In Brazil, November 20 is Black Consciousness Day, or Dia da Consciência Negra in Portuguese, a public holiday celebrated in more than 830 cities around the country. Originally, Black Consciousness Day was celebrated on May 13, the day slavery was officially abolished in Brazil. It was moved to November 20 in honor of Zumbi dos Palmares, which amplified the day’s historical significance. Zumbi dos Palmares was the leader of one of the ‘quilombos’, a figurative settlement consisting of enslaved Africans who escaped their masters. Zumbi is considered a freedom fighter and a legendary Black hero. He was taken from the Kingdom of Kongo and sold as a slave to the Portuguese at the age of six. He escaped nine years later, returning to Palmares (where he was born) and immediately launched an anti-slavery campaign against Portuguese oppression.
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