Brazil is South America’s largest country, and has the largest black population outside of Africa. And yet, black people in Brazil experience numerous harsh realities that their white counterparts don’t, with darker-skinned Brazilians routinely experiencing poverty and discrimination on a much larger scale.
Brazil has had a history of avoiding important conversations about race in spite of its diversity, but on the National Day of Zumbi and Black Consciousness, black Brazilians have the opportunity to celebrate their black identities and the late Zumbi dos Palmares, one of the country’s most famous black military leaders, who fought against European settlers in the independent settlement of Quilombo.
Thus, November 20 is a day of remembrance and celebration, and different regions observe the holiday with marches, parades, and demonstrations. And it seems that the holiday is vital now more than ever.