This month, Brazilians have been celebrating “Black Consciousness”—the equivalent of Black History Month. On November 20, 1695, Zumbi dos Palmares, an African slave in Brazil, was murdered and his death became a freedom symbol in the Blackest nation outside of Africa. (Black and mixed-race people account for about 57% of Brazil’s population, according to reports.)
The spirit of Zumbi lives on, as many Brazilians use November as a time of reflection, encouragement and, of course, celebration. At ESSENCE, we asked Silvia Nascimento (@silviahnas), a São Paulo based journalist and founder of Mundo Negro, the first news portal for the Afro-Brazilian community, for a list of Black Brazilian women we should know in arts and culture.
For Nascimento, honoring the existence and resistance of Black Brazilian women who move their economy with their strength, competence and resilience, is paramount in uplifting global Black girl magic. Like Angela Davis said, “When Black women move, the entire structure of society moves.”
See below for her pick of eight Black Brazilian women who should be on our radar.