Get to Know a Brazilian – Abdias do Nascimento
Great article on the remarkable Abdias do Nascimento.
This week’s entry in the Get to Know a Brazilian series focuses on Abdias do Nascimento (1914-2011), a politician, poet, and activist who became one of the leading intellectuals and spokespersons for Afro-Brazilians in the twentieth century. Nascimento’s own activism, writings, and words provide a marked contrast to the rosier picture of race in Brazil that Gilberto Freyre offered.
Originally born in 1914 to parents of humble means and ex-slave grandparents, Abdias do Nascimento grew up in the coffee-producing interior of the state of São Paulo. In his own recollections, Nascimento’s childhood played an important part in his eventual activism, as he recalled Italian immigrant workers as well as middle- and upper-class Brazilians using racial epithets towards him as a child. In his teenage years, he joined the Frente Negra Brasileira, Brazil’s first black political party, which existed from 1931 until 1937, when Getúlio Vargas abolished all political parties and ushered…
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