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Little Africa’s capital, Praça Onze was the point of convergence of the multi-ethnic and cultural spirit that characterized the region in the formation and dissemination of urban samba. The large population of Afro-descendant people who settled there in the post-Abolition period was joined by Jewish, Italian and Romani immigrants who, together, reinvented their lives and the city in the 20th century’s first four decades. Named after June 11, 1875, the date of Brazil’s victory in the Paraguayan War’s Battle of Riachuelo, the square was home to honky-tonks and synagogues, churches and Candomblé terreiros, and high-end and popular businesses. The first samba school was founded very close by, and the first parade was held around it. In 1944, President Getúlio Vargas inaugurated a barren and inhumane avenue, named after him, on the square’s ruins. That’s when Praça Onze left the map and become history.