The Brazilian delegation to the Sept. 22-24 Economy of Francesco international meeting in Assisi will include a group of Black activists whose goal is to emphasize the importance of debating racial issues associated with potential economic transformations.
Connected to Educafro, a non-governmental organization that works for the inclusion of Afro Brazilians in higher education, the delegates will hand a letter to Pope Francis regarding the hardships that Black people face in Brazil and asking him to take action to deal with the situation.
“Pope Francis has a prophetic voice. By showing commitment to the struggle of the Afro Brazilian people, he will certainly impact institutions, government, and society,” explained Franciscan Father David Santos, Educafro’s founder.
The document recalls that all Latin American economies were based on African manpower for centuries during colonial times and that the church was part of that process, given that most religious congregations in Brazil and elsewhere used to own plantations of slaves. Since the abolition of slavery in 1888, the letter continues, Black people have become cheap labor, and the economic disparity with whites is significant.