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Sun, 11.20.1960

Black Awareness Day in Brazil

*On this date in 1960, Black Awareness Day was created in Brazil.  Black Awareness Day or Black Consciousness Day (Portuguese: Dia da Consciência Negra) is observed annually as a day "to celebrate a regained awareness by Brazil’s Black community about their great worth and contribution to the country."

Black Awareness Day has been celebrated since the 1960s and has amplified its events in the 21st century. Initially, it was celebrated on May 13 (the date of the abolition of slavery in Brazil). It was later moved to November 20 to honor abolitionist Zumbi's death and is sometimes called Zumbi Day. It is an official state holiday in Alagoas, Amazonas, Amapá, Mato Grosso, and Rio de Janeiro and is marked elsewhere by multiple city councils.  Members of the organization "Black Movement" (the largest of its kind in Brazil) organize educational and entertaining events involving mainly children of African descent. They focus on dissolving the perception of Africans' inferiority in society during these events.

Other "hot topics" in the Black community during the Day of Black Awareness are the assimilation of African Brazilian laborers with Caucasian-Brazilian and other laborers, ethnic identity, and Black pride.   The "Day of the Caboclo" (Dia do Caboclo) is observed annually on June 24, celebrating the contributions and identity of the original caboclos and their descendants. This date is an official public holiday in the State of Amazonas. Also, "Mixed Race Day" (Dia do Mestiço) is observed annually on June 27, three days after the Day of the Caboclo, celebrating all mixed-race Brazilians, including the caboclos. The date is an official public holiday in three Brazilian states.  "Indian Day" (Dia do Índio), observed annually on April 19, recognizes and honors the indigenous peoples of Brazil.  

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