MONDAY

Twenty-five years ago, at the height of Brazil’s military dictatorship, Vovo Anonio Carlos dos Santos and Apolonio de Jesus decided it was about time blacks, who had long been banned from yearly Carnaval celebrations, should form their own cultural organization. Inspired by the ’70s Black Power movement and the likes of James Brown and Bob Marley, Ile Aiye was the first bloco Afro to be formed. It turned the tables: No whites allowed. In spite of some initial protests, Ile Aiye is now 3,000 strong and growing. It marches annually, cloaking its members in red, yellow, white, and black; chanting about Palmares, Zumbi, and Orisha; and performing a potent, proud mix of African rhythms, songs, and dances. Ile Aiye’s energy is splendor in its purest form and doesn’t need the synthesizers and sound trucks used by other Carnaval bands (many of them inspired by the innovative bloco Afro). The group’s commitment flows from its performances into the community programs and schools it sponsors, where the youth of Liberdade, the Bahia neighborhood where Ile Aiye was founded, are taught that being black is not the stigma they’ve been long indoctrinated to believe it is. Tonight’s performance by members of Ile Aiye also includes dancing by the International Capoeira Angola Foundation, African drumming by Axe, and go-go percussion by Optimystic Tribe. At 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 30, at Howard University’s Cramton Auditorium, 2445 6th St. NW. $15-$20. (202) 806-7198. (Ayesha Morris)