The people in the history of a people: The life of the negro in Brazil between the sixteenth and twenty-first centuries



JÚNIOR, João Santos da Silva [1], FELIX, José Carlos [2]

JÚNIOR, João Santos da Silva. FELIX, José Carlos. The people in the history of a people: The life of the negro in Brazil between the sixteenth and twenty-first centuries. Revista Científica Multidisciplinar Núcleo do Conhecimento. Year 05, Ed. 03, Vol. 07, pp. 137-163. March 2020. ISSN: 2448-0959, Access link in:


The present work brings in its structure a bibliographic character, constituted as a study of social relevance. Authors such as Munanga (2006), Gomes (2006), Dantas Mattos; Abreu (2012), among others, supports and corroborates the ideas discussed throughout the texts. The work approaches the life of the negro in society since the diaspora, the relations before and after the Golden Law (1888), affirmative actions, the educational system with law 10,639, in addition to the (re) knowledge of remaining quilombola communities. The texts seek to discuss in a succinct and complete way how all the processes to date occurred, struggles and movements for the recognition of the black in society, identifying factors with discrimination and racism, such as castrating social rights and the cultural preservation of Afro-Brazilian society. The discussion of the implementation of laws that tend to effect teaching and the valorization of Afro-Brazilian and African history and culture in the school environment, what challenges the school faces regarding the practice of curriculum guidelines in school environments.

Keyword: Diaspora, Law 10,639, Maroon communities.


The present work seeks to describe and evaluate the different factors that over the centuries that made the black invisible within society, rooting the idea of dependence and subjuging it as being inferior. The different struggles and movements tend to break these visions and the search for equal rights among every citizen regardless of color, race, religion, or other characteristics that determine different social groups.

When we speak of the “negro in the diaspora” we seek to bring the light of readers several paths by which the negro was forcedly brought to Brazil, why were they plucked from their land, to live in a totally strange continent and living in the form of forced labor to enrich a portion of privileged lords? The second topic deals with the “black before 1888” define what difficulties they faced in order to survive. After arriving in Brazil, blacks were marketed and forced to work torture on sugar farms, mainly in the northeast region, at the beginning of slavery in Brazil. Enslaved after a period began to be used in other activities such as mining.

The third topic is the “life after abolition” that reveals the difficulties faced by former slaves after the signing of the golden law, problems such as: racism, prejudice, homelessness, which, among other factors, made the black population always depended on the will of the white. Although freedom existed on paper, passive coexistence became increasingly difficult in society, and inequality increased between black and white. The fourth topic deals with: “the revolts and the movements”, which were important factors in the struggle for respect and recognition of the negro in society and acquisition of rights denied to him. The fifth topic deals with: “From theory to practice” that discusses the creation and implementation of law 10,639 that was created in 2003 that is not put into practice in its entirety thus hindering the respect and recognition of black history and culture. The law discusses the teaching of Afro-Brazilian and African History and Culture in basic education schools that comprise from elementary school to high school. The sixth topic is “remaining quilombo communities and the educational process” within this theme works the laws that legitimize the creation and recognition of quilombola communities distributed in Brazil, and their importance in the cultural preservation of the black in addition to dialoguing with the educational process within the community valuing the knowledge of the ancestors and self-affirmation as belonging to an ethnic group of history and struggles. “Quilombola de Raposa Community” is a field work carried out aiming to know a community of remnants to legitimize the data presented here throughout the work. The work relies on the methodology that was the result of mainly bibliographic studies, and the results and discussions that deal with work as a complex and pleasurable process.


Brazil as well as other regions of the world and Latin America has in its history the mark of slavery, something inseparable from the memory of a people. During part of the more than 300 years of slavery in Brazil, The Atlantic trafficking was the means by which the so-called African Diaspora happened, although this stampede did not happen legitimately or consensually on both sides, this process made several territories uninhabited, and with vast riches places developed socially and economically. According to Souza (2012) between the 16th and mid-19th centuries more than 11 million slaves among men, women and children were transported in slave ship holds to the American continent, destinations that many of these people were in the middle of the road, because their bodies were thrown overboard, as they died from diseases and ill-treatment. Those who could reach the mainland were condemned to servitude.

Brazil was a land rich mainly in the area of agriculture with the production of sugarcane that at the time was one of the destinations most used by slave traders, it is estimated that the Brazilian territory received about four million slaves, this is one of the major factors responsible today for the large black population here. The example of Salvador that is estimated to be the Brazilian city with the largest number of blacks and browns outside the African continent. Returning to the term diaspora let’s understand some of its meaning. According to Munanga and Gomes (2006) the word diaspora means dispersion that is understood as the displacement, usually forced or encouraged, of large population masses originating in a given area to several different areas. From this knowledge we need to answer the following question: why black Africans leave their country of origin and their families to move to another continent? The first point should replace the term “move” with the term “dislocated”.

Blacks did not leave their territories spontaneously, but were forced to leave their homeland and all life built in the place where they lived. Driven by force to embark on ship holds and live a life of servitude in a new place. But how did these black people become captives and live a life of slavery? Why the enslavement of black people in Brazil?

After Cabral’s squadron landed in Brazilian lands, a new world began to emerge in the face of the possibility of new riches. The exploration of the continent was intensified with the native labor that for Mattos (2012) was soon replaced by the African slave. Why did the Portuguese replace the native workforce with the African one? According to Dantas, Mattos e Abreu (2012), one of the main factors of the substitution was the lack of control of the Portuguese crown towards them, which culminated in the beginning of the Atlantic Traffic around the year 1550.

The use of slave force aimed at colonization and development of the new territory, generating profit for the Portuguese crown. The basis for development was the production of raw material as; cotton, tobacco and especially sugar.

The productions supplied mainly the European trade and enriched the Portuguese crown and its allies, for Mattos (2012) the use of slave labor was part of a “mercantilist system”, which also allowed the accumulation of wealth by the metropolises that carried out this type of trade, where the raw material was the African slave. We must stand when slavery arose. According to Souza (2012) before the sixteenth century there was already slavery on the African continent, even before the arrival of Europeans, according to the author the wars between the African tribes in the search to conquer new territories, produced prisoners for the tribes of the winners, these prisoners were forced to be captives, working in agriculture or in domestic work.

