As Canadian mining companies sign the BlackNorth pledge to fight racism, they continue to attack, displace, and disenfranchise Black and Indigenous people in Africa and the Americas.
By El Jones and Desmond Cole
With files from Sakura Saunders and Rachel Small
As European colonizers installed slavery across the Americas in the sixteenth century, they shipped more Africans to modern-day Brazil than anywhere else. Labouring on sugar plantations, enslaved Africans were brutally tortured and murdered. Some were able to escape, forming communities that came to be known as quilombolo. Fugitive quilombolas faced repeated attacks by the Portugese, and after years of resistance, their communities were destroyed. They escaped deep into the Brazilian jungle, where they were presumed to be wiped out.
In the 18th Century, gold exploration began in the area around modern-day Paracatu. Thousands of enslaved African people were forced into the region. When mining output began to decline in the 1820s, the Europeans abandoned the area. The remaining Africans built free communities, in settlements known as Morro do Ouro or Golden Hill. They intermarried with Indigenous people and established a distinctive culture mixing African traditions with Indigenous and Portugese influences.
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