Whew! Still decompressing off the Afro-Rio walking tour... "Brazil's 6million," I choose this title because I'm still having trouble conceptualizing that there were really 6 million human beings transported by boat in inhumane conditions for years. I just can't.
AN ESTIMATED 6 MILLION AFRICANS were transported to the country of Brazil by the Portuguese beginning in the 1500s. I knew this information and this information only until I went on a journey with Queen Sadakne. I was looking forward to gaining a plethora of information about the Africans coming to Brazil... During the tour I became sadly disappointed about the ABSENCE around the African history in Brazil. I mean nothing is there to recognize the existence of a people that was responsible for laying the foundation of a WHOLE country. How freaking RUDE! I was honestly hurt more than anything; the tour was a very emotional experience albeit the knowledge I received from Queen Sadakne was gold! Here are the main points of the 6 hour tour:
The Black Church - The oldest church in Rio, also houses the Museu de Negro (in the back), was in complete despair. There was a mysterious fire that went down in the 1960s, they never recovered after or chose not to, so it looks like its under going rehab or about to fall apart (depending on how you view the cup) Compared to the other churches, the Black Church is a joke.
Museu de Negro - Affected by the 1960 fire, a lot of artifacts were lost so they are working with that they have, beautiful art was noted, being able to touch original artifacts was dope. The entrance to get in was very confusing (see photographs). Of note, the museum is the size of 1500 sq ft townhouse :( I did learn that slavery life in Brazil was very different than the US. The Portuguese allowed their slaves to leave the home to run errands for them, although in inhumane conditions (see photos).
The Salt Stone - DOPE! It gave me city REALNESS in Rio, teens' skin beaming the colors of vanilla latte to caramel macchiato were chillin on the steps smokin a J & speaking Portuguese; Queen was giving us the stories of Africans being transported up the Salt Stone steps to get sorted for purchasing. The slave trade was very different from the US system. More information can be found on Queen Sadakne's website embedded below. Of mention, Queen emphasized the pattern of the Afro monumental figures around the city are usually minuscule and the area is intentionally made uncomfortable where people won't congregate. :(
Valongo - Trying to contain my composure as I'm writing this. So, because I know my weaknesses and always struggled with spelling I went to goggle the Valongo (I originally I spelled it Valergo lol) and I couldn't even focus on the spelling because I was blown away with the description of this site being named "an old dock" when in fact it was thee LARGEST arrival point of entry where slaves were physically assessed to determine where they'd go next, kinda like process and sorting of packages (rolls eyes). This weighed very heavy on my sprit.
New Blacks Memorial - Wow! The end of our tour, I couldn't take anymore, information overload, sorrow, frustration, desperation, sadness, courage are the emotions I can remember feeling throughout the tour and to wrap it up with actually witnessing skeletal remains of our ancestors just blew me. I mean we hear stories and all that but it's something about a visual that sketches a permanent image in your mind and the energy with it...
Super shoutout to Queen Sadakne who took the time out of her day to enlighten us on the African history (or lack thereof) in Rio, much love.
For detailed information about the sites listed visit her site:
I dedicate this post to all the ancestors, may your legacy live on no matter what!
#brazilafrobrazilafrolatinaafricans #saltstone #valongo #museudenegro #blackchurchrio #brazil6million