Essay on The History of Slavery in the World

Essay on The History of Slavery in the World

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Three and a half to four million Africans were brought over by the Portuguese to work as slaves on the sugar plantations of Brazil beginning in the 1500s (“The Portuguese…”). Following the end of slavery, many African-Brazilians ended up in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, Bahia, two cities along the coast of Brazil. Outside of these cities is where shantytowns, also known as favelas, formed; these were the slums, and the African-Brazilians mainly resided there. In the favelas, life was very rough. The living conditions were terrible, the people were in extreme poverty, and they continued to be treated very poorly by the Portuguese and other Brazilian peoples. The “Favela Samba” first arose in Brazil in 1888 at the end of slavery and the coffee boom in response to the brutal conditions and treatment the Afro-Brazilians experienced. The samba is a type of dance that is very lively and has a very particular rhythm (“The History…”). This specific type of samba, present in the favelas, portrays the political function of music as both a community-building experience and a form of protest.
As was presented in lecture, the culture of the Afro-Brazilians centered on the favela samba acted “as an affirmation of black Brazilian culture and a basis of identity and group solidarity.” Samba in the favelas brought about a sense of community. In the midst of atrocious living conditions, constant racism and mistreatment, and severe poverty, the samba was an escape for them. It was something that they could do together, as a community and as a people. They had all been removed from everything they knew, and they wanted to revive and preserve as much of their African culture as possible. They did not want to lose their African identity.
The favela...


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... extremely important political function in the Afro-Brazilian communities in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The newly freed slaves experienced major persecution, poverty, and discrimination regarding race and class. However, the samba provided an escape from these things, building community as the shantytown dwellers joined together in song and dance. It also became a way for the Afro-Brazilians to speak out against the government and the harassment that continued on even after slavery was ended. Collectively, the people would join together to protest this treatment. This did not exactly lead to better conduct, but the community was greatly strengthened, their African heritage was fairly preserved, and they remained united through relentless trials. Today, the effects of the samba can be seen as the people continue to strive to improve their community and society.

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Essay on The History of Slavery in the World

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