Samba Rock, a Cultural Phenomenon from Brazil (Latin-American)

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The black communities of large Brazilian cities have been heavily influenced by black culture in the United States but only here in the city of São Paulo, did a rare cultural phenomenon occur between the two countries. To understand this we must first go back in time … Historically, Brazil was the last country in the Americas to end slavery. This happened in 1888. But the great struggle against slavery took place on November 20, 1695 when a black man, Zumbi, our hero, fought to the death alongside hundreds of men and women for the end of slavery and for equal rights. To destroy the “Quilombo dos Palmares” (the mountains where blacks fled), Portugal was forced to mobilize its colonial army and a strong armament. This day was baptized by the Black Brazilian Movement as the “National Day of Black Consciousness.” And Zumbi, to this day is considered the “Hero of the Americas” by many Afro-descendants from various countries. Following the end of slavery in 1888, the city of São Paulo began to grow rapidly and many European (Italians) and Asians (Japanese) immigrants arrived in the city to work in the new factories and new farms since the former slaves were excluded from that new economic model – “the industrial era”. During this era the black population moved to a situation of marginalization even worse than during the period of slavery. With the rapid urbanization of the city new life forms were influencing the lives of everyone. Thus the black community in the city of São Paulo came to be influenced by the music and dance from the black community of the USA in the mid-1950’s … This influence, or better, this explosion was called Rock and Roll. I was born in the city of São Paulo, in 1955, in the middle of this story between two black communities from two distant countries and two different languages who nevertheless communicated only through music and dance. This

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