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Brazil’s complicated history with slavery was brought front and center during the 2016 Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony on Friday.

During the interpretive dance about the country’s history, Brazil addressed slavery and its impact. This section showed African slaves being brought to Brazil in shackles and working in giant hamster wheels, which represented the sugar plantations. Some five million people, 40 percent of all slaves in the Atlantic Slave Trade, were forced into slave labor in Brazil. The country didn't outlaw the slave trade until 1870 and slavery itself until 1888.


The ceremony also honored favelas, the neighborhoods that freed African slaves were forced to live after slavery ended, and which still exist in modern times.

There were some who applauded Brazil’s decision to include slavery:

But some were not so impressed:

As The Washington Post noted, the 1996 Atlanta games did not acknowledge the U.S.'s history of slavery.