November 20, Black Awareness Day, is often remembered as the day of Zumbi dos Palmares, a great icon in the fight against racism for his resistance to slavery and leader of the Palmares Quilombo. However, the date also celebrates and honors Dandara dos Palmares, a figure just as important as Zumbi. Dandara was a quilombola warrior, Zumbi's wife and, like him, she also fought with weapons for the total liberation of black women and men in Brazil.
"It is precisely because of machismo that Dandara is not recognized or even studied in schools. Unfortunately, not even the black and feminist movements mention Dandara as often as they should. On the one hand, machismo, which although it relies on the hard work of black women, doesn't offer them a prominent position or a voice in decision-making. On the other, racism, which only has a memory for white women," wrote Jarid Arraes.
"We, black women, grew up without finding ourselves in history books, poetry, literature or sociology. Society's racist machismo seems to tell us that we don't have the right to find representation and inspiration to break the bonds of institutional discrimination. Many of us know about Dandara and other important black women women only because of our own solitary research, eager to find out. And, unfortunately, we are the same people who are fighting to ensure that these women are not erased from history," she adds.
Find out more about Dandara dos Palmares here.
For a whole year of Black Awareness
The celebration of Dandara and Zumbi is an important moment in the struggle of the black population. However, we need to recognize and celebrate black culture, discuss blackness and black resistance and fight racism all year round.
This holiday, concerts, round tables, festivals and activities are taking place in various cities. Check out some of the options:
Check out the São Paulo program here.
In Salvador, the Barroquinha Cultural Space is also hosting a special program dedicated to the date.
In Paraty, in the south of Rio de Janeiro, from the 20th to the 22nd there will be the Paraty Black Culture Meeting, which has been taking place since 1998. Check out the details.
The Palmares Cultural Foundation is organizing a marathon in Maceió with seminars, lectures, talks, book launches, literature workshops, storytelling, theater, breaks and a craft fair. Find out more.
A editora Mórula promove no Rio de Janeiro a mesa Mulheres Negras na Literatura: Resistência e Luta, com Ana Paula Lisboa, Janaína Damaceno e Yasmin Thayn