Updated: Mar 7
"This lack of respect for Black, poor or homeless bodies is consistent throughout the centuries. It continuously robs people of their history, and of their place in the collective psyche."
In the midst of violent polarization in the political landscape of the United States, one fact many people can agree on is that monuments are a part of history. Tearing down white bronze casts of dead white men will not erase enslavement and war in the past. But it can be a step towards making room for the stories these men fought to erase — not only in the U.S., but every place that is home to the African diaspora. These invisibilized stories reveal the legacy behind the racialized oppression still seen across the world today. The Caju Cemetery in Rio de Janeiro, built over the bodies of enslaved Africans, is one of the largest in Brazil, and its 180-year history is symbolic of the relentless erasure of Black bodies and stories that persists today.