I had many reasons for traveling to Brazil at this time. One reason was to be around like minded people who didn’t mind speaking of slavery and the atrocities that came with it. I knew taking a trip to Brazil would teach and tell.
I spent one day in Sao Paulo with a friend of a friend, Ana Paula.
We stopped at many places but the best by far was the Afro-Brasil Museum or Museu Afro Brasil, as it is called.
The entire museum is dedicated to the existence of African people in Brazil. On the first floor, there is a panel of different newspaper articles about hate crimes Afro-Brazilians faced.
There is a floor that showcase popular Brazilian artist. I saw Brazilians who looked like Sammy Davis, Jr. and one actress looked like Marian Anderson another one who looked like James Baldwin, and when learning more about the Orishas, I saw someone who looked just like my Grandma.
I realize while I was there I was searching for my history on a different land. And, even though the African American people are like no other- I found us there too. I found our stories and pain, and could relate so much. I am not sure why it was meaningful to me to see myself, but it was.
Each floor was a deeper level of truth. When we first walked in, Ana Paula had to translate but once we got to the second flood, I knew what the images stood for. I understood without a tour guide that they were speaking about the power of white influence.
There was a moment I put my camera down. It was when I walked into a room that spoke about slavery. There was a huge ship and sounds of water and mourning was being played repeatedly over the speaker. Not too many people were in this part and everyone who was there, was totally silent. There was a replica of Jesus on the Cross. The artist painted his body black.
By the time, we walked through the entire museum, I was ready to go back home.
We took the Taxi back to the airport and Ana Paula spoke about every thing we passed but I was in a different world.