a legacy of that time, a mixture of dance, fighting, martial arts and music. From prohibition, in the times of slavery, to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, capoeira accompanied the struggle for the freedom of blacks in the country. And today, for the master of capoeira Ronaldo Santos Rosa, it is a great advertisement for Brazil abroad: “it is the greatest agent of Portuguese language, I have already seen a Japanese, in Japan, singing in Portuguese because he practiced capoeira”.

THE Reporting Paths produced by TV Feira, The struggle for abolitionairs this Sunday at 10 pm on TV Brazil.

Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News

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