Brazil’s Black Consciousness Day

Today, November 20th,  Brazil celebrates Dia da Consciencia Negra (Black Consciousness Day)

The day  symbolizes the resistance of Africans against slavery during the colonial period.  During that time,there were quilombos and other forms of resistance which, as a whole, destabilized the market economy and led to the abolition of slavery. This is the true sense of the abolitionist struggle, whose protagonists were the blacks themselves.  However, the Eurocentric view of the truth about abolition, made the allies the heroes of this story.Abdias Nascimento

A few cities in Brazil celebrated the day with several forms of activities, from Afro-Brazilian dance shows, and music, to talks about racism and social injustice. It was a pretty exciting day. However, the excitement about the celebration came to a halt when I asked of one my clients if he was  enjoying the holiday.  He responded, “I don’t celebrate holidays, especially this one!”

Now mind you, the celebration did not come to a halt because of how he felt about the holiday, but if this yearly celebration is bringing about change, not to those who don’t give a fuck about who we are, but to our people.

I took a deep breath and thought, “We have missed the point.”

To be conscious is to be awake, and in this case, to be awake to the truth of who we really are.  Somehow we celebrate our history, who we “are”  and where we came from, but do not live it out.  We are a people who look at ourselves in the mirror, and moments later, forget what we look like.

Who were we before slavery?  Who were we before we were brought to a land where were beaten, rapped and robbed of our skillset and creation? Have we truly asked ourselves that question without fear?  Are we truly awake to the truth or will we continue to embrace a system that will never care about us, yet, we spend hours, days, years, and centuries trying to convince them that we are humans?   This is not a rant, and please don’t look at this post and say, “That was a long time ago!” Look around you, nothing has changed!

Let this day always serve as a reminder, that, layers of fear and lies need to be removed from our psyche, our sub-conscious mind. Only then, we will truly have a Black Awareness Day.

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor Desmond Tutu
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