afro brazilians

From their beginnings, Candomblé terreiros in general and Bantu-based religion in particular have functioned as sources of social and political mobilization for Afro-Brazilians. While in the past the religion was mainly directed inward toward the community—for example, promoting dignity and carrying out processes of healing—nowadays Bantu culture and religion has also been directed outward, toward achieving social and political ends. ACBANTU’s (Cultural Association for the Preservation of Bantu Heritage) discourse explicitly connects recognition with redistribution, demanding that municipal, state, and federal governments acknowledge the presence of Bantu-based groups in Brazil and include them in the allocation of resources. There has been an increasing interdependence between the struggle for recognition—the need to repair cultural prejudice—and redistribution—the need to repair socioeconomic injustice (Fraser 1997).

The fight for recognition takes place mainly in the realm of communication between different groups within a given society, thus requiring the production and circulation of new cultural representations that will allow for the reinterpretation of the image of the subjugated group. Redistribution is sought mainly by demanding the establishment of new public policies that can be legitimatized only if new representations of the oppressed groups successfully challenge previously hegemonic notions. Therefore, recognition and redistribution are not two separate spheres but are intrinsically connected realms. In their struggles for social justice, grassroots organizations seek both components at once. The interconnection between recognition and redistribution is presented in a discourse in which tradition does not oppose modernity, as is made clear in the statement of Ana Maria Placidino, educator and co-founder of ACBANTU: “We have a whole heritage to protect. We’re traditional communities … that carry out traditional activities in the ways we collect food, fish, and cook, for instance. … But we also want to have access to public policies.”

- “Nurturing Bantu Africanness in Bahia,“ in Comparative Perspectives on Afro-Latin America by Kwame Dixon and John Burdick (2012)


There are more descendants of Africans who speak Spanish or Portuguese than English.

Brazil has the largest population of Blacks in the world second ONLY to Nigeria!

The Caribbean was often a stop in the transatlantic slave trade to “break” the African before being sold to the Americas.

Haiti was the first BLACK independent nation in the Western Hemisphere , defeating Napoleon and others from France, with the power of Voudon (Voodoo). As a result, Haiti ,was punished by all of Europe through tariffs, taxes and other ways!


Some of the latest issues on magazines here in Brazil 🇧🇷 with a lot of black pride (from the top left to the bottom down description translated): 1. “Powerful Africa - a continent of reigns and empires” 2. “Taís Araújo and Lázaro Ramos - reflections from the number 1 couple of TV” 3. “J.P 10 Years - Boldness and Irreverence, with Karol Conká, Emicida and Taís Araújo” 4. “Black Feminism - The Power of Women” 5. “Angela Davis - reverberations of her thoughts on black, feminist and academic movements on Brazil”

African Influence in Salvador

Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia, was the first major port and the capital of colonial Brazil for almost two centuries. The city lies between green tropical hills and broad beaches along the bay of Todos os Santos. It was built on two levels with administration buildings and residences constructed on the hills; forts, docks, and warehouses on the beaches. To this day the city is still divided into upper and lower cities. From 1500 to 1815 Salvador was the nation’s busiest port. A significant portion of the sugar from the northeast and gold and diamonds from the mines in the southeast passed through Salvador. It was a golden age for the town; magnificent homes and churches resplendent in gold decoration were built. Many of the city’s baroque churches, private homes, squares, and even the hand-chipped paving bricks have been preserved as part of Brazil’s historic patrimony. In Salvador, more than anywhere else in the country, the African influence in the makeup of Brazilian culture is readily visible, from the spicy dishes still called by their African names (caruru, vatapa, acaraji), to the ceremonies of candomblé which honor both African deities and Catholic holidays, to the capoeira schools where a unique African form of ritualistic fighting is taught. Its population is around 2,250,000 inhabitants.

Location: Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Photographer: Celso Marino

“Yemoja”, illustrated by Mikael Quites

ARTIST COMMENTARY: Yemoja, one of the main orishas of the [Ifa] religion, and afro-brazilian mysticism. I wanted to show a different version of her, inspired by the shapes and powers of the sea. I did this image for the wonderful “Contos de Orun Àiyé”, a comic book project by Hugo Canuto.