Law 10,639 has just completed 20 years of enactment. It establishes, in the guidelines and bases of national education, the inclusion in the official curriculum of the Education Network throughout the country, the mandatory theme of Afro-Brazilian History and Culture. The educators heard by the Brazil in factanalyze that, despite being an important step towards an effectively anti-racist education, there is still a long way to go.
Vanda Machado, author of the book Irê Ayó – Uma Epistemologia Afro-Brasileira, points to the existence of very beautiful, meaningful and appropriate projects in many schools, but recognizes that there is a struggle for the application of law 10.639, especially when it comes to the vision and power in the classroom with evangelical teachers and principals. “They still don’t understand that our issue is not to evangelize, but to talk about a history of value, because the history that has been shown as the history of black people in Brazil is a history of miseries. It is important to show the history of black people before the Europeans arrived, the history of a noble people, a strong, warrior and wise people”, she says.
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It is important to highlight that the Law that proposes education for Ethnic-Racial Relations is not a law for the education of black children, but for the education of all Brazilian children. With this important score, Vanda Machado, researcher, historian, master and doctor from the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), reaffirms that Law 10,639 serves institutional black voices for the need for effective citizenship in education.
“It is Master (Kabengele) Munanga who tells us that anti-racist education is not only of interest to black children. Or, as Mandela tells us: ‘Nobody is born hating the other because of the color of his skin. If it is possible to teach to hate, it is also possible to teach to love’”, declares the professor who is also a collaborator of the Federal University of Recôncavo Baiano (UFRB) and received the Commendation of the State Council of Education (CEE) for Services rendered to Bahia and to Brazil.
In the same direction, motivated by the strengthening of an anti-racist education and the collective construction of this, Bárbara Carine Soares Pinheiro widely debates the theme in life and on social networks. She is a professor at the Institute of Chemistry at UFBA and at the graduate program in Teaching, Philosophy and History of Science (UFBA/UEFS). Despite validating the advances achieved with Law 10.639, it still recognizes major obstacles in relation to the effective fulfillment of this and other educational laws, such as the law for the admission of black male and female professors into the body of male and female professors in Brazilian universities. “It is these professionals who must guide the systemic blackening of these pedagogical formations”, she says.
Bárbara recognizes that the black movement has fulfilled its role of demanding and pressuring and that people, in the context of the pandemic – with the breadth of online training – have also become more interested in seeking anti-racist training. “I believe we walked, but we didn’t walk enough as we should have. What we need now is to overcome a perspective of stereotyping Afro-Brazilian culture that places it only within a folkloric dimension, within the religious dimension, without understanding that our bases are also scientific, philosophical, ethical, aesthetic, policies,” he argues.
Projects of an anti-racist education
One of the pioneers in anti-racist education and a reference in teaching and research on childhood, Vanda Machado signs the Irê Ayó Pedagogical Political Project, which has existed since 1988 and, officially, in 1998, becomes part of the Eugênia Anna School, at Ilê Axé Opo Afonja. “Before the law in question, the existence of this initiative was related to my master’s project, followed by my doctorate at UFBA and my desire to be a black educator, born in the Recôncavo”, explains Vanda when referring to decolonial education as a project realization. of life with his community of Afonjá.
“One of the precautions we took with the School in the Afonjá terreiro, as it is a school for the community, attended by children of all creeds and a significant number of children who practice evangelical religions, we paid attention to the need for work that did not present a proselytizing connotation”, he says. The teacher points out that the anti-racist curriculum has the mission to consider the possibility of forming critical, autonomous, solidary and collective subjects.
Professor Vanda Machado planted the seed of what today is being multiplied by so many other motivated schools spread across Bahia and Brazil. With great satisfaction, Machado sees the inclusion of this debate and this project in private schools as well. “It’s exciting to see children from different classes and ethnicities, mostly white children, who, full of curiosity and joy, immerse themselves in Afro-Brazilian mythology”, she declares.
She narrates that these children retell the history of the African continent, working mainly with the language of the arts, in speeches and songs in the Yoruba language, recalls the teacher who, in the closing activity of Africa Week at a private school in the capital, witnessed families, fathers and mothers dance jongo with the children. “It was awesome! I almost cried,” recalls the teacher.
Bárbara Carine, creator, partner and pedagogical consultant at the Afro-Brazilian Maria Felipa school, based on her experiences and impressions, states that the application of the Law is not equal in public and private schools. For Carine, in both cases, there is a very great family pressure around the understanding of this law by creating the obligation of teaching African and Afro-Brazilian culture and history in the entire curriculum extension of basic education that fundamentally permeates religions of African origin. .
“Religious racism ends up prevailing within a family dimension that puts pressure on the school to not comply with the law”, says Bárbara Carine, who reaffirms the need for training based on collective projects. “What we have, most of the time, are heroic acts by male and female professors who, out of historical awareness, specialize, do master’s, doctorate and end up developing their practices anchored in these perspectives, but in a very lonely way”, she says. .
“In public schools, this has advanced more than in private schools, where there is a very clear marketing relationship with teaching. Families establish what they want, demand from the school and the school – based on national curriculum guidelines – fulfills what the family demands. That is, not denying the official documents of the MEC, but, at the same time, concealing what can be concealed”, explains Carine.
She points to the necessary training of educators as a way to advance in teaching and in the quality of an anti-racist education. “You have to have ongoing training. Schools have to be subsidized”, argues teacher Bárbara, who is also the author of the books Decolonizing Knowledge: black women in science, finalist for the 2021 Jabuti award, and Black History of Things: 50 scientific-technological inventions by black people.
Bárbara only sees a promising future for Law 10,639 with investments: resources in black literature, in quota policies, in the process of inserting male and female educators in school spaces, in the thought that educational training is for the entire educational community. “Anti-racist training needs to cross the entire school structure. Direction, coordination, cleaning professional, concierge, cooks. Everyone needs to understand this structural oppression that is there in the tangle of social relations within a school space. Racism being highlighted all the time,” she declares.
Vanda remembers that the symbol of blackness is Sankofa, and it concerns the knowledge that is in the past, in the experiences of the ancestry of the terreiro. “Our history goes back to before the arrival of colonialism that came to destroy the African continent. Our gaze, when it returns to the past, projects us to reigns where men and women lived with dignity”, she declares.
This is also Carine’s feeling. “To enhance the African and indigenous existence beyond a static place in the past, but understanding it as a dynamic place and constant remembrance of that past to build an emancipated future for our people”, she concludes.
Source: BdF Bahia
Editing: Gabriela Amorim
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