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Tia Ciata  

Ben Penglase

At the end of the nineteenth century, just at the time of the abolition of slavery in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro's Praça Onze was the center of a neighborhood composed largely of Afro-Brazilians. Many of these people were recent migrants from the state of Bahia, and the Praça Onze neighborhood became known as “Pequena África” (or small Africa). Tia Ciata moved to Rio from Bahia at the age of twenty-two, and during the day worked selling home-cooked food at a food stall. Tia Ciata was also deeply involved in the Afro-Brazilian religion of Candomblé. At night and on the weekends she hosted gatherings at her home in Praça Onze that united some of the most famous black Brazilian musicians and composers, probably serving as one of the birthplaces of Samba music.

See also Afro-Brazilian Culture.


Walker, A'Lelia  

A'Lelia Perry Bundles

heiress, businesswoman, patron of the arts, and Harlem Renaissance hostess, was born Lelia McWilliams in Vicksburg, Mississippi, the only child of Moses McWilliams and Sarah Breedlove McWilliams, who later was known as Madam C. J. Walker, the influential early-twentieth-century entrepreneur, philanthropist, and political activist. Almost nothing is known about Moses, who died around 1887. Although some sources say he was lynched, there is no credible documentation to support that claim. After his death, Lelia moved with her mother to St. Louis, where three of her Breedlove uncles worked as barbers.

The McWilliamses' transition to the unfamiliar, fast-paced city was made easier by the kindness of middle-class black women who were members of St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, and whose participation in the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) made them sensitive to the needs of such newcomers. In March 1890 while Sarah worked ...