National Geographic : 2002 Aug
S pirits rise as nightfalls on Salvador's lively Barradistrict. Elsewhere in the city a free spiritin the audience (right) rocks to the beat at Noite Beleza Negra (Festival of Black Beauty), sponsoredby the music group I1 Aiye. But beneath the festive surface, somber themes linger in Bahia, a state hobbled by high illiteracy and a low standardof living. In a state seemingly unconcernedabout race, I stillfound issues surroundingskin color.I was struck by the small percentage of black people in positions ofpoliticalpower in this overwhelmingly black state. Though blacks hold nearly half the 35 Salvador city council seats, they have been elected to only 3 of 63 positions in the state Go to nationalgeographic legislature-few enough to convince me and a growing Bahian .com/ngm/0208 to learn . how African drumbeats black-consciousness movement that there are untold miles yet influenced samba, a popular to be traveled before true equality is reached. type of music in Bahia.