Over time, the perception of the need for the slave labor force for the winning villages aroused interest in the practice of commercialization of enslaved Africans, which facilitated Europeans, making use of slave structures for the development and maintenance of their colonies. This kind of trade was facilitated by the Africans themselves who eventually captured and imprisoned blacks from other tribes to sell to slave traders. Although blacks fought for their freedom, as Souza (2012) said with “archery attacks on foreign caravels” (p. 58), many of them were plucked from their land to be explored on other continents.


The trafficking of blacks to Brazil was “justified” by the need that the Portuguese crown had to maintain the exploitation of the new continent. After the exploitation of brazil stick, sugar became one of the great sources of wealth and development of the colony at the end of the sixteenth century. The blacks who arrived in Brazil were sold to the great farmers and mill lords, where they were mainly used in large sugarcane plantations. The captaincies of Bahia and Pernambuco at the end of the 16th century were the ones that received the most slave labor, because they had at the time the largest plantations and geographical conditions for the development of the colony.

According to Mattos (2012) much of the work in sugar production was carried out in sugarcane plantations which required the strength and slave labor, where working hours exceeded 15 hours a day, for Gennari apud Souza (2012) the slaves had only five days of rest during the year. The works were watched by doers who determined the rhythm of all and if any of the slaves tried to somehow rebel, he was punished to serve as an example for the others for Souza (2012 part of the slaves who were not sent to the farms were in the cais, where they were sold as slaves of gains. They were submitted to urban activities and the money they could get was passed on to their masters, yet according to the author this type of slave had great importance in the formation and consolidation of urban centers.

Female slaves were forced to serve their masters as sexual partners or babysitters for the children (children) of whites and to perform housework. The author also defines that those who were not in these services were obliged to prostitute themselves or to the street trade.

Since the arrival of Africans in Brazil they have struggled to put their own freedom, according to Albuquerque and Fraga Filho (2006) throughout America hears uprisings and slave rebellions, especially in Brazil, among the models of resistance were individual or collective escapes, disobedience, slow service sabotage in productions, suicide, banzo, abortion (from relations between slaves and slave owners) , the murders of slave owners and lords, the cult of candomblé, capoeira, dances and cultures and the formation of quilombos, however the slave owners who saw their captives rebel or flee organized different ways of punishing them, according to Gennari (2008) the captured slaves were subjected to up to 100 lashes in the presence of all.

The desire to become free was greater than the torture suffered, the escapes began to have greater intensity and the formation of quilombos increased in Brazil. But what is quilombo?

Quilombo was the largest form of slave resistance in Brazil, it was the place where blacks fleeing farms moved, for a long time quilombo was seen as a more hiding place for Gennari (2008) quilombo in Brazil became synonymous with refuge and resistance a place of difficult access and strategic, if they were to suffer some military attack or “captains of the bush”[3]. The slaves who could reach the quilombo there settled, went to work and produce their own food. According to Gomes (2011) the largest and best known quilombo was the “quilombo dos palmares”, which was built in the Serra da Barriga in the state of Alagoas around 1597.

The quilombo received this name for being located in a region with abundance of palm trees, for Gomes (2011) the region had dozens of mocambos, and people survived on fruits, plantations, roots and hunting. The production from the quilombo did not only serve the community, but, excesses were sold or exchanged for different raw materials with farmers or residents who lived nearby, according to the author in the middle of the seventeenth century the population in the quilombo of palmares was between six and eight thousand people, while for Munanga and Gomes (2006) the population passed 30,000 people. With the growth of quilombos and the various rebellions on the farms the slave owners feared for a larger stampede that would certainly cause them harm, worried began to pressure the government that ordered the first onslaught on the quilombo palmares in the year 1602. At the time the main leader of the quilombo was GANGA-ZUMBA which according to Mattos (2012) led the quilombo from 1645 to 1678. There were several military expeditions in an attempt to end the quilombo by eliminating once and for all the threats suffered by the slave masters. It is estimated that there were more than 30 military expeditions against palmares, until in an attempt to solve the problem the government attempted to sign a treaty with the leader of the palmares at the time Ganga-Zumba. The agreement defined that the slaves who read it lived should move to another place, the leader of the palmares accepted what did not please all the population who lived there, according to Gomes (2011) this treaty was the culmination of the internal war within the quilombo. And within these internal revolts ZUMBI begins to stand out as leadership.

Ganga Zumba moved to the place called CUCAÚ, and part of the palm population followed him. In the year 1678 the Ganga-Zumba was murdered in mysterious ways, it is believed that by poisoning, from then Zumbi takes command of quilombo and returns to palmares and begins to fight for its territory, according to Souza (2012) “Zumbi led his followers firmly and combatively” (p. 73). A new phase of fighting began in 1692 in command of the bandeirante Domingos Jorge Velho, with the support of the government and several farmers, the troops of the bandeirante had thousands of men and cannon, which culminated in the end of Palmares in the year 1694. According to Mattos (2012) after several attacks the quilombo was destroyed in 1694 with the death of more than two hundred people and five hundred captured. During the military endowments Zumbi and other slaves managed to escape, the same resisted until 1695 when in an ambush was killed and had his head severed and exposed in public square. The will for freedom does not die with Zumbi, in various places of the colony the slave uprisings gained strength. During the more than three centuries of slavery in Brazil, there were several attempts in the search for freedom by slaves, former slaves and abolitionists that had already emerged even in isolation, which in a way put pressure not only on the large, medium and small slave owners but also the government and the entire aristocratic elite.

The new times were already emerging in the far horizon, the ones that would bring freedom to those who fought so hard. In 1822 Brazil, which until then was a colony of Portugal, achieved its political independence. The post the Portuguese crown pressure the prince regent D. Pedro I and his wife Leopoldina to return to the court of Portugal. The signature that defined the shutdown of the Brazilian colony of the kingdom of Portugal was given by Leopoldina, and it was up to the prince, who returned from a trip from São Paulo to declare on the banks of the Ipiranga River the cry of independence.  It was From this period that there began to have many uprisings of groups opposed or favorable to the imperial regime, demands for better wages, health employment, housing among other needs that the population lacked. In this period also grew the struggle of blacks in favor of freedom, supported by abolitionist groups that condemned the slave regime that still prevailed in Brazilian life and society.

