Note from BW of Brazil: It’s funny but there are still, probably millions of people who don’t believe that the country’s African descendants deserve the opportunity to go to college and then become attain successful positions in life. How do we know this? Well, it’s quite obvious from the reactions that people have when they discover black people holding down certain positions or just being in places they’re not expected to be seen. Such as restaurants, prominent colleges, or even shopping malls. After all, according to the racist thought upon which Brazilian society was constructed, black people aren’t supposed to be dentists, doctors or judges.
The struggle over the implementation of affirmative action policies in universities has been one of the main mechanisms for challenging this thought. The battle over these policies have raged on and provoked heated debates and rejection since the turn of the century, and even today, with so many Afro-Brazilians proving they have what it takes to excel in the country’s most prestigious places of higher learning, many still believe that Afro-Brazilians are “out of place”, and are filling these positions unfairly even as more and more white students are illegally defining themselves as non-white to take the very positions they believe are unfairly awarded. Recently, one black Ph.D candidate was honored with a prestigious international award for her study about this struggle, showing once again why Brazil undermines itself by not recognizing the talent and ability of so many people who look like her.
LaGENTE Researcher wins international award
By Patricia Veiga
Awarded study addresses the Black Movement’s trajectory in the struggle for the implantation of quotas at UFG
The Ph.D student in Geography at the Institute of Socio-Environmental Studies (IESA-UFG), Mariza Fernandes, is one of the winners of the Pedro Krotsch Award for Studies on the University, edition 2017. The award is offered by the Conselho Latino-americano de Ciências Sociais (CLACSO or Latin American Council of Social Sciences) and the Instituto de Pesquisa Gino Germani (Gino Germani Research Institute) of the Department of Social Sciences, at University of Buenos Aires.
The award-winning work is the result of the student’s master’s research, entitled Movimento Negro e Relações Raciais no Espaço Acadêmico: Trajetórias Socioespaciais de Estudantes Negros e Negras na Universidade Federal de Goiá (Black Movement and Race Relations in the Academic Space: Socio-Spatial Trajectories of Black Men and Black Women Students at the Federal University of Goiás). The study analyzes the history of struggle for the implantation of the quota system at UFG, the role of the Movimento Negro (Black Movement) and the impacts of militancy and affirmative actions on the trajectories of some black students who participated in the process.
The master’s research was carried out in the Laboratório de Estudos de Gênero, Étnico-raciais e Espacialidades da UFG (Laboratory of Gender, Ethnic-racial and Spatial Studies of UFG) (LaGENTE-UFG), and was guided by Professor Alex Ratts. The work was evaluated by an international committee and competed with 33 other studies. The four winning research projects will be published in a book edited by CLACSO and the Gino Germani Research Institute.