Pair of books focus on contemporary achievements and struggles as well as the history of black women in Brazil


First book tells the history of black women in Brazil; second book focuses on stories of contemporary black women who have succeeded against the odds.

With original research, which delves into sources and favors biographies, the book Mulheres Negras no Brasil Escravista e do Pós-Emancipação (Black Women in slavery and post-Emancipation Brazil) offers a fascinating and comprehensive picture of the experiences of black women, the first agents of emancipation of the community of Africans and their descendants in the Diaspora.


The themes of slavery and of the African presence had prominence in the so-called Brazilian social thought since the dawn of the 20th century. Through numerous publications, we know more and more about the social, demographic, economic and cultural characteristics of different regions, as well as its population of Africans and their descendants.

However, little is known about the experiences of black women. What was their involvement in the organization of slave society and in the first decades of the post-emancipation? How did they elaborate on sociability, changing their lives and their families? How did they stubbornly protest, undermining slavery and against the idea that they passively accept imposed oppression imposed?

The main purpose of the book, according to editors, was following the path of the women, but with them and through them. Because of this, the texts had as central pathways analysis of short biographies, in a territorial diversity that encompasses large slavery cities, mainly highlighting the states of Minas Gerais, Bahia, Paraíba, Goias, Pernambuco, Sergipe, Rio Grande do Sul, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Hidden silhouettes

“True housewives of past and present, just like a solid rock, in the historiography of slavery and post-emancipation, black women are seldom treated as protagonists from different stories. Though only a start, this collection takes some steps in this direction, revealing silhouettes hitherto concealed by the hierarchies of gender and race,” conclude the editors.

Historian Giovana Xavier

The project organized by historians Giovana Xavier, Juliana Barreto Farias and Flávio Gomes,  starts to reveal this history. The book contains articles from 20 leading experts on the subject, covering Brazil from north to south in theoretical terms and the use of diverse sources. The collection travels through towns, plantations and mining areas in the 18th, 19th and first decades of the 20th century.

“They are texts of research that give account not only of cities, mills, factories, mansions, but fundamentally reconstruct scenarios and draw landscapes revealing shadows, whispers and ways of life, body, mind and soul of women in slavery and in the first decades of post-emancipation,” explain the editors.

The authors present texts with a narrative differentiated from the traditional academic approach. The quality of articles and the originality of the theme add to the diversity of documentary sources used in the research. Lawsuits, newspapers, literature, inventories, music, poetry, death records, baptism, iconography, etc. were widely explored to present a broad overview of the history of black women, contemplating their presence and participation in different parts of the country.

From the newsroom in Brasília

Second book focuses on stories of contemporary black women who have succeeded against the odds: 

The release of the book is part of the commemorations in observance of November 20th, the National Day of Black Consciousness

The trajectory of the lives of black women in Brazilian society is the main focus of a book that will be released on November 19th in the European Centre for Languages ​​and Professions, in Santos, São Paulo. With the title, Mulheres Negras: histórias de resistência, de coragem, de superação e sua difícil trajetória de vida na sociedade brasileira (Black Women: stories of strength, courage, and the overcoming her difficult life course in Brazilian society), the book tells the life story of eight black women, from poor backgrounds and who managed to rise socially, politically and/or professionally. They are stories of strength, courage and overcoming difficult trajectories in their life paths.


The book is the result of a scientific research work to complete undergraduate degrees in Social Service, of the students and now professionals of Social Service, Adeildo Vila Nova and Edjan Alves dos Santos who, for more than a year were involved with this theme to acquire a bachelor’s degree in Social Service. With an extensive literature search and over 10 hours of recorded interviews, the work is presented as an additional resource for future researchers in view of the scarcity of bibliographies dealing with this issue.

One of the study’s findings is that being female and black in Brazil means being inserted in a cycle of marginalization and socioeconomic and racial discrimination and that the improvement of the social position of blacks, and especially black women, is the result of a massive effort demonstrated through their resilience, coping and overcoming these inequalities. According to the authors, black women experience in their daily lives situations of violence that push the limits of human dignity, often times in a visible manner, but also involving a perverse invisibility.

Education is presented as an instrument of socio-economic emancipation and a cultural policy of the people, inclusive of the black community, and more specifically black women, who is triply discriminated: for being poor, for being a woman and for being black. The authors point out that access to education, whether formal or informal, is permeated by a series of difficulties, especially when dealing with a population that has always been on the margins of society and who, every day, deals with issues of survival.

Authors Adeildo Vila Nova e Edjan Alves dos Santos

The authors believe that the issue of gender associated with the racial question, puts black women in extremely unequal conditions in comparison to other Brazilian citizens and that, given the reality presented by the research subjects through their life stories, their trajectories and the strategies used to overcome all odds placed on their daily lives, it becomes urgent the creation of measures that can transform this reality, so that these women do not have to rely on inhumane efforts to have their citizenship respected.

According to research, the authors point to affirmative action policies as a strategy for overcoming these inequalities and disparities between men and women and between blacks and non-blacks. The publication is a realization of the Associação Cultural dos Afrodescendentes da Baixada Santista (AFROSAN or Cultural Association of People of African Descent of Santos), in partnership with the Ministry of Culture of São Paulo, through its Office of Culture and Ethnic Genres (ACGE) and the State Council of Participation and Development of the Black Community of São Paulo.

The book will also be released in São Paulo, on November 22.

About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.


  1. Or you could start learning Portuguese. As the world continues this process of globalization, I would encourage more Americans to learn a second language. A whole new world is open to you when explore such possibilities.

  2. are the books in ebook format?Internationalization is as old as humanity, and will continue to exist forever, as long as human beings live different places. Most people in human society have always been monolingual and always will be. Learning one language properly takes a lifetime.

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