This talk will highlight one of the most important aspects of the Brazilian black movement since the late nineteenth century: the struggle not only for access to educational institutions but also for curricula substantively inclusive of Africa and its Diaspora. In 1978, the Movimento Negro Unificado—MNU (Unified Black Movement) drafted its Carta de Princípios (Charter of Principles), which called for the reassessment of the role of blacks in Brazil’s history. Since 2001, when the adoption of quotas for Brazilians of African descent in universities became a frequent topic of the discussion in the media and within different sectors of society, debates about racial issues in Brazil have become very lively. President Lula’s signing Law 10,639 in January 2003 was a seminal event. It made the teaching of African and Afro-Brazilian histories and cultures mandatory throughout the Brazilian educational system, including both public and private schools. This significant development was primarily the result of efforts of the black movement, which had exposed the existence of racial discrimination and struggled for better conditions for African descendants in Brazil during the twentieth century.
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