November 20: Black Consciousness Day in Brazil

The Department of African & African Diaspora Studies (AADS) with support from the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies will host a panel on Black Consciousness Day in Brazil on November 20 at 5:00 PM (Wisconsin Room-Student Union) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Three Brazilian scholars will discuss their research on Afro-Brazilian Media, and Education. Dr. Sales Augusto dos Santos and Dr. Ivonete da Silva Lopes are visiting scholars at AADS and Dr. Alexandra Lima da Silva is a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champagne.

November 20 is celebrated as the Black Consciousness Day in Brazil. It is the most important day for black social movements and black people in the country. During this entire month,  there are several cultural, sociopolitical, academic activities and public protest against racism, discrimination, inequality, as well as the political claim for racial justice. Black Consciousness Day was advocated by black social movements in honor of the black hero, Zumbi dos Palmares, death on  November 20, 1895. This celebration of Zumbi is in response to May 13th is celebrated as the official liberation of slaved people in Brazil.

The event is coordinated by AADS Associate Professor, Dr. Gladys Mitchell-Walthour.

For additional information, please contact


Dreams of freedom: The Black Family, Education and Social mobility (Rio de Janeiro, 1843-1916)

Dr. Alexandra Lima da Silva

Silva will discuss the importance of Israel Soares in the abolitionist network in Rio de Janeiro, as well as in creating a school for captives and freed people. She argues that education was a path for freedom, which was different from manumission. Based on the understanding that “freedom is a constant struggle”, as taught by Angela Davis, Silva shows the importance of enslaved people’s actions in educational causes in the city of Rio de Janeiro. She also analyses the causes championed by Israel Soares and his children after abolition, particularly the fight against racism and belonging in the Catholic religious brotherhood. She so makes visible to the trajectory of Israel Antonio Soares Junior, a black man and a son of former slaved people who became a doctor in Rio de Janeiro in 1912. Higher education was a path towards social mobility and distinction.

Fraud in the Brazilian quota system and damage to Black Women students

Dr. Sales Augusto dos Santos

Santos presents the results of a research project financed by the Institutional Program of Scientific Initiation Grants – PIBIC/CNPq-2017/2018. Its purpose was to investigate the repercussions of the Quotas Law from 2013 to 2016, and, consequently, the entry of quota students into the Federal University of Viçosa, through the ethnic-racial sub-quotas, in six majors that are considered  prestige in this university, namely: Agronomy, Law, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. Among other results, the data indicate that white students have practice fraud in the ethnic-racial sub-quotas and, consequently, the low presence of black women students in these majors, even after the implementation of the Quotas Law.

Digital Black Media and Struggle Against racism in Brazil

Dr. Ivonete da Silva Lopes

Media is central to understanding racism in Brazil. Although Blacks represent more than fifty percent of the population, they continue to be stereotyped and they are unrepresented in communication. As a space of resistance, black media make up a small number of media that includes ten websites and one magazine. Lopes maps digital black media and its strategy to fight against racism. This research finds that black media struggle to survive without financial support. Racism operates to unequally distribute communication resources such as advertising.