On November 20, Brazil celebrates Black Consciousness Day—observed as a public holiday in over 800 cities. The date pays homage to Zumbi dos Palmares, a symbol in the struggle for freedom and empowerment of Afro-Brazilian people. But in this article, we will tell the story of one unsung hero in the struggle for racial equality in Brazil: Luiz Gama. In 2013, international audiences were moved by the biographical drama “12 Years a Slave,” recounting the life of Solomon Northup, a freeborn African-American man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841, and his journey to regain freedom. The story of Luiz Gama, born in Salvador in 1830, however, is arguably even more spectacular.