The two years following the conquest of independence, the minority classes of blacks gained strength, and in 1824 the government signed the first Brazilian constitution as an independent state and defined that all free men would be considered citizens in addition to freedmen born or naturalized Brazilians with equal civil access, differentiating only in political rights. Mattos (2012) says that it was approved in 1831 by pressure from England that it was Brazil’s commercial partner alei that prohibited the slave trade and that everyone who had arrived from that date would be considered free. However, the law was partially or totally broken since between 1831 and 1850 about 500,000 slaves entered Brazil.

The intensification of slave revolts together with the impositions and pressures of countries such as England led to the passing in 1850 of the law called the “Euzébio de Queiroz Law” which, under pressure from England, which checked to attack the Brazilian coast, determined that the slave trade should be compared to piracy and as such should be fought in the rigor of the law. With the signing of this law, the producing colonies began to have losses in their production, because they could not get new workers and those who already had no service, since the economy and production were in a moment of expansion. In this period began the so-called “interprovincial traffic” that consisted of the displacement of slaves from one province to another within the Brazilian territory.  In 1854 was signed decree No. 731 known as “Nabuco de Araújo law” that intensifies compliance with the Euzébio de Queiroz law, passing responsibility to the navy, the function of prosecuting and judging those who transcended or violated the law.

Twenty years after the signing of the law of 1850 a new achievement takes place, a new law is signed that considered that all slaves born from that date would be free by law. It was named “Free Belly Law”, which was presented to the Chamber of Deputies on May 12, 1871 and promulgated on September 28 of the same year. For Mattos (2012) the law guaranteed in general terms that children of slaves born from that date would be free. It also guaranteed the creation “of an emancipation fund in the provinces for the purchase of the freedom of slaves and recognized the slave the right to have savings/ savings and the alforria, regardless of the will of the slave owners” (p. 78,79). The hope that slavery would end definitively and bring freedom to people who in their life history carried the burden of suffering was born.

Faced with internal and external pressures on the government, mainly international for abolition, the government decides to promulgate the “Law of Sexagenarians” also known as “Saraiva Cotegipe Law”, by No. 3,270 promulgated on September 28, 1885. In its structure it was defined that all slaves aged 60 years or older would be freed. He also decided that the freed slave owners would be paid an indemnity that would be paid by the slave himself, so the freedman was obliged to work another three years much of the time having his definitive freedom only from the age of 65. Many of these freed slaves remained in a situation of slavery or servitude, because they had nowhere to go or how to keep, and already had an advanced age for manual labor. The sexagenarian law postponed for another year the signing of the “Golden Law” that was enacted on May 13, 1888. Under No. 3,353, “Imperial Law.” At the apex of the law in a short and succinct way says that: “It is declared extinct since the date of this law slavery in Brazil. The provisions to the contrary are repealed.”

The law was passed by the then Princess Isabel, however this consolidation was the result of much struggle and challenges of the abolitionist movements that intensified in the 80s in the nineteenth century. For Mattos (2012) leaders such as Joaquim Nabuco, Luís gama, José do patrocínio and André Rebouças were instrumental in the abolition of slaves in Brazil. It is worth remembering that many textbooks carry in their writings texts that give “credit” to slave freedom to Princess Elizabeth, as the “only defender of the weak and oppressed”. What concerns here is to report that in addition to the external pressures for the end of slavery in Brazilian territory, internal struggles were fundamental to this end. The large farms already suffered from great escapes, which caused slave owners to propose agreements to their captives to stay on the farm working in exchange for wages and housing. Even before the signing of the law some provinces had already declared an end to slavery.

Brazil was one of the last countries to declare an end to slavery. There have been over 300 years of suffering torture and death. A new life or way of living begins to emerge.  How did the adaptation of former slaves who had only forced labor and suddenly see themselves without a job, housing, landless to work, no money or any other benefit other than freedom? How can we stop being a slave and live in a society that saw you only as a servant/captive? What has changed in the life of black society that in 1888 lived under an imperial regime and the following year from a military coup comes to live in a republican country? Has this change made it easier for black people to live together in society?


The slave resistance struggle had different forms and participants, many died and did not achieve the long-dreamed freedom, others succeeded, but found themselves trapped in the past.

After the signing of the “Golden Law” began in Brazil a new and long period of adaptation of slaves to freedom that mostly had nowhere to live and work which according to Mattos (2012) caused them to enter the free market where they sought to earn and produce their livelihood. In the same period according to the author, the government serving the interests of coffee growers promoted the campaign of “bleaching” of the population, since due to the long period of slavery in Brazil many blacks existed in this territory, where they sought to form families and perpetuate their culture. The government intended to eliminate the existing African heritage in the country.

After more than three centuries of slavery, which caused the country to grow, former slaves were seen as undesirable in the new Brazilian society, which for Mattos (2012) “the negro should be excluded from Brazilian society being forbidden to enter the country” (p. 186). With this, European immigration was encouraged in order to whitewash Brazilian society, for the author the Republican government encouraged this immigration by making its own resources available for this purpose, with the intention of excluding the black from the formal labor market. This was one of the first post-abolition challenges, witnessed and experienced by blacks that still had exclusionary social policies and each time the color of the skin interfered in the social classification and legitimized inequalities.

What does not distance from the current reality, the difficulties faced by the black population in the social sphere. According to Dantas Mattos and Abreu (2012), blacks also faced restrictions on access to education, job vacancies and police violence. For the authors “these discriminatory practices existing in the post-abolition period and the absence of specific public policies for newcomers from captivity and their descendants put the black population at a disadvantage, limiting their social gains th[…]at were already quite restricted” (p. 88). After the abolition, the former slave began to fight for his freedom even more, because he sought: social freedom, equal rights, respect, recognition and other factors that valued the contribution and participation of the negro in the formation of Brazilian society.

The struggle of the freed negro is largely in the social issues of respect and support for rights acquired from many collective, organized, formal and informal struggles. In the current social context problems such as racism, social prejudice social stratification are factors that distance the black population from social and economic equivalents with reference to the white population. Although the Brazilian constitution of 1988 and the declaration of human rights 1948 define that all citizens are equal regardless of: sex, race, color, age among others, it is not the current social reality in which black people live.

