Black Brazilians in 'quilombos' counted in census

STORY: For the first time in its 132-year history, the Brazilian census will include a question on "quilombo" communities.

They're communities that were founded by runaway slaves over centuries...

And in places like Ilha de Mare, an island with several quilombos in northeast Brazil...

There are hopes that finally appearing on the census - will be a catalyst for change.

Marizelha Carlos is a local activist.

"For us, to verify what is actually already known: how many we are, where we live and what we produce. There is an intended blindness that we do not appear in statistics or in any survey."

93% of the people who call Ilha de Mare island home identify as Black.

Many here are hoping that a proper count of their population will lead to more elected Black candidates...

And open the door to improved social services - and guaranteed rights - for their communities in remote areas.

They say some progress was made under former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva two decades ago...

But much of that has been undone by incumbent Jair Bolsonaro.

It's left locals frustrated.

"I understand that today's electoral process is much more complicated, even because of the current president, who is Jair Bolsonaro. But it is useless wanting to overthrow Bolsonaro and keeping the deputies and mayors who answer the same way.”

The updated census and the rising number of Black candidates are part of a slow reckoning for Brazil -

which was the last country in the world to abolish slavery in 1888.