Brazil’s hidden slavery past uncovered at Valongo Wharf

Rio de Janeiro is a city looking to the future. Major development work is underway in the city’s historic port area as it prepares to host the Olympics in 2016.

But the construction effort to make all that happen has unexpectedly shone a light on a dark side of Rio: its past as the largest entry point for African slaves in the Americas.

In 2011, excavation work uncovered the site of Valongo Wharf, where almost a million African slaves disembarked before the slave trade was declared illegal in Brazil in 1831.

The wharf and the complex surrounding it were constructed in 1779 as part of an effort to move what was regarded as an unsightly trade to an area far from the city centre.

h/t Suzanne

  • Brett_McS

    As the great Effie says, “How embarrassment”.

  • Gaylord Ponce

    Pretty skinny slaves. I wouldn’t buy any of those. I’d want a good strong buck and a fecund doe to help build my herd.

    • Carlos_Perera

      Those just got off the slave ship. You’d have to assess them after they’d been fattened up a bit.

  • Carlos_Perera

    _Hidden_ slavery past? Good grief! Brazil’s left-wing professoriate (is there any other kind?) and mainstream news media write and talk endlessly about the legacy of slavery, and how the honkeys owe duskier Brazilians anything and everything they demand (including unlimited sexual access to white women, especially blondes), because . . . slavery! Their rantings make the most demented diatribes of their U. S. lefty counterparts seem like presentations from a Mississippi White Citiizens’ Council circa 1950.

  • DMB

    Among the nations of North and South America Brasil received the highest amount of African slaves with an estimated 4.86 million contrasting that to the United States with less than half a million ending around three centuries ago and lasting three centuries ago.

    Contrasting that to the Islamic Arab slave trade which has an estimated 200 million people of all back grounds but predominantly African origin which has been going on for 1400 years and continues to this day.

    • Paulla

      Thanks for pointing that out. Salvador da Bahia was the usual entry point for slaves into Rio. That’s why the population there is overwhelmingly black.
      I wonder if their govt. will ever apologize for slavery as ours has?