To understand the disparity between black and white we need to understand the concept of race, prejudice, discrimination and racism. According to Munanga (2006) the term race depends on how it is used, depending on the context one can have different connotations, we must define here that it is the human being of socially excluded people, so the author describes the term as being “the identification of races is actually a social construction produced within the socio-relationship and power throughout the historical process” (p.. 176). According to the author, culture is one of the factors of greater identification of race, it is worth identifying that the term that best names the segment of the black population is “ethnicity” which according to Munanga (2006) “is a social group whose identity is defined by the community of language, culture, traditions, movements, histories and territories”… (p. 177). It is noteworthy that the substitution of the term race by ethnicity is linked to the relationship in which the term race was linked to servitude and subservience and political and cultural domination. However, the author reinforces that the use of concepts should be complementary and never separated, because they represent the complexity of understanding the negro in the history of Brazil.

Prejudice and discrimination are realities experienced by the black population not only before abolition, but even more today. These factors often determine the social situation of the negro in the view of the discriminator. We must distinguish what is prejudice and discrimination. Prejudice can be defined as postures or opinions that any individual or group has or maintains in relation to other groups or people. These are preconceived views of a prejudiced individual based on rumors or lack of knowledge and is linked to any sector of society or something they judge without prior knowledge, already when we speak of racial prejudice, Munanga (2006) defines as “negative and previous judgment that members of a race of an ethnicity, a group, a religion or even individuals build in relation to the other” (p. 181). Prejudices or forms of prejudice are mostly based on stereotypes, which in turn are views embedded in cultural or social perspectives, which makes it difficult to undo them even when it comes to inflexible and gross distortions of the reality experienced by a given social group.

Prejudice is something socially constructed and disseminated in relationships between human people or groups that are closed in a given opinion or point of view, without any openness to knowledge, which would possibly be a way to reassess their vision. Current daily life presents different forms of prejudice, whether in actions, looks, in the form of communication. This perpetuation of mainly racial prejudice makes us understand that our society in different ways produces inequality among individuals. We will only deconstruct prejudice if we aim to deconstruct it. When we talk about discrimination we are explaining the behavior that one individual or group has towards another.

In fact discrimination derives or is based on prejudice. When it comes to racial discrimination, it is defined as the act of differentiating, distinguishing and can be treated as an effect of prejudice against or of a group under another, especially in the inferiorization of the black, in the face of socially available actions and opportunities. This inferiorization of the black in front of society is called racism that according to Munanga (2006) “is a behavior, an action, resulting from sometimes aversion, of hatred towards people who have a racial belonging observable through signs such as skin color, hair type, eye shape, etc.” (p. 179). For the author racism is the result of the belief that races or human types are superior or inferior to others.

Racism is the branch of prejudice that is based on physical distinctions that has social significance. It presents different categories among them; institutional racism that deals with collective denial, whether in a group or organization that provides or develops professional services for people, because of color, culture or ethnic origin. Professional attitudes such as disregard, ignorance, discrimination through prejudices.

They are great representatives of institutional racism and end up placing ethnic minorities in situations of vulnerability to the services provided. With the new social and cultural issues has appeared as a new form of racism. Nowadays culture and religion have been the way many racists find to legitimize their views and thoughts, believing in the superiority of belief and culture.

Certainly, the multiple forms of racism have an effect much of the times devastating in social construction, because it is currently evidenced in different ways, and in different segments of the population. However, the search for respect and social reparation and equality between blacks and whites is that the Brazilian Federal Constitution of 1988 in Fundamental Rights and Guarantees defines in article 5 XLII that “the practice of racism constitutes an inafeable and unenprecritable crime, subject to imprisonment, under the law (Brazil 1988).

What the constitution presents is the criminalization of racist acts that happen daily many times in a veiled way, however many of these cases do not reach the sieve of justice, in Brazil the myth of “racial democracy” was one of the biggest obstacles to the construction of public policies of law and respect that were in the past and in the present effected significantly. This would not only favor blacks but all those who are part of a society that was built geographically, politically and economically on the basis of slave labor. Hierarchization, discrimination, inferiorization and prejudice are perspectives, attitudes or thoughts sometimes unconscious and unstructured, and maintains safe structures of economic and social inequalities between black and white in Brazil. It is important to unveil the ideals in favor of social equality and equality and to seek public policy applications aimed at such issues. Racism is not only in the history of black or Brazil, but than ever before in social contemporaneity.


The conquest of social rights was and continues to be an uphill battle of the black population, research shows their presence in large manifestos, protests and revolts for DANTAS 2012 blacks demanded better food, wages, land for cultivation, demanded equal treatment, recognition and autonomy. The authors state that since the abolition the black population were already present on the claims fronts as “the black guard, the war of straws, the vaccine revolt the election of Monteiro Lopes to the Chamber of Deputies (RJ)” among others, however the black movements form intensifying from the twentieth century, between the decades of 20 and 30 were created different political organizations such as the Brazilian Black Front (FNB) that was formed from the existing movements as ” black press” the black guilds, clubs and associations. The FNB was the most important organization of black movement in the first decades of the twentieth century according to some historians the group came to unite more than 40,000 associates in different states of Brazil.

The Teatro Experimental Negro (TEN), which was founded by Abadias no Nascimento and also the group, União de Homens cor (UHC) was also created in 1944 in Rio de Janeiro, which was founded by Abadias no Nascimento and also the group, União de Homens de Cor (UHC) created in 1943 in Porto Alegre. All these movements had as a common characteristic the inclusion of the negro in society. In 1978, in the midst of the military regime (1964-1985) the Unified Black Movement (MNU) was created in São Paulo, the movement had different states, so dantas (2012) was fundamental “in the consolidation of the contemporary black movement” (p. . 104). The period from 1964 to 1985 was troubled not only for black movements, but for the whole society. The MNU fought for a new society or less for new social values, with the participation of all, but mainly that valued the social context of the black, ending who knows with the myth of “racial democracy”. According to Dantas (2012) “the perspective of struggle that began to articulate the categories of (race) and (class) and an important characteristic of black politics that was constituted in Brazil from the 1970s” (p. 105).

