Black Consciousness Day

Black Consciousness Day, also known as Black Awareness Day, is observed every year on November 20th in Brazil. The intended purpose of this holiday is to reflect on the injustices imposed on African descendants since time immemorial and to give black people heightened awareness about their worth and contributions to society.

This day was originally celebrated on May 13th, which was the date of slavery abolition in Brazil but has since been moved to November 20th to honor the death of Zumbi dos Palmares. This is why this observance day is sometimes referred to as Zumbi Day.

The History of Black Consciousness Day

Black Consciousness Day has been observed in Brazil since the 1960s, and its observance usually coincides not only with cultural and academic events but has also historically included public protests against racism and discrimination. It was originally placed on May 13th to honor the date of the abolition of slavery in Brazil but was moved to November 20th in honor of Zumbi.

Zumbi dos Palmares was a Brazilian from Kongo who was a leader of one of the quilombos, a settlement consisting of enslaved Africans who had escaped slavery and their masters. Zumbi became a freedom fighter and eventually a black hero.

His campaign against Portuguese oppression helped accommodate slaves who had escaped. Unfortunately, he was captured after being betrayed by a member of his inner circle on November 20, 1695, and was then beheaded.

Observing Black Consciousness Day

On this observance day, people across Brazil celebrate this holiday in different ways. For some, it’s a day to celebrate their history and roots. For others, it’s a day to protest against the injustices that still exist. It’s also a day celebrated with various cultural events across the country of Brazil.

Where is it celebrated?
Brazil (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
November 20 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
November 20 Thursday
Last year (2023)
November 20 Monday