In cities such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, people held parades against racism, discrimination, prejudice, homophobia, sexism and religious intolerance.
Many economic and financial activities around the country were suspended on the day, including the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange, which is set to reopen on Monday.
The Day of Black Consciousness was first celebrated in 1978 to commemorate Zumbi dos Palmares, a black Brazilian who led a group of runaway slaves in Brazil, known as the Quilombo dos Palmares, to fight the then Portuguese colonizers in the 17th century and was killed in an ambush on Nov. 20, 1695.
The social gap between black and white citizens has been narrowed drastically since Brazil abolished slavery in 1888 due to governmental efforts.
However, black Brazilians still account for about 35 percent of the country's population living below the poverty line.
Meanwhile, problems such as black Brazilian citizens' lower wages, longer working hours, and worse employment situation in comparison with their white counterparts highlight the urgency to build a more socially and economically equal country.
According to a census conducted in 2000, the black and mulattos make up about half of the total population of 170 million in the Latin American country.
See also: BRAZIL: 'Quilombos' Keep Black Cultural Identity Alive by Fabiana Frayssinet