The black movements that occurred in the late nineteenth century to the present day were preceded by revolts led by slaves or by former slaves and abolitionists who along with a large portion of the black population fought for various rights that were denied to blacks. It is important to remember that blacks never form passiveis the condition of servitude tortured or not. In this context of struggle for the recognition of work and for social non-exclusion, the so-called “Revolt of the Malês” occurred on January 25, 1835 in the state of Bahia, one of the pro negro and ex-enslaved movements, which at that historical moment had no owners but were enslaved by their own past. The Malian revolt claimed not only the existing structure in which the negro was excluded, but also the acceptance of the cult of religions of African origins. The revolt that lasted only a few hours renewed or imprinted on those men and women the desire for change, freedom and dignity in the society that so hard fought to build. Other revolts such as: “Revolt of the Tailors” in Bahia in 1798, the “Cabanagem” in Pará from 1835-1840, the “Sabinada” in Bahia from 1837-1838 and the “Balaiada” in Maranhão from 11838-1841, were the best known in the national context and that aroused not only the figure of the negrona society but also of the elite, who should seek to respect and share rights with the entire black population.

The struggles form frequent even after the signing of the “Aurea Law” in 1888, in fact blacks were freed by force of the law, but had in his memory the enslaved past, which endures to the present day in Afrodescendant society. The fact that she had a law that freed the negro, she and society did not guarantee the same rights and opportunities between blacks and whites. It would then be necessary to continue the struggle not to stop being a slave, but for equality since they were not, but slaves. The social, economic and structural context did not facilitate the insertion of the negro in society, if not as a captive. It is a fact to highlight that the various movements for equality have made and are part of the history of Brazil.

Among the great black movements and revolts that have occurred in Brazil since its colonization, we cannot forget the participation of women as a fundamental role in the face of movements that claimed not only the equality of rights between blacks and whites, but also gender equality, which for Munanga (2006) says that women face double discrimination “to be a woman in a macho society and to be black in a racist society” (p. 133). From the 1960s on, women began to play great roles in the face of movements, the NGOs, in the search for recognition. The sensitivity to identify the feminine value lies in understanding the role of women in society that in the period of slavery lived on forced labor. At the end of the 20th century she emerged no longer as a housewife, but for those who seek to grow in workspaces with equal recognition between men and women.

One of the problems that black people face and face is racism and social prejudice, which makes the struggle for equality increasingly necessary and focused on the collective. The relations built between whites and blacks have always been of servitude (black to white), not that the black sought this condition, but attitudes of classes that are called superior the others wielded in the daily life of the black. From the struggles and movements that Brazil lived and lives, there is a need to build actions aimed at equation of rights and social respect. The so-called “affirmative actions” that in turn not only seek equal rights between blacks and whites, but also correct past mistakes, aiming to value the black in society.

These actions constitute social practices to combat racial discrimination, seeking equality and opportunities for all. This set of public policies may contain in its structure public or private actions that may be compulsory or optional in correcting the inequalities imposed on social or ethnic/racial groups. Among the affirmative actions are the Brazilian legislation that has in its Penal Code, in art. 140 paragraphs 3rd insults and discrimination, as reprehensible acts and subject to sanctions of the law. They also include affirmative laws:

Law 7,716/89 crimes of racism; law 7,347/85 public civil actions; Law 9.455/97 against torture; Federal Constitution of 1988 art. 5th XLII; Law 12.288/10 statutes of racial equality; Law of Guidelines and Bases of National Education (LDB) 939.4/96; National Curriculum Parameters (PCN) 1996; Law 11.645/2008; Law 10.639/03. Etc.

The creation of quotas in universities reserve for blacks in public tenders, are also some of the achievements in the face of affirmative action in the 21st century. Affirmative actions deal with the cultural and pedagogical political character, on the one hand they seek through criminal law to punish any act of discrimination on the other hand to equal opportunities for all. These actions seek to accelerate the historical process that alone could take decades, or even centuries, in the reparation of public policies aimed at blacks and the less favored.


The different affirmative actions organized and implemented in Brazil aimed to correct the social treatment dispensed to the black population, which has gone from slaves and excluded, people who do not have the same rights or the recognition of struggle and social and cultural formation. From the different contexts in which the black man fought for respect, Law 10,639 of 2003 was created, a measure of affirmative action sanctioned by the then President of the Republic Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on January 9, 2003.

The law that had already been discussed in previous years, by virtue of the black movements brings in its entirety the mandatory teaching of Afro-Brazilian and African History and Culture, with the mandatory inclusion in the curricula of public and private schools of basic education, in addition to determining november 20 as a “national day of black consciousness”. This law was responsible for the change in the National Curriculum Guidelines, which is a great victory for black movements.

In cne opinion 003/2004, seeks the promotion of actions for racial equality according to the same in its introductory questions:

Opinion seeks to offer an answer, among others, in the area of education, to the demand of the Afrodescendant population, in the sense of affirmative action policies, that is, of reparation policies, and of recognition and valorization of their history, culture, identity. It deals with curricular policy, founded on historical, social, anthropological dimensions derived from the Brazilian reality, and seeks to combat racism and discrimination that particularly affect blacks. In this perspective, it proposes the dissemination and production of knowledge, the formation of attitudes, postures and values that educate citizens proud of their ethnic-racial belonging – descendants of Africans, indigenous peoples, descendants of Europeans, Asians – to interact in the construction of a democratic nation, in which everyone, equally, has their rights guaranteed and their identity valued. (BRAZIL 2004).

From then on, the basic education establishments start to have a document that guides discusses and deepens the pedagogical practice. According to Fonseca (2011) groups of intellectuals, social movements, black movements, believe that public schools play a fundamental role in the construction of education for diversity. In the face of the new context, the availability of training courses and partnerships with universities seek to train the teacher to deal with diversity in the educational sphere. What has changed in this period when the law came into force? What is missing for its implementation? Do teachers have the fundamental contribution to dealing with diversity? What about the students?

The social policies of reparation and recognition of black history in the Brazilian social construction holds a set of rights that have been denied over many years of suffering.

The notions of culture, plurality and cultural diversity began at the end of the 1990s to be in the prescient norms that the ministry of education and culture determines for the teaching of history in elementary and high school, as well as ethnic-racial relations that reach social and political levels always imagined by black movements.

