“The “sugarcane mill” car on the Rio Carnival parade, with slaves”

My friend, Jackie (@colorlessblue), lives in Brazil and occasionally sends me images of slavery used in modern pop culture in Brazil.

Here is the tweet I got today:

Here is the image linked to in that tweet:

The float is green and on the part facing us is a very dark skinned person carrying a basket.

Over this past weekend, while watching the parade on TV, Jackie live-tweeted watching this particular float go by on the TV screen:

It does seem a strange image or part of history to use in a celebration. I certainly think that it is necessary to never forget the past and that countries should be very aware of how slavery affects the present.

But naked women with decorative jewelry and headdresses? There’s nothing historical about that.

As Jackie says, sugar mills were horrifically dangerous places for the enslaved. The machinery was body-crushing in its power and one slipup could prove quickly fatal. Not the first place I would think to recreate in neon green for a Carnival parade.

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