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March 14th. What used to be customary date in the Brazilian calendar is now a day of tristeza, luta e resistência política (sadness, struggle, political resistance) of minorities and progressive movements in the social field. It was on that date, in the ano (year) 2018, that the vereadora (councilwoman) of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Marielle Franco, was cruelly assassinada (murdered). A black, lesbian woman who has lived all her life in the Maré favela, she has been and continues to be an important figure in the human rights, feminist and black movements in Brazil.
With great national and international repercussions due to the brutality of the assassination and the importance of the figure of Marielle, many questions still linger on the crime that increasingly gains political contours. The latest police descoberta (discovery) links the morte (death) of the councilwoman to paramilitary groups operating in several areas of the city of Rio de Janeiro, known as milícias (militias). These groups are commonly made up of members or former members of the police and exército (army), who have even been recently highly elogiados (praised) by the atual (current) president of the Republic of Brazil – Jair Bolsonaro – and even decorated with honors for the president’s son in the legislative chamber.
In order to continue the luta (struggle) of Marielle Franco, the Brazilian black and LGBT population, social movements and autonomous groups do a tireless trabalho (job) of preserving their political memory and pressure the governo (government) authorities so that investigation is not esquecida (forgotten). One of these cases that was of great importance recently was the Estação Primeira de Mangueira, one of the traditional escolas de samba (samba schools) in Rio de Janeiro.
With the samba story called “Grown-ups lullaby”, Mangueira was champion of the carnival of Rio de Janeiro this year of 2019 with an impeccable pontuação (score). The música (song) recounts the history of Brazil, deconstructing important personagens do poder (characters of power) to privilege marginalized figures and povos (peoples). Instead of the usual white heroes, they brought black heroes to Sapucaí, represented by big names in Brazilian samba like Nelson Sargento and Leci Brandão.
At the end of the rewriting process of Brazilian history, the samba school homenageou (brought homage) to contemporary figures who lived their vidas (lives) in the favelas, such as Cartola and Jamelão, but the most striking was the homage to the murdered councilor Marielle Franco. In addition to the presence of her widow, Marielle’s rosto (face) was printed on large green and pink banners, the color of the samba school, along with numerous posters that said she was “present” in the memories of the black people’s struggle.
Were you curious to see the homage of the of Mangueira to Marielle Franco to go out cantando (singing) her samba storyline? Here is all the presentation and the letras (lyrics) to follow!