The National Curricular Parameters (PCNs) that since 1997 have already attested to cultural plurality along with the curricular guidelines, takes force by law determining the representativeness of the teaching of Afro-Brazilian and African History and Culture, and focuses on its structure ways to reverse stereotyped characteristics of blacks.

The curricular guidelines determined by opinion 003/ 2004 brings to the school environment important discussions regarding race relations in Brazil and mainly unveil the racism that once hid in the “myth of racial democracy”, to understand in a general sense what is racial democracy, it is the idea that all races are equal as rights, and this perception arose between the 1930s and 1940s when he opposed anti-political theories.

The new guidelines were not only a social challenge regarding their effective implementation, but also to history professionals as researchers and teachers, as they effectively call for the participation of these professionals in thinking and reflecting the history of Afro-Brazilian culture and its different dimensions in the field of research and teaching/learning. What until then was a complex teaching with different themes, but where the history of black people had no reference or relevance, it goes on to debates and concepts such as: black identity, race, racial democracy, black culture, among other fields that structure the basis of studies of Afro-Brazilian and African history and culture.

What law 10.639 brings in its structure is not only a path to be followed, but the obligation of teaching and the recognition that in Brazil there is not only the history of white, and that miscegenation has not ended the various struggles for equality and respect. The central point of the law is its real implementation in the educational system, the law was passed in January 2003, but its effectiveness and total development is under the judgment of professionals who deal with it within the school environment either from the production of a diversified curriculum as a pedagogical political project with a certain purpose.

The realization of the law should not be exposed only to the subjectivity of the professional, precise in its entirety is at the service of the formation of students for diversity the social historical recognition of the black struggle in the social, political, economic and demographic construction of Brazil. The law finds obstacles as professionals unprepared to deal with diversity, prejudice about the teaching of religion of African matrix by parts of professionals who do not see it as religion and inflexible pedagogical political projects.

As Nelson Mandela states” education is the most powerful weapon by which one can change the world”, it is in education that we must seek the necessary input for new knowledge and respect for Afro-Brazilian and African culture. The 21st century is the protagonist of many social struggles and conquests, collective and organized movements, are responsible for major social, political and economic changes.

As seen in opinion 003/04 seeks, through affirmative actions the so-called reparation policies to recognize and value the history, culture and identity of african peoples and their descendants. This document deals with curricular policies subsidized in anthropological, historical social dimensions that come from the Brazilian reality. In order to combat racism and the various forms of discrimination that in its particularity reach the black. The aforementioned document, attentive to the dissemination and production of knowledge where the human being reviews postures, values and attitudes regarding the racial belonging of themselves and others. According to the Basic Education Curriculum Guidelines (2013) “the mandatory inclusion of Afro-Brazilian and African History and Culture in basic education curricula is a political decision, with strong pedagogical repercussions, including teacher education (p. 503) (emphasis ing mine) “.

It is worth mentioning that the “political decision” is not about party politics, but rather the various struggles and questioning of black movements that since the twentieth century have discussed and desired the valorization and respect of the black community. Based on the text of the guidelines, the political and historical awareness of diversity have in its principles, the understanding of equal rights among all subjects, understanding that society is formed of people who belong to or identify with different ethnic-racial groups, thus valuing the history of African peoples as well as their culture and contribution in the formation of Brazil.

Understanding and respect for diversity is the necessary force to trigger a “process of affirmation of identities, denied or distorted history”, which will contribute to the development of educational actions back the perspectives that according to DCEB 2013 that says that teaching should avoid distortions, involving the past and present and the future in the construction of experiences. According to the text “the teaching of Afro-Brazilian and African culture and history will be done by different means in curricular activities or not” (p. 505). This will culminate in the contribution of society itself in the transformation of vision and education for blacks.

The DCNEB has normative dimensions, but not closed, and that can from its base propose new paths for teaching and educational learning. For the National Council of Education through Resolution No. 1 of June 17, 2004, the mandatory teaching of curricular contents and activities based on African and Afro-Brazilian culture and history is defined under penalty of the functioning of the server institution.


Quilombola communities as well as their long historical process of struggles are part of the context not only of Brazil but also of the world. Over time, blacks with other peoples or communities that in their particularity are considered traditional, seek through political and social processes a change both socially and legally reviewing the various forms of interpretations of laws and their applications, thus pressuring the state to review the relations between equality and plurality.

According to the constitution of 1988 in its General Provisions in Article 68 is defined in relation to the quilombolas: “the remnants of the quilombo communities that are occupying their lands is recognized the definitive property, and the State must issue them the respective titles” BRAZIL (1988), as well as decree 4.887 of November 20, 2003 in its Article 2 says : The ethnic-racial groups are considered remnants of the quilombo communities, according to self-attribution criteria, with their own historical trajectory, endowed with specific territorial relations, with presumption of black ancestry related to the resistance to historical oppression suffered (BRASIL 2003)

It is a fact that the Brazilian constitution has paved the way for new conquests of traditional communities, valuing the culture and art of quilombola peoples, the State aims to “insert” socially equally and with respect. In Articles 215 and 216 of the CF, it guarantees the promotion and protection of Brazilian cultural heritage, defining that “goods of a material and immaterial nature, listed individually or jointly, bear reference to identity, to the nation, to the memory of the different groups that form Brazilian society” (BRASL 1998).

The constitution of 1988 not only expanded the rights, but also extended and legitimized cultural practices in order to ensure the religious cult of African origin and the protection of brazilian cultural heritage. However, there were great questions that occurred with the individual or collective titration of land of remnants, which in turn caused different conflicts and destructed the perspective of change of the remaining communities, which makes it increasingly difficult to legitimize them and consequently, peoples are deprived of social and cultural rights that are constitutionally granted to them, for Mattos , Dantas e Abreu (2012) decree 4.887 was the realization of several efforts for the recognition of the rights of a people. However, many of the difficulties still exist, so that many of these communities are in fact legitimized as “remaining quilombo communities”. According to the Palmares Cultural Foundation (FCP) through ordinance 138/2019 published on August 2, 2019 Brazil has about 3,386 (three thousand three hundred and eighty-six) remaining quilombos community, according to the same ordinance, 38 communities await the “technical visit” and about 192 is under technical analysis.  Decree No. 6,040 of February 7, 2007 defines that a priori the national sustainable development policies of traditional community peoples is a legitimate path aimed at greater inclusion of these social groups and in article 3 (…) I.

