One of the worldwide most respected social and racial politics institutions of Salvador
The Afro Block Os Negões was created by a group of militants, artists and athletes (mostly basketball players) who frequented Salvador street parties together, but at Carnival they always split up among the city afro blocks. In order not to remain separate during the party, they decided to create the block Os Negões de 1.80m (The six feet tall Black People). In 1995, they began to allow less than six feet tall women and men. In 2000, the block created the Forum of Black Entities, together with Ilê Aiyê, Muzenza and Malê Debalê.
Paulo Roberto Pereira do Nascimento, the block president, said that to join the group the person needed to be invited by one of the existing members. The criterion for admission was the person’s identification with the Afro-Brazilian culture, historical and cultural knowledge and also on ethnic-racial issues.
“We used to meet at Terreiro de Jesus, there was our point. To this day, there is a mark on the wall, next to the (iconic) Bar Cantina da Lua where we measured people. In fact, this was a joke, a symbol of belonging since the first members were six feet tall. When we got together it was different, so we decided to put it as one of the criteria”, says Paulo Nascimento, who today has his daughter, Luma Nascimento, as vice president.
The Poderosa Banda Afro Os Negões (Os Negões Powerful Band), that leads the block parade in Carnival, has more than 200 registered musicians, and the official colors are the green and the white. This block Carnival is very peculiar. When you arrive the feeling is that you are at home, because 80% of the participants really know each other, they are friends, residents of the same neighborhood, are part of the Black Movement and the Residents Association. About 80% of costumes are donated. Another curiosity is that, for them, the carnival is considered a celebration for the year that has passed.
“We spend the year working on social activities beyond Carnival. We have projects such as ‘Capoeira e Cidadania’, which involves youth and adults literacy; prisoners qualification; pre-university entrance exam in partnership with Faculdade Estadual da Bahia; and percussion and dance workshops. We don’t make carnival, we render account to it”, explains Beto Preto, the block’s Cultural Director and history teacher.
The Afro Block Os Negões is one of the worldwide most respected social and racial politics institutions of Salvador. It was the subject of a reportage by TV KBS, South Korea, on the racial issue in Brazil. It has also participated in festivals around the world, having been recognized as the best afro percussive band by music festivals in the United States and at the Ibero-American Theater Festival of Bogota in Colombia, New Orleans Festival and “Gurús 10” Festival in Spain. The Block was also responsible for one of the city’s largest June samba movements, making a St. John walk every year through Pelourinho streets.
Every year, before carnival, the Afro Block Os Negões chooses its representative (Negro Lindo), who will reign during carnival and will participate in the trips and concerts with Os Negões band. The event takes place in a big party with the participation of the Poderosa Banda Afro Os Negões, which always presents a little of what will be shown at carnival, showing the dance sections, in addition to the costumes that will be signed by a plastic artist.
Address: Largo de Monte Belém. Avenida Vasco da Gama, # 400, 1º / 2º floor.
At Carnival they participate on Friday, Sunday and Tuesday of carnival, at the Osmar circuit.
We’ve prepared a perfect playlist for this experience. Listen now!
Bloco Afro Os Negões Salvador Bahia Foto aquivo.