Note from BW of Brazil: The 2013 Troféu Raça Negra (Black Race Trophy), which took place last Sunday (November 17th) was a truly international event as it honored various contributors to the struggle for racial equality in Brazil, the United States, Africa and around the world. As in past ceremonies, the event was held in São Paulo, but this year at the Memorial da América Latina. Featuring an impressive array of dignitaries, it was the second consecutive year in which someone with close affiliations with the Civil Rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was honored. Last year’s award show featured the participation of Bernice King, MLK’s daughter, and this featured well-known leader Jesse Jackson. The ceremony also featured a number of public figures who were featured this year on the blog including union leader Creuza de Oliveira who spearheaded the passing of an historic law granting unprecedented rights to Brazil’s domestic workers and well-known writer Paulo Lins. Below is a summary of the event.
Actress Zezé Barbosa one the honorees at the 2013 Troféu Raça Negra
courtesy of Terra
This past Sunday evening (17), the Troféu Raça Negra 2013 took place in the Memorial da América Latina in São Paulo, awarding statuettes to black professionals who have excelled in the year. The actress Zezé Barbosa was one of the honorees. Also attending the awards ceremony were the singer Simoninha, singer/politician Netinho Paula and former US Civil Rights leader Jesse Jackson. This year the award had a special tribute to the singer Emílio Santigo, who died on March 20th, due to complications from an ischemic stroke.
Night of international gala marks 2013 edition of the Troféu Raça Negra 2013
courtesy of the Troféu Raça Negra website
On the evening of Sunday, November 17, several personalities who promote diversity and inclusion of blacks came together at the Memorial da América Latina for the gala of the 2013 Troféu Raça Negra. The night was a posthumous tribute to the singer Emílio Santiago, with the performance of singers Paula Lima, Fabiana Cozza, Áurea Martins and Leni Andrade interpreting the singer’s greatest hits.
The show was international, with the presence of officials from Africa, Guinea, Angola intellectuals from Mozambique and Cape Verde, a delegation of educators from the United States and a visit from historic civil rights activist, the Reverend Jesse Jackson.
Among those receiving the Troféu Raça Negra 2013 statuette were:
– Mozambican writer, Paulina Chiziane. While there is much discussion regarding the participation of black Brazilian writers in the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany, the direction of the Troféu Raça Negra continues to focus on rewarding outstanding people as the promotion of actions which promote equity between races and demonstrate the quality of work done by blacks. The writer Paulina Chiziane, Mozambican activist, was not only to participate in the Flink Sampa festival, but was also awarded the Troféu Raça Negra 2013 statuette.
Paulina grown up in the suburbs of Maputo, actively participated in the political scene as a member of Mozambique’s Frelimo (Frente de Libertação de Moçambique or Mozambique Liberation Front), in which she participated during her youth. In 1984, she began her literary activity in short stories published in the Mozambican press. With her first book, Balada de Amor ao Vento (Love Ballad of the Wind), published in 1990, she became the first Mozambican woman to publish a novel.
– President of the Federação Nacional de Trabalhadores Domésticos (National Federation of Domestic Workers or FENATRAD) Creuza de Oliveira, the year in which the situation of domestic workers was promulgated with the PEC (Proposta de Emenda Constitucional or Proposed Constitutional Amendment) of domestics”, the FENATRAD president Creuza de Oliveira, was awarded the Troféu Raça Negra, due to her commitment leading the organization. The FENATRAD through Creuza, achieved a major breakthrough in the reality of many Brazilian families with the regulation of overtime, night and maximum work hours.
According Creuza, in an interview with Seppir, the approval was a matter of reparation to the category which for more than 500 years has contributed to the economy of Brazil. “It contributes to Brazilian homes and did not have the same rights as other workers,” she said.
– Actress Zeze Barbosa ; The Globo TV actress global Zezé Barbosa was present on Sunday (17) at the 11th edition of the Troféu Raça Negra. Honored for her role in the novel Lado a Lado, where she played the famous Tia Jurema (Aunt Jurema), Zezé said in an interview that “independent of the actor, the category, the award shows that blacks have their importance.” “Minorities are only those who do not think. I’m very proud of the black race,” she added.
– Writer Paulo Lins, wh0 gained famed for his 1997 novel Cidade de Deus (City of God), which was the basis of the 2002 internationally recognized film of the same name. In 2012, Lins also released the book Desde que o samba é samba and was a writer of the 2012 Globo TV mini-series, Subúrbia.
– The deputy of Angola and daughter of Angolan liberator of Agostinho Neto, Irene Neto, the Presidente do Conselho de Administração da Fundação Agostinho Neto (President of the Board of Directors of the Agostinho Neto Foundation) and deputy of the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA or and congresswoman for the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola)
Irene inherited her father’s attraction to political struggles; she chairs the Committee on Health, Environment, Social Action, Employment, Veterans, Family, Children and the Promotion of Women. Her father served in guerrilla liberation and decolonization and declared independence from Angola on November 11, 1975, and was the first president of that country.
– Larry Robinson, president of the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU/USA), an historically black university in Tallahassee, Florida (USA) that was founded in 1887. The school is the largest historically black university in the United States.
– American Civil Rights activist, Jesse Jackson, who participated in a number of events on his stay in São Paulo, including his meeting with former Brazilian president Lula da Silva, participating in the Afroétnica Flink Sampa festival and visiting Unipalmares, Brazil’s first and only predominantly black college.
– President of the Republic of Guinea, Alpha Condé, the first democratically elected president in Guinea Condé is one of the most respected intellectuals of the African continent. Professor of Political Science at the University of Sorbonne in Paris for 10 years, he spent decades in opposition to various dictatorial regimes in his country, including having been imprisoned for his political stance. He ran for the presidency in the elections of 1993, 1998 and 2010 when he won the election.
The president of the NGO Afrobras and dean of the Faculdade Zumbi dos Palmares (Faculty of Zumbi dos Palmares), José Vicente, said the group that receives the Troféu Raça Negra represents sectors of society that need to be recognized for inclusion and the presence of the Reverend Jesse Jackson caused great excitement throughout the Afro-Brazilian community.
Below are three songs featuring the late, great Emílio Santigo who was posthumously honored at this year’s Troféu Raça Negra.
Emílio Santigo – “Bananeira” (1975)
Emílio Santiago – “Nada além” (1977)
Emílio Santiago – “Minha Esquina”(1977)