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Monday, December 6, 2021

Atlantic Archives: Day of Black Consciousness

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Sed Mileshttp://www.sedmiles.com
An expat now living in Northeast Brazil, Sed Miles works hand in hand with working-class, Afro-Brazilian artists, activists and intellectuals fighting against Brazil’s systematic racial and class barriers using a Pan-African, intersectional pedagogy. Each week they will present dispatches from the archives that will bridge communities and be a resource for the future. The mission of the Archives is to help unite the Black diaspora through documenting, preserving, and sharing stories that represent the shared themes and experiences of working class Black people. The series will focus on Brazil and the United States, societies built and held together by generations of Africa’s unshakable children.

Saturday was the official Day of Black Consciousness in Brazil. Last week I discussed how the entire month of November has become known as Black Consciousness month. This month has reached mainstream acceptance evident by the increase in corporations creating campaigns around the month.

Some businesses even interchanging African American images with Afro Brazilian history

We’ve seen this before in our own history and understand the importance of remembering the origin and purpose of this national remembrance. 

The National Day of Black Consciousness in Brazil was established by Law No. 12,519, on Nov. 10, 2011. The date refers to the death of a Zumbi, the great leader of the Palmares quilombo. Zumbi and his wife, Dandara, remain eternal symbols of struggle and black resistance in Brazil and around the world. 

Today I want to share my organization’s contribution to this day.

We have started a long process of reviving the archive of Rita Cliff. Rita is an anthropologist, community organizer and nonprofit veteran in Salvador.  

During the Black political movement of the 80s and 90s in Brazil, Rita was a prolific documentarian. She photographed nearly every corner of Black life in Salvador; politics, religion and culture. 

She accumulated thousands of rolls of negatives and was able to only print a fraction. In that printed collection are some of the most important moments of that time.

Below is a photo from her collection of Jesse Jackson on a diplomatic mission to Brazil visiting Black movement organizations. 

From the Rita Cliff Collection
From the Rita Cliff Collection

Because of her dedication, we named Rita the first Sallie Mae Miles Resident Archivist at Atlantic Archives.

Named after my grandmother, this residency includes technical and financial assistance to help her to clean, print, digitize and preserve the decades of images she has collected. Ultimately we will work with her to register her archive as an international heritage collection. 

For Black Consciousness Day we posted a short video of Rita sharing one of her most memorable photographs that we uncovered over the past few weeks: 

On Dec. 6, we will host a one-hour transnational presentation to help raise money for Rita’s archive and the next cohort of community activists. Translators along with language techniques that we are developing will allow us to have a dialogue about some of the most important issues facing the Black Diaspora. 

If you are interested in attending either of the events, follow this LINK  to the Eventbrite registration today.  THE HUB family can use the code KNARRATIVE for a 25% discount on admission.

If you can not attend but would like to help us in other ways: 

1. Share this message with others, especially high school or college classes or campus organizations, community organizations, and activist groups. *Organizations serving the Trans community can get a special link to attend for free.

2. Support the program directly by donating to our cash app: $atlanticarchives

3. Sharing our event announcements on your social media. 

Thank you! Hope to see you there!

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