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Photo: Mídia NINJA

Iconic Samba School to Pay Tribute to Late Afro-Brazilian Activist, Marielle Franco, at Carnival

Plus, a new documentary from The Guardian seeks answers in the details surrounding her death.

One of Brazil's most iconic samba schools will pay homage to the late Afro-Brazilian activist and councilwoman Marielle Franco at this year's carnival, reports The Rio Times.

'Estação Primeiro de Mangueira' (First Station of Mangueira), have announced that this year, their production will honor Franco and her profound legacy of working to bring about racial justice for black people living in the country's favelas. The school will produce an original song that pays tribute to her.

Rio de Janeiro Has Named March 14th 'Marielle Franco Day—Against the Genocide of Black Women'

Last year's carnival champions, the 'Paraíso do Tuiuti' Samba School, also addressed issues of race, according to The Rio Times. They won for their work on the lasting legacy of slavery.

Samba schools were hit with funding cuts in 2018 according to a report from the BBC, but that did not stop groups from producing show-stopping, politically-relevant works.

This dedication to the tradition of art and storytelling at carnival—even in the face of immense odds—has carried on into 2019, as this year the country is faced with the far-right, anti-black leadership of Jair Bolsonaro.

The Seeds of Marielle: These Courageous Afro-Brazilian Women Are Running for State Office Despite the Odds

Writer Kiratiana Freelon wrote about the harmful implications of his leadership, following the murder of capoeira master and advocate for Afro-Brazilians Mestre Moa de Katendê by one of his supporters. While David A. Wilson writes extensively about racial dynamics and the new movements that are rising to help transform them in "The Assassination of Marielle Franco and the Dawn of Brazil's New Civil Rights Movement."

A new documentary from The Gaurdian follows Franco's widow Monica Benicio as she looks for answers in the death of her partner, while also battling the political tensions brought on by Bolsonaro's presidency. You can watch it here.

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Screenshot from the upcoming film Warriors of a Beautiful Game

In Conversation: Pelé's Daughter is Making a Documentary About Women's Soccer Around the World

In this exclusive interview, Kely Nascimento-DeLuca shares the story behind filming Warriors of a Beautiful Game in Zanzibar, Brazil and other countries.

It may surprise you to know that women's soccer was illegal in Brazil until 1981. And in the UK until 1971. And in Germany until 1970. You may have read that Sudan made its first-ever women's league earlier this year. Whatever the case, women and soccer have always had a rocky relationship.

It wasn't what women wanted. It certainly wasn't what they needed. However, society had its own ideas and placed obstacle after obstacle in front of women to keep ladies from playing the game. Just this year the US national team has shown the world that women can be international champions in the sport and not get paid fairly compared to their male counterparts who lose.

Kely Nascimento-DeLuca is looking to change that. As the daughter of international soccer legend Pelé, she is no stranger to the game. Growing up surrounded by the sport, she was actually unaware of the experiences women around the world were having with it. It was only recently that she discovered the hardships around women in soccer and how much it mirrored women's rights more generally.

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Courtesy of Cimarrón Productions

Cimarrón Is the Women-Led Film Production Company Empowering Afro-Colombians to Tell Their Own Stories

The "first Afro-Colombian film production company," is teaching filmmaking in Colombia's black communities in order to combat the lack of representation.

When filmmaker, activist, and cultural agent Heny Cuesta first started her career in Colombia, she noticed a severe lack of black creators in the industry. Cuesta, an Afro-Colombian originally from Cali, was the only Black woman in a room full of mestizo directors at a panel discussion at the International Film Festival in Cartagena de Indias (FICCI) in 2013.

"None of the filmmakers were black, but they were talking about ethnic content despite the fact that they didn't know the territory," says Cuesta. That scene shocked her, but it reflected the low number of movies directed by black directors in Colombia. In 2018, Colombia's film industry premiered 37 feature films and only one of them –Candelaria– was directed by a black director. It received many international awards.

The lack of blackness in Colombia's film industry goes far beyond studios, film festivals and production companies. Afro-Colombians make up almost 20 percent of the population but historically have had few opportunities to access education. Most black Colombians, who come from cities and towns along the Pacific and the Caribbean coasts, have been neglected and isolated due to a lack of infrastructure, as well as a lack of education and job opportunities.

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(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for AFI)

Cynthia Erivo Earns Golden Globe Nomination for 'Harriet'

Check out the full list of 2020 nominees (and the snubs).

Award-winning actress, Cynthia Erivo has earned a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of abolitionist leader Harriet Tubman in Harriet. She's earned a nomination for Best Original Song for 'Stand Up."

She's nominated in the "Best Performance by an Actress In a Motion Picture—Drama" alongside Charlize Theron, Scarlett Johansson, Renée Zellwegger and Saoirse Ronan.

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Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

CNN Names Ethiopian Innovator Freweini Mebrahtu This Year's 'Hero of the Year'

Freweini Mebrahtu designed a reusable sanitary pad to help keep girls in school and has fought to end the cultural stigma around menstruation.

Last night, Ethiopia's Freweini Mebrahtu was been named CNN's "Hero of the Year". The award was in recognition of her work on menstruation and keeping girls in school as well as fighting to end the cultural stigma still attached to menstruation. Mebrahtu was also awarded USD 100 000 to help in expanding her work.

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