Humans of New York

“Rio was the biggest slave port in world history. Two million slaves arrived in this city—five times more than the entire American South. Favelas were built because the government didn’t want to provide basic services to the descendants of slaves. So these descendants were forced to build their own communities. Favelas are unregulated. They’re poorly serviced. But don’t call them ‘slums.’ That’s a lazy translation and it’s unfair to the people who live here. The word ‘slum’ implies that all favelas are the same. The word ‘slum’ ignores 120 years of improvement that these residents have made to their communities. And the word ‘slum’ makes it easier to ignore these communities. That’s exactly what the government wants. Because if favelas aren’t viewed as real neighborhoods, then their residents don’t deserve real services. So please don’t use the word ‘slum.’ Because it only helps to encourage that narrative.”(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Source: Humans of New York