May 13: Day of Abolition of Slavery

The history of Brazil has a dark period that goes beyond 300 years. This is because it was during this period that the Portuguese began to use the slave labor from the African continent .

According to Reginaldo Prandi (2002), between 1525 and 1851, more than 5 million Africans were brought into the Brazilian territory as slaves. And slavery only came to an end, theoretically, after the abolition of slavery on May 13.

Viewed as a commodity, the Africans were removed from their territories to work as slaves in the peasant areas of Brazil. As the Portuguese were forbidden to use the Indians for this purpose, through the Catholic Church that wanted to catechize the tribes, they ended up adopting what many European countries already did, importing slave labor.

Brazil was known as the largest slave territory in the West and when the abolition of slavery became a reality in the country, few situations changed in the lives of blacks. For this reason, the Day of Abolition of Slavery is not seen as a festive date for many blacks in Brazil.

How did the Day of Abolition of Slavery come about?

Until the abolition of slave labor, the Brazilian laws, ruled by Portugal, were gradually modified. The first step taken for this purpose was the prohibition of slave trade . This means that from 1850 the use of the slave ships that transported the slaves from Africa to Brazil was prohibited. Despite this, the Portuguese have continued this service for a while, even though it is illegal.

Twenty years later, the Law of the Free Womb arose , which gave freedom to the children of slaves born after the date of promulgation of this measure, in 1871. As early as 1885 there was another step towards the abolition of slavery, when the Saraiva law -Cotegipe or the Sexagenarians was passed, releasing all slaves who were over 65 years.

After all these steps, in the year 1888, Princess Isabel signed the Lei Áurea.This, in theory, meant the freedom of all blacks and blacks who worked as slaves in Brazilian territory. Signed May 13, date that was recognized as the Day of Abolition of Slavery.

Why do not some black people celebrate this date?

Although the Golden Rule was an important decision in the lives of slaves, little has changed since the signing. Even though they were free, blacks had no access to housing, education, health, or paid work. Due to the neglect treatment given to the ex-slaves, the black movement does not celebrate this date.

Because they had no place to live, blacks started building their own houses in regions far from the big urban centers. The Brazilian state also did not bother to guarantee hirings and salaries to the ex-slaves and continued to perpetuate the prejudice with these peoples. However, even in the face of such realities, blacks struggled to secure basic needs such as education and housing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *