Born by the power of ideas and hope, law 10,639 completed 20 years last January. With its approval, the inclusion of Afro-Brazilian history and culture in the curriculum of basic education and teacher training became mandatory.
It was an achievement of decades of struggle by the black movement. The essence lies in the importance for the formation of Brazilian society by receiving education about Africa and black culture, revolving the years of denial of the contribution of black people in the social, cultural, economic and political areas to the History of Brazil.
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Finally, the appreciation of black Brazilian intellectuals and artists, music, cuisine, dance and religions of African origin was becoming, at that time, a reality for teaching and debates in classrooms.
In 2008, legislation advanced to strengthen the indigenous struggle with the approval of law 11,645, uniting, expanding and guiding the struggle of blacks and indigenous people in the Brazilian school environment.
In 2014, the National Education Plan strengthened law enforcement by setting targets and deadlines for curricula to fully promote the education provided for in legislation.
Although two decades have passed, we can say that Law 10,639 has not been effectively implemented. There is a gap between what is proposed and its result, and the reason lies in intolerance, discrimination and racism.
As a black man and a teacher, born and raised in São Gonçalo, trained in a public school and university, I cannot refrain from expressing my frustration with the slow steps taken in law enforcement.
In the last four years, the setback was not greater thanks to the resistance of our educators, the black movement and the indigenous people.
Among the many examples that show that there has not been the necessary change in society towards racial equality, we can mention a very recent episode: the attack, in early February, on the monument of quilombola leader Maria Conga, in Magé, with a torn off plaque and marks of Nazi symbols.
It is worth remembering that for many years the discourse prevailed that Brazilians were not racist, since there was an alleged good relationship between whites and blacks, thus generating the myth of racial democracy. Not a single quote was heard stating that racism ranges from excluding blacks from higher-paying jobs or university courses to jokes about hair. The cruelest face of this thought is wide open when research reveals that young black people die more than young white people victimized by violence.
Bearing in mind that the school acts in the exercise of citizenship and that will leave young people who will guide an anti-racist population, we want the full application of our legislation.
It is always important to emphasize that teachers play a major role in raising awareness against discrimination, especially racial discrimination. Change comes through Education. And the black population is in a hurry to live with equality and social justice, and they no longer want to be victims of racism.
*Professor Josemar is a state deputy for the PSOL and president of the Commission to Combat Racial Discrimination and Prejudice of the Rio State Legislative Assembly (Alerj).
** This is an opinion article. The view expressed does not necessarily represent the editorial line of the newspaper Brazil in fact.
Source: BdF Rio de Janeiro
Editing: Mariana Pitasse
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