Note from BW of Brazil: Well, who da thunk it? Two more areas, among the seemingly hundreds, in which I find the black Brazilian face and voice almost completely invisible are autobiographies and biopics on black personalities. In bringing this topic to the fore once again, I must clarify that I am not including the area of sports or entertainment. In reality, even including those areas, books on black Brazilians are just rare. But just imagine, if we take away the books focused on or written by people like futebol stars such Pelé and Neymar, musician Tim Maia, mixed martial artist Anderson Silva, or actor/comedian/musician Mussum, what books would we have about black Brazilians? Where are books about the ones that overcame the odds, difficult lives and racism and became important references for Brazilian society as a whole, in the areas of business, science, politics, economics, etc.?
Clearly, I don’t want to diminish the contributions of people such as actress/singer Zezé Motta, who recently released a book, but sports and entertainment are two areas where Brazilian society expects to see black people excel. They are the areas where it is assumed, if there are rich black people, they must be athletes or entertainers. I would love to see more books about or by Afro-Brazilians who have made it in the business world, such as Jane Muniz, Geraldo Rufino, Zica Assis and Leila Velez, in the sciences like Sonia Guimarães, in Law, like Ivone Caetano, or or dermatologist Katleen Conceição. Guimarães is the first black Brazilian woman to earn a Ph.D in Physics while the subject of an upcoming film, and today’s feature, Joana D’Arc Félix, did her post-doctorate studies at Harvard and has earned over 80 awards in her career and is the owner of 15 registered patents.
With all of the obstacles that Brazil places in the path to success for those of visible African ancestry, there are probably hundreds of great stories out there.
Actress Taís Araújo will play the PhD Joana D’Arc Félix in a film
The actress Taís Araújo is taking on the main role of a film that will tell the story of the award-winning Brazilian scientist Joana D’Arc Félix. The film will show the trajectory of the woman who had a poor childhood and was able to become a PhD in chemistry at the prestigious Harvard University in the United States.
According to columnist Patricia Kogut, of the O Globo newspaper, the project is from Globo Filmes and has a screenplay by Alvaro Campos under the supervision of Patricia Andrade. The screenwriter signed the screenplays for O Frenético Dancin’ Days and Elis, the Musical in partnership with Nelson Motta.
It will be directed by Alê Braga, that repeats a partnership with Campos already realized in the documentaries Rindo à Toa – Humor Sem Limites.
In another film, the actress will also appear in the film Medida Provisória that marks the debut of her husband, Lázaro Ramos, as a director. The first scenes of the full-length film, which is based on the spectacular, Namíbia, Não, started filming two months ago.
In addition to Taís, Alfred Enoch, who played Wes in How To Get Away With Murder, Seu Jorge, Mariana Xavier and Luís Miranda are also in the cast.
The plot takes place in a future in which the Brazilian government decrees a measure for cidadãos negros (black citizens) to return to their origins in Africa. Two cousins, stuck in an apartment, face this impasse, and issues such as identity, representativeness, socio-cultural and economic issues will be on the agenda.
The Brazilian scientist, Joana D’Arc Félix, has earned no less than 80 awards in her career, most notably the title of Researcher of the Year at the Kurt Politizer of Technology in 2014, awarded by the Associação Brasileira da Indústria Química (Brazilian Chemical Industry Association or (Abquim).
Her research concerns the use of pork skin in human transplants. The theme emerged when a worker from her hometown, Franca, in the interior of São Paulo, suffered serious injuries by accidentally dropping a gallon of sulfuric acid on his body. The victim was related to one of Joana’s students.
Joana struggled to win her titles. The daughter of a maid, she came from a family with few resources, but she achieved places to study at Unicamp, USP and Unesp, all universities in São Paulo. Approved in all, she opted for the University of Campinas, where she also did her doctorate.
The researcher broke boundaries after the post-doctoral invitation at Harvard in the United States. The institution is one of the most respected in the world.
Source: O Sul