The slave trade never ended in Brazil until late 1889, making many of runaway slaves ensconced in the lower rungs of the Brazilian society.
This meant that Black Brazilians were sidelined in every little aspect of life. They attend the poorest schools, work lowest paying jobs, and constitute the larger part of inmates locked up in the world’s fourth largest prison system.
Luiz Pinto, a samba musician who was born into slavery, has been spearheading the Quilombo movement.
He has been moving across Brazil sensitizing the need for the government to fulfill its constitutional mandate as stipulated by the law that was enacted after the introduction to the Congress by Congresswoman Benedita da Silva, one of the 11 Afro-Brazilian that made up the Congress in 1986 after the end of 26 years of military dictatorship.
The law recognized that Quilombos had a constitutional right to the land where their ancestors. The movement which started with 29 recognized Quilombos has risen to more than 2,400, constituting of more than 1million people.
The runaway black slaves have kept the government on toes, asking it to fulfill their constitution right.
Despite their relentless efforts, the Brazilian government has been reluctant in delivering land title deeds as promised. Up to now, only 217 Quilombos have received land title deeds.
PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.