Sankofa's Slavery Data Collection


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AMERICA (North): United States
AMERICA (South): Brazil

Historical Note
Brazil was by far the world's largest importer of slaves. More than 3.5 million were shipped to Brazil in chains - six times the number taken to the United States. The slave legacy has given Brazil more blacks than any country outside Africa. Brazil did not abolish slavery until 1888, and it was 100 years before the government took the first step towards giving rights to the slaves' descendants, by introducing a law guaranteeing their cultural status.

Slave Descendant Communites: Quilombos
After abolition, what remained were small communities of African and African-ancestored slaves. These communities are known as quilombos. An estimated 656 of these communities are working for recognition. Many quilombos remain intact because of Brazil's size and the fact that the country was by far the largest importer of slaves. The most recent figures puts the black population at 6 per cent of the Brazilian total and the mulatto at 38 per cent: at least 70 million people in all. Despite Brazil's image of racial harmony, blacks still suffer much discrimination and few are in positions of power.

--Guardian Unlimited. "Scions of slaves win land".
April 1, 1999

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