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Diversity In Manaus, Quilombo de São Benedito celebrates ‘Black Awareness Day’ with tribute to leader Nestor Nascimento

Priscilla Peixoto – Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS – To celebrate the Black Consciousness Day, next Saturday, 20th, the Urban Quilombo of Barranco de São Benedito, the second urban quilombo of Brazil, located at Japurá Street, at Praça 14 of Manaus, South Zone of Manaus, will honor the quilombo’s son and black leader of Amazonas Nestor Nascimento.

The program is organized by the Associação de Mulheres Negras Crioulas do Quilombo Manaus. “Since July this year, we have chosen Nestor to highlight his importance that, even being a reference for the social movements of blackness in Amazonas, had little visibility here in the state and people need to know about him and his relevance”, informs the association.

Because of the pandemic, the celebration day that highlights the importance of the African people in the formation of national culture will be held obeying all safety guidelines, to avoid agglomeration and possible contamination by Covid-19. “We cannot do anything that will agglomerate, because we are still in pandemic and we have lost many people”.

During the event, which has been held since 2006, the traditional feijoada (bean stew) made by the community residents will be distributed. In addition, the celebration will have an exhibition of handicrafts produced by the Crioulas do Quilombo, capoeira Matumbé presentations, and the well-known Quilombo pagoda. Starting at 9am on Saturday, the organization will hold a gathering for the parade in the Quilombo, with departure scheduled for 10am.

The program starts at 9am. (Reproduction/Instagram)

Nestor Nascimento

Nestor José Soeiro do Nascimento was a leader responsible for mobilizing the black population of the Amazon to participate in social movements. He was tortured in the 1970s during the military dictatorship and his trajectory was so strong and remarkable that, in 1997, he was invited by the then president of the United States of America (USA), Bill Clinton, to discuss human rights.

Nestor’s figure as a militant, journalist, and lawyer is considered as important and representative as the history of the abolitionist, journalist, and patron of the Abolition of Slavery in Brazil Luís Gama. Founding partner of the Vitória-Régia Samba School, the Amazonian icon died in 2003, at the age of 56.

São Benedito Quilombo

The Quilombo of São Benedito is the second urban quilombo recognized in Brazil. There are more than 150 families living in the place that has existed for 130 years, symbolizing the resistance of residents descending from Maranhão slaves.

The place, considered Intangible Heritage of the Amazon, was recognized as the second Urban Quilombo in Brazil at least 7 years ago. In the neighborhood, there is a square named after Nestor, in memory of the legacy left by him.