Sunday, January 01, 2006

"Slaves' mass grave is grim reminder of Brazil's racist legacy"

From the Guardian via (black looks):

"Experts say as many as 20,000 bodies may have been buried in the area, most of them African men aged 18-25 who had died during the three-month sea journey to Brazil or soon after arriving.

"In truth it was a ditch into which they threw the bodies," said Antonio Carlos Rodrigues, the former president of Rio's black rights council. "When they dug it up you could see skulls on top of other skulls, bodies piled up on each other." Between 1550 and 1888, when slavery was officially abolished, at least 3 million African slaves were shipped to Brazil by the Portuguese. The port district of Gamboa found itself at the centre of this trade. The area was also home to so-called casas de engordo (fattening houses) where slaves were fed before being sent to work in the plantations." (more)


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