Traditional community peoples: culturally differentiated groups that recognize as such, that have their own forms of social organization, that occupy and use territories and natural resources as conditions for their cultural, social, religious, ancestral and economic reproduction, using knowledge innovations and practices generated and transmitted by tradition (BRASIL, 2007).

There are public policies that are aimed at quilombos considering the partner, political, cultural and educational relations that are conditioning quilombolas. In this conception, the issue of Quilombola School Education faces issues of cultural preservation and social advances. For this, its implementation must take place in a followed and democratic way between the public authorities and the organizations of quilombola communities, taking into account the reality lived by the communities and the past of their ancestors.

A large portion of the communities were built with a lot of struggle facing racism, the struggle for land, respect for sociocultural diversity in order to guarantee citizenship and community development. According to CFB Article 210 which says that “minimum contents will be fixed for elementary school, in order to ensure basic training and respect cultural and artistic values, national and regional” (BRASIL1988).

Quilombola education will lead in its guidelines the formation of its students from not only a general curriculum but mainly a specific curriculum based on the values and references of the community, and its important historical aspects that reproduces the capacity and relevance of its people in the formation of Brazilian society. However, social political issues, and the lack of professional and even religious adequacy for dealing with quilombola education, means that the implementation of these educational policies that value quilombolas suffer in their implementation.

The interaction between quilombola communities and the world outside them occurs exclusively through education that becomes the foundation point in the sociocultural relations of all people. We do not need to adapt the black to a reality that does not value him or to a white culture, but rather to value his culture, black history through the perpetuation of values, exchanged through education. A story is not finished when it is still lived, it becomes from there to be the present, to be current, this is the duty of quilombola education to make current, lived and respected the culture and history of black people in Brazil. Reviving through education we forget the historical, political, cultural, economic, demographic and social importance that black people have in the formation of Brazil.


The community is an example of sociocultural preservation and female protagonism. The community is situated in fazenda raposa rural area of the municipality of Caldeirão Grande Bahia. According to Brasileiro 2017 the village was discovered in 1963. But it was only recognized as the Quilombo Remnant Community in 2013, where it had its certification published in the Official Gazette (DOU) on April 1, 2013, recognized by the Palmares Cultural Foundation (FCP) and registered in the General Register Book No. 014, Registration No. 1,782. fl 199 under case no. 01420.012070/2012-74. This certification recognizes the community as the Remnant of Quilombo, granting them the right to citizenship to social rights the cultural preservation and ethnic valorization of the community.

The locality had the front of its formation women who became protagonist for their various struggles in the search to maintain the community and the achievement of certification, in addition to cultivating their cultural roots. Among these women we can highlight the great matriarchs: Vilarinda Maria de Jesus. Quintina Marculino dos Santos and Durvaldina Justina de Jesus, all daughters or granddaughters of the first inhabitants of the fox community.

The community was formed by people who moved from Quilombo do Tiririca known as “tiririca dos negrinhos” in the municipality of Queimadas also in the state of Bahia, when on trips to the city of Jacobina for the purchase or exchange of utensils and food, always passed in this place, which over time, ended up settling there and giving the name of the locality of Raposa , because every time they passed the place they saw many foxes (animal).

Nowadays the Community of Raposa lives new times after recognition and self-affirmation in addition to a school within the community the residents are assisted by public policies from the federal, state and municipal government, besides having its own production of agriculture and crafts through extractivism and family agriculture. The planting of cassava and the extraction of licuri and its derivatives stand out within the community.


All work requires a continuous process of verification of results bibliographic source consultations and other sources of information that contribute to the development of research. The history of the black from his departure from the African continent to the arrival in Brazil, is based on torture, ill-treatment, diseases, separations, among other factors that annihilate freedom. The historical process of Brazil that yielded social, economic and demographic formation was based on the African workforce, which faced with the impossibility of choosing to want to be and where to live.

Brazil has more than five centuries of existence of which more than three are slavery, which began according to historians of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The negro throughout this period suffered not only from physical abuse, but more with the attempt to diminish his cultural and religious identity. For the individual, it is fundamental to recognize their origin and the identity built socially. The negro throughout this long period sought respect and recognition on the part of society, since it is a people in the history of a people, that is, blacks in the history of Brazil.

The search to develop policies for black recognition of the great movements and struggles in Brazil made by black movements, abolitionists and defenders of black identity, culminated in the development of affirmative actions, public policies for the black, which makes the Afro-Brazilian population recognized in rights, culture, religion and socially. The black population lives a new social situation in Brazil, with greater visibility, respect and recognition, although there is still sometimes in a veiled way sometimes exposed to discrimination, as to religion culture, skin color, hair and other particular characteristics that identifies black.

Affirmative actions aimed primarily at modifying the educational environment, to educate society, through law 10,639, sought to implement in the Brazilian educational system the mandatory teaching of Afro-Brazilian and African History and Culture. This made them change through opinion 003/04 of the National Curriculum Guidelines for Basic Education.  The mandatory law has the purpose of repairing issues of discrimination of rights socially denied to blacks in the logo of Brazil’s history. However, questions still exist when the law is implemented within the school environment, which hinders students’ learning about Afro-Brazilian and African descent.

It is worth enumerating some necessary answer questions that identify the possible difficulties faced in the educational context for the implementation of law 10,639. Are teachers prepared to deal with these issues within the classroom? Can the religion to which teachers belong be a hindrance to the teaching of Afro-Brazilian and African history and culture within the school? Is there discrimination with respect to the religion of african matrix?

The discussions are fundamental for the development of ideas and concepts related to the history of the negro in the context of the formation of Brazilian society. The sociocultural context that of identity is one of the characteristics that define the importance of black people in the current formation of Brazil, participating in economic, demographic, social and cultural formation in Brazilian society, as well as contributions that define the identity of the black population in Brazil.

The new social dynamics subsidized by the development of public policies for reparation and enforcement of rights has gradually revised the great gulf that exists within society, factors that feed within society the capacity to overcome and accept, whether direct or indirect growth of social equality. The construction of a theory or a path must compose the degree of legitimacy of struggles and movements that were part of the clashes of blacks centuries ago. What in contemporary times has made increasingly visible and acceptable the polarization of the want of egalitarian inclusion within a same society, which time is constituted of group differences, but which belong to the same nation.

