National Black Awareness Day is celebrated today, November 20, and is dedicated to reflecting on the existence and insertion of the black community into Brazilian society – whose problems extend from the time of slavery and remain alive until modern times.
The date was chosen because of the death of Zumbi dos Palmares, a Brazilian quilombola leader who became one of the main defenders against the slave system and in favor of the liberation of his people. In this way, the institution of this celebration is not only an opportunity to celebrate his heritage, but also to validate the recognition of African descendants and the building of our country, opening up a space for questions of extreme importance today. hui – including racism, social disparities and equality.
So, today is a great time to watch national and international productions that speak to the aforementioned themes, especially when we think of class consciousness, structural discrimination and privilege.
For this, we have separated a short list of 10 productions to reflect on this very important date, excluding the ones we picked from our special past story.
Check out our choices below:
12 YEARS OF SLAVERY
In 1841, Solomon Northup was a free black man who lived in peace with his wife and children. One day, after accepting a job that takes him to another city, he is kidnapped and shackled. Sold as a slave, Solomon must overcome physical and emotional humiliation in order to survive. In twelve years, he passed through two masters, Ford and Edwin Epps, who, each in their own way, operate his services.
SELMA: A FIGHT FOR EQUALITY
The story of Martin Luther King Jr.’s struggle to secure the right to vote for people of African descent – a dangerous and terrifying campaign that culminated in Selma’s epic march to Montgomery, Alabama, which spurred the American public opinion and convinced President Johnson to implement the Voting Rights Act in 1965. In 2015, the 50th is celebrated. anniversary of this pivotal moment in the civil rights movement.
FIGHT FOR JUSTICE
Lawyer Bryan Stevenson takes on the case of Walter McMillian, who was sentenced to death for murder despite evidence of his innocence. Stevenson encounters racism and legal maneuvering while fighting for McMillian’s life.
DO THE RIGHT THING
Directed by Spike Lee, the plot revolves around Salvatore “Sal” Fragione, owner of an Italian pizzeria in Brooklyn that has a wall full of names of famous artists. One of the locals, Buggin ‘Out, is outraged to see that on the wall there are only names of Italian artists. He thinks a Brooklyn establishment should be named after actors of Afro heritage, but Sal disagrees. The wall then becomes a source of hatred for Buggin ‘Out and the other residents of the neighborhood.
The beloved and vibrant Netflix series is an adaptation of the eponymous feature film directed by Justin Simien. Accompanied by a group of black college students from a prominent, elitist, and structurally discriminatory college in the United States, each episode focuses on a certain character and features acidic discussions – guided primarily by Sam White (Logan Browning), creator of the radio show that lends its name to the production.
MARIELLE: THE DOCUMENTARY
On March 14, 2018, Councilor Marielle Franco was shot and killed along with driver Anderson Pedro Gomes. To date, the crime has not been solved and the culprit has gone unpunished. Now, “Marielle: the documentary” shows who the politician and activist was, based on archive footage and interviews with people involved in the case.
The Oscar winner for Best Picture may seem like just another stunt drama, but it opens up discussions on many social topics – including sexuality, gender identity, racism, trafficking and more. again. The narrative centers on Black, who delves into a journey of self-knowledge while trying to escape the easy way of crime and the drug world in Miami. Finding love in surprising places, he dreams of a wonderful future.
Another Spike Lee classic, “Malcolm X” depicts the life of the incumbent African-American leader who had his father murdered by the Klu Klux Klan and his mother hospitalized for insanity. Imprisoned at the age of twenty, Malcolm converted to Islam and, from there, began to fight for the freedom of blacks at the forefront of racial struggles. The film starred Denzel Washington, who received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his performance.
Undeniably one of the most important and acclaimed Brazilian productions, “City of God” was nominated for four categories at the Oscars and unfortunately did not win any. The powerful plot centers on Buscapé, a poor, black and sensitive young man who grows up in a world of great violence. He lives in Cidade de Deus, the Rio favela known to be one of the most violent places in Rio. Frightened by the possibility of becoming a bandit, Buscapé is saved from his fate thanks to his talent as a photographer, which allows him to pursue a career in the profession. It is through his gaze behind the camera that he analyzes the daily life of the favela in which he lives, where violence seems endless.
When a group of civil rights activists goes missing in a small town in Mississippi, FBI agents Alan Ward and Rupert Anderson are dispatched to investigate. Local authorities refuse to cooperate and the African-American community is afraid to help. The situation becomes more and more difficult and the direct approach is abandoned in favor of a more aggressive approach.
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