Young blacks have a new perspective for the future *


black Brazilian women

With the increasing number of affirmative policies, such as the creation of quotas for African descendants in public universities and the Statute of Racial Equality, the young black population has a new perspective for the future. Unlike their parents, they now enter institutions of higher education and intend to continue studying. The student at the University of Brasilia (UNB), Deuzilene Barros de Oliveira, 21, passed the entrance exam of 2007 for the course of the Performing Arts through quotas. Since 2004, UNB has reserved 20% of their vacancies for African descendants. “I was the first in my family to get into a public university. My father is 57, a bus driver and still hasn’t retired. My mother doesn’t work, stays home and takes care of the children and she didn’t finish high school.”

Amanda Ribeiro, 25, has a degree in industrial chemistry, works as a model and wants to pursue a master’s degree **

Deuzilene de Oliveira Barros, 21, a student at the University of Brasília (UnB), took through the entrance exam in 2007 and entered the Scenic Arts program through the system of quotas
She says that after graduating, she plans to enter the Masters program. “My perspective is this. I was planning this. They are talking about quotas for the Masters program, that’s good, because we’ve already passed this cycle of graduation, to echo the thoughts of others, and we’ve gone on to produce the knowledge itself.”


To Deuzilene, who lives in Ceilândia, a satellite city of the capital city of Brasilia, the society is still prejudiced. “My life as a black woman is different because I was born in the 21st century and it is another scheme. My mother suffered enough as a black woman. Like everyone else, I suffered prejudice in school and I still suffer today. This irks me and it’s something that bothers me a lot, these wayward glances, these different looks at me as if I were the exotic one in the place.”
Amanda Ribeiro Guimaraes, is a native of the state of Maranhão in Brazil’s northeast. She is 25, earned a degree in industrial chemistry and works as a model. “I started at the Federal University of Maranhão in 2004, at the time that I passed the entrance exam there was not a quota system. Of 28 students, I was the only black person. My brother has a degree in business. My father is a mathematician and also graduated from the federal university and my mother is the only one that only got through high school and she is a clerk.”
Today, Amanda lives in Sao Paulo, but worked as a model in Curitiba (in the southern state of Paraná). “I had a lot of focus, all the things I could do there, I did. I took a break [from studies] for two years. Even so, I intend to do my master’s, preferably in another country.”
According to Amanda, the situation began to change when people began to discuss the issue of blacks in Brazilian society. “This started to come out of the discussion and put into practice. This is a big turnaround going on in the country. In ten years we will see more change and hopefully this issue of black people will continue to grow.”
* – Article translated from Portuguese by this author
** – This article was released on November 20, 2010, Brazil’s National Day of Black Consciousness. Every November is recognized as the Month of Black Consciousness and the week for which the Day of Black Consciousness falls is recognized as the Week of Black Consciousness, which can be seen written in bold on the sign directly behind Amanda in the first photo. 

About Marques Travae 2895 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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