The existence of different factors that have ingrained in society the idea of submission is suffering within the new public policies the threat of existence, centered on the revision of the perspective dispensed by the different social segments regarding the value and social belonging of the black. The new social conjunctures tend by a valuable line of thought, regardless of the past, all these new paths are based on respect and the search for social inclusion regardless of color, race religion, etc. for an egalitarian society to exist not only in theory but mainly in practice. There won’t just be a misrepresented view if there’s a correct view.


The black was a fundamental part in the formation of Brazilian society and in the construction of its state, the various sets of factors that occurred in different times and contexts outlined the degree of importance and dependence of the state towards the black, in different senses, whether demographic, cultural, religious, social or others. However, what is revealed in the most different historical and contemporary contexts is that the diaspora has become insignificant from the perspective of part of Brazilian society, thus invalidating the entire process of displacement through inferiorization of culture, religion and the social value that black people had and has within society. The most different stereotypes rooted in prejudice and discrimination make the black a discriminated within the environment itself. The search for the rupture of the most perverse and vile discriminatory optics of society, goes through the recognition of the figure of the negro as the great engineer of the Brazilian social formation. The meaning that is acquired from there permeates the idea of acceptance, and finds the basis in respect for the other assuming the right of equality to every human being. For these objectives to be achieved much more than public policies need to be created, it is necessary to detach themselves from the theoretical fields and gain stability in practice having as active subjects those who descended from those who suffered in the diaspora. The great set of values that characterize the negro also legitimize the various struggles and movements developed during centuries in society. The search for recognition culminates in contemporaneity with affirmative actions that far from its totality ascends the hope of equality and respect. The subjects of history today are close to the long-awaited freedom. Although he achieved them through the law in 1888 to this day he struggles to be seen. It is concluded that many questions tend to be answered and challenges overcome to achieve the majority of equal rights. Therefore, what is understood today is that we walk in great strides within the theoretical field, we seek freedom, inclusion, equality and respect through words, in this sense the black lives in a just and egalitarian society, however the practice is slow with future perspectives so subjective and far from the real. It is a fact that much has been conquered, today the black sees himself in new perspectives, however, if he is very far from where we should be, that is, in an equal society in rights regardless of color, religion, race, sex or age.


BRASIL. Constituição da República Federativa do Brasil. Ato das Disposições Constitucionais Transitórias – ADCT. Brasília: senado, 1988.

______. Secretaria de Educação Fundamental. Parâmetros curriculares nacionais : pluralidade cultural, orientação sexual / Secretaria de Educação Fundamental. – Brasília : MEC/SEF, 1997. p.164.

_____. Lei nº 9.394/96, de 20 de dezembro de 1996. Brasília.

_____. Lei nº 10.639, de 9 de janeiro de 2003. Brasília.

_____. Ministério da educação. Conselho nacional de educação. Parecer CNE/CP 3/2004. Diretrizes curriculares nacionais para educação das relações étnico-raciais e para o ensino de história e cultura afro-brasileira e africana. Brasília: MEC, 2004.

______. Lei nº 12.288, de julho de 2010. Brasília.

______. Plano Nacional de Implementação das Diretrizes Curriculares Nacionais para Educação das Relações Étnico-Raciais e para o Ensino de História e Cultura Afro-brasileira e Africana. Brasília, 2004.

_____. Diretrizes Curriculares para a Educação escolar quilombola. Resolução nº 8, de 20 de novembro de 2012. Brasília: Conselho Nacional de educação – Câmara de educação Básica (CNE/CEB).

______. Diretrizes Operacionais para a educação Básica nas Escolas do campo. Brasília: abril, 2002.

BRASILEIRO, Danielma da S. B. Da Escola no Quilombo à Escola do Quilombo: a prática pedagógica como elemento substancial para fortalecer sentidos de pertencimentos indenitários. Projeto de pesquisa para o programa de mestrado apresentado a MPED. Jacobina-Ba, Uneb. 2016.

CARDOSO, Mauricio. Cerencio, Priscilla. Direitos humanos: diferentes cenários, novas perspectivas – São Paulo: Editora do brasil, 2012

CARNEIRO, sueli. Racismo, sexismo e igualdade no Brasil– São Paulo: selo Negro, 2011.

DANTAS, Carolina Vianna. MATTOS, Hebe. ABREU, Martha. O negro no Brasil : trajetórias e lutas em dez aulas de historia. 1 ed. – Rio de Janeiro : Objetiva, 2012.

FACHIN, Odília. Fundamentos de metodologia, 5 ed. – São Paulo : Saraiva, 2006.

FONSECA, Marcus Vinicius. Silva, Carolina Mostaro Neves da. Fernandes, Borges. Relações étnico-raciais e educação no Brasil – Belo Horizonte :Mazza Edições, 2011.

FREIRE, Paulo. Pedagogia da autonomia: saberes necessários apratica educativa. 58 ed. – Rio de janeiro/ São Paulo: Paz e Terra, 2019.

GOMES, Flávio dos Santos. De olho em Zumbi dos Palmares:historias símbolos e memória social – 1º ed. – São Paulo: claro enigma, 2011.

MATTOS, Regina Augusto de. Historia e cultura afro-brasileira. 2 ed. 1ª reimpressão. – São Paulo : Contexto, 2012.

MUNANGA, Kabengele. Origens africanas do Brasil contemporâneo:historias, linguagens, cultura e civilização. 3 ed. – São Paulo: Gaudí Editorial, 2012

MUNANGA, Kabengele. Gomes, Nilma Lino. O negro no Brasil de hoje – São Paulo : Global, 2006.

SOUZA, Laura olivieri Carneiro de. Quilombos: identidade e história1 ed. Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira, 2012.

3. Pessoas que procuravam escravos fugitivos.

[1] Special Master’s degree in Education and Diversity. Specialist in Portuguese Language, Mathematics and Teaching in Higher Education. Graduated in Pedagogy. Graduating in Mathematics.

[2] PhD in Theory and Literary History. Master’s degree in English: Linguistic and Literary Studies. Specialization in English Language – Bilingual Teaching and Secretariat. Graduation in Letters.

Submitted: November, 2019.

Approved: March, 2020.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here