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On this day in 1822,  prince regent Dom Pedro declared Brazil’s independence from Portugal. Pedro famously said, “Friends, the Portuguese Cortes want to enslave and pursue us. From today on our relations are broken. No ties can unite us anymore.”

He pulled off his blue-white armband that symbolized Portugal and continued, “Armbands off, soldiers. Hail to the independence, to freedom and to the separation of Brazil from Portugal!” This is a day of celebration all over Brazil and is considered a federal holiday.

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Brazil is the tenth largest economy in the world and has the largest Black population in the world. White Brazilians control the country even though Black Brazilians are the majority. There is a massive racial wealth gap, as Atlanta Black Star reported that “80 percent of Brazil’s wealthiest 1 percent are white.” Nonetheless, Black Brazilians are continuing to rise up, demanding equality from media to politics.

In honor of Black Brazilians, check out activists and celebrities from Brazil or of Brazilian descent.

1. ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ Actor Alfred Enoch

2. Legendary Soccer Player Pelé

3. Mixed Martial Artist Anderson Silva

4. Rapper Taio Cruz

5. Actress YaYa DaCosta

6. Chicago Bulls Player Cristiano Felicio

Chicago Bulls v Boston Celtics Source:Getty

(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

7. First Brazilian Actor Nominated For An International Emmy Douglas Silva

8. Politician and Activist Marielle Franco Who Was Assassinated In March 2018 In Brazil

Brazilians Marking One Month Of Activist Marielle Franco's Murder Source:Getty