Ten years of law 10.639/2003 obligating schools to teach African/Afro-Brazilian History; law yet to be fully implemented


Note from BW of Brazil: The necessity of visibility in the media and school curriculum is extremely important in a country like Brazil where Afro-Brazilians, though the majority of the country’s nearly 200 million citizens, are nearly invisible in many areas of society. Studies have shown that this invisibility often leads to a fragmentation and/or rejection of identity or feelings of shame in black children and teens. So in 2003, high hopes were riding on the creation of a law to address this issue in schools. A decade later, there is still hope but also frustration and disappointment.

by Jobison Barros

Afro-Brazilian education in the country’s public and private schools is still a concern for the coordinator of the Instituto de Raízes de Áfricas (Institute of the Roots of Africa), Arísia Barros. On Wednesday, January 9th, Law No.10.639/03, which made the teaching of African and Afro-Brazilian Culture and History obligatory in Brazilians schools, passed the tenth year of its existence, but up to the moment, it has been forgotten by the State and most teachers. The law was created on January 9th, 2003.

Black Women of Brazil

Arísia Barros regrets the lack of applicability of the law

Note from BW of Brazil: The necessity of visibility in the media and school curriculum is extremely important in a country like Brazil where Afro-Brazilians, though the majority of the country’s nearly 200 million citizens, are nearly invisible in many areas of society. Studies have shown that this invisibility often leads to a fragmentation and/or rejection of identity or feelings of shame in black children and teens. So in 2003, high hopes were riding on the creation of a law to address this issue in schools. A decade later, there is still hope but also frustration and disappointment.

 by Jobison Barros

Afro-Brazilian education in the country’s public and private schools is still a concern for the coordinator of the Instituto de Raízes de Áfricas (Institute of the Roots of Africa), Arísia Barros. On Wednesday, January 9th, Law No.10.639/03…

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