Cultural Gifts Afro-Brazilians Are Responsible For Creating And Sharing With The World

Brazil has the unfortunate history of being the country in the Western Hemisphere that transported the largest number of slaves from Africa.

This also means that the cultural legacy of Afro-Brazilians has left an impact on everything from the music to the food of Brazil. The following traditions, entertainment, and customs are just some of the ways negroes or pretos (the term used in Brazil to people with noticeably African features and skin color), and pardos (multiracial Brazilians) are influencing Brazil. Essentially, Brazil is beholden to their Afro-Brazilian population for some of the most iconic Brazilian things.

1. Samba

It is hard to imagine that the national music of Brazil was under police oppression until the 1930s. Some people were even arrested for dancing or playing samba publicly in the 19th century. Now, decades later, it is one of the most celebrated cultural contributions Brazil has made to the world.

2. Capoeira

African slaves in Brazil started practicing the martial art form of capoeira. Although regions of Brazil reprimanded Africans from practicing capoeira, Africans would keep practicing the art form, saying that it was a dance. This allowed them to learn to fight against their oppressors while seemingly dancing. The acrobatic movements are performed low to the ground and done with music.

3. Pagode music

This Brazilian country folk type of music started in the 1950s with the fusion of “Coco” and “Calango de roda” rhythms and the lyrics talk about love, nature, country life, booze and animals. Many Afro-Brazilians have helped pioneer this type of music and their legacy on the art form is palpable.

4. Flavorful cuisines

Some dishes that were already in existence in Brazil, such as feijoada, were given variations by ingredients and cooking styles used by African slaves. Expensive ingredients for the feijoada had to be substituted for more affordable substitutions such as pig ears, beans and manioc flour. The acaraje dish found around Brazil that is made from black-eyed peas is also found in Nigeria and Ghana.

5. African diasporic religions

Different types of religions practiced by blacks stem from their African roots, such as Candomblé. These different religions were brought over by African slaves to Brazil and are still practiced throughout the country, mostly in urban centers.

It took centuries for Brazil to finally recognize these important contributions from Afro-Latinos and stop criminalizing and ostracizing their contributions. Now the world can eat, drink and be merry thanks to the customs of Afro-Brazilians.

READ: The Brazilian Government Is Forcing Black People To Prove Their Blackness When Applying For Government Jobs

Here's Your Latino Movie Guide To The Tribeca Film Festival


Here’s Your Latino Movie Guide To The Tribeca Film Festival

@elenagaby_ | @nadiahallgren

We’re so excited for this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. There’s so much going on, and we’re eagerly anticipating all of the Latino films and filmmakers who will be on the big screen in New York City. The festival that takes place April 24 through May 5 features films that take on important issues affecting our community including topics such as immigration and the recovery of Puerto Rico.

The festival will also feature films directed by Latinx directors from around the world. The feature program includes 103 films from 124 filmmakers, and 42 of them are first-time filmmakers. The films also highlight the work of women — 40 percent of the feature films have one or more women directors, and 29 percent of the feature films are directed by people of color, while 13 percent of the feature films are by individuals who identify as LGBTQ.

Aside from films, there are also some exciting panels featuring director Guillermo Del Toro, Queen Latifah, and a special talk on the 25th anniversary of “In Living Color,” which includes creators and actors from the show. Here are a couple of films that caught our eye.

“After Maria,” directed Nadia Hallgren.


Nadia Hallgren, award-winning filmmaker and cinematographer from the Bronx, will present her documentary short film titled “After Maria.”

The film centers around Puerto Rican women “forced to flee the island after Hurricane Maria have bonded like family in a FEMA hotel in the Bronx. They seek stability in their new life as forces try to pull them apart.” This film will also be released on Netflix.

“I Am Human,” directed by Elena Gaby.


Elena Gaby, a Brazilian-American filmmaker, and producer, who’s been on the movie radar since she won the Best Student Documentary in 2014 at the Cannes Film Festival, is bringing her feature film “I Am Human.”

According to the festival’s website, the film dives into the question “what it means to be human.” The movie “offers a glimpse of what this technical evolution entails, following three individuals with neurological disorders: one rendered tetraplegic after a bike accident, one battling Parkinson’s Disease, and one with late-onset blindness.”

“The Gasoline Thieves,” directed by Edgar Nieto.


Mexican director Edgar Nieto presents his first feature film “The Gasoline Thieves” (“Huachicolero”). The film looks at Mexico’s increasing gas shortage and tells the story of Lalo, a 14-year-old, who seeks out to work as a huachicoleros (people who steal gasoline and re-sell it) to get a few bucks to buy a smartphone. The dangerous and illegal job, however, quickly takes over his life.

“Two/One,” directed by Juan Cabral.


“Narcos” actor Boyd Holbrook stars in the feature film “Two/One” as a ski jumping champion is leading a parallel life with another man, in another country. They are both connected in ways they are unaware of. “While one sleeps, the other is awake. The world waits for an impending moment; They must unite.” This film is directed by Argentine writer and director Juan Cabral.

“Clementine,” starring Otmara Marrero.


Cuban-American actress Otmara Marrero stars in “Clementine” a feature film that is being described as a psychological drama and sexual coming-of-age story.

Marrero plays Karen a woman looking for a solid relationship. When she breaks into her ex’s house, she meets Lana who instantly lures her in with her charm.

Other Latino films and Latino-directed films include: “Carlito Leaves Forever,” directed by Quentin Lazzarotto; “The Dishwasher,” directed by Nick Hartanto and Sam Roden; “Driving Lessons,” directed by Marziyeh Riahi; “Hard-ish Bodies,” directed by Mike Carreon; “Night Swim,” directed by Victoria Rivera; “La Noria,” directed by Carlos Baena; “PeiXes,” directed by Juan Carlos Pena Babío; “A Tale of Two Kitchens,” directed by Trisha Ziff; “Lady Hater,” directed by Alexandra Barreto; “Initials SG,” by Daniel Garcia; and “This Is Not Berlin,” directed by Hari Sama.

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