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									Diva Moreira
Was borning in 08/04/1946, Bocaiúva, MG

Diva Moreira enfronted in the childrood a doble stigma: Was beeing African descendant
and was borning after your mather doing widower. She had begging envolved in political
moviment during at basic school, before “Golpe Militar” in 1964 (the right ditatorship was
between 1964 at 1984, when happened the open of democracy. The first eleted before this
period happend in 1989). She had known marxism in the Catolic church and, whithot this,
she ingressed in “Partido Comunista” (communist party - left).
She was militant in a trade union and neighbourhood moviment. She decided criet on solid
moviment about African descendant. This fight to human rights African descendant: it was
borning in “Belo Horizonte” (capital of Minas Gerais state) the “Casa Dandara”. The dream
of “Casa Dandara” was seeing every brazilian children ate school in full time.

To organize a poor African descendant

I was turned “fellow de Ashoka” in 1989. I don‟t remember who tell me about “Ashora”. I
just remembered that I knew “Ashoka a Cindy Lessa”, whose person I have been much
affect. She visited the “Casa Dandara” in “Belo Horizonte” because she knew the
institution. She really was fascinating. The thing that really amazed her and did me chosen
what I fight: how I did know in the African descendant people bases? I didn‟t talk to half a
dozen African descendants whose had had university, had a professional study, or, had
had a chance that I had. I thought: “Who need these words? Whose need organizing
bases? It‟s a poor people African descendant.” But how talk about these questions: race
identity? Politics (subjects like: politics about poor population) I thought to combine culture
expression with politic. It‟s really well done! I remember that it‟s resulted in study day about
the subject. The people was in the “Casa Dandara” in the morning and gone away ate
afternoon. We don‟t have headquarters. We used to meet the neighborhood school where
I used lived. The people gone to long way. We used invited a famous people to talk us. In
general university teachers. We were careful all details, since clean of place, at table with
tablecloth where people talked. We used to put flowers; to create a good atmosphere
where people felt well.

A double stigma in the childhood

In mine childhood I had a racism humiliation, and the stigma (it‟s was very strong in the
past). I was doing a daughter without marriage. My mother was widower when I had been
born. She had many shame to talk about this. I had one father that I needed to ask to give
me a “pray”, when I gone to “Belo Horizonte” to Bocaiúva. When I stayed in “Belo
Horizonte”, I haven‟t father. My mother worked to catholic family extreme preconception,
and preserver. This is a taboo. My mother passed the image of all people that she was a
widower. And I was born after she turned widower.

“Negro don’t need study”

My mother was a domestic servant and had one dream: Your children will never pass the
same experience she did. She thought gone to “São Paulo”. In this place she turned a
baby-sit in one family. They thought, I remember like be today: “No, negro doesn‟t need
study. Just four years is ok”. They don‟t know that I studied more than a half the basic (in
Brazil the basic the are eight years). My mother, no. She was done all service that needed
time to study. It‟s was a very pressure to her, but it‟s good to us.
(falta parte 2)

A solid entity

One day I was reading a Florestan Fernandes book A Integração dos negros na
sociedade de classes (The Integration of black people into classes society). In the book he
said that the black population in the post-abolition period, had had many difficulties in
constituting entities, solid organizations.
The organizations were started and next stopped. I thought: “Since under-aged I‟ve been
here in this country seeking a better life for my people and I haven‟t done anything for my
own people so far, the black population”. Based on that book I thought: “Who knows we
can build a different entity that may have continuity, a solid entity…” I looked for other
black people to create, together with me, Casa Dandara (Dandara House), whose subtitle
was Projeto de Cidadania do Povo Negro (Black People Citizenship Project ). It was in

Talks emerge out of small groups

In the beginning people didn‟t want to talk. They didn‟t accept any rules. They didn‟t even
accept to be black. I realized I was touching a sore spot. Then I got very badly about it.
Once we knew that to speak in public was something very hard to many people, there
were group works, so they could open themselves more, exert their speaking rights. It‟s a
fundamental step to build citizenship.

A party after lunch

Also, there was a party after lunch. Dancing, vocal groups, capoeira. There was congada,
very common in Minas Gerais State. The many ways of cultural expression from African
origin were performed there. It‟s been a very nice and light process, combining citizenship,
construction of critical conscience, construction of racial identity through leisure, ludic
activities, playfulness, parties and celebrations.
In that very first moment people used to cry a lot. Those moments propitiated people to
bring out all that racial humiliation that was there stuck in their throat. They said: “When I
said I was being discriminated, a white person often said: „No, you‟re exaggerating. Come
on, there is no racism in Brazil‟”. Those were real groups therapies that happened on the
study days.

The modest utopia of full-time school

Always I like to give the example of Rosa Parkes, United States, who was forced to seat at
the back of a bus but she didn‟t want to. The bus ended up at the police station. And she
was alive. If Rosa Parkes could see so many changes in The United States all along her
life, for sure we will also have them. My greatest dream, a modest utopia I have is to see
our children in full-time schools. In Brazil that would already be a revolution if our children
were in a full-time school, well received, loved in beautiful and flourished places. Also I
would like to see our slum dwellers population with their basic civil rights assured, with no
violence, no repression, no racism, living as citizens, under equality and equal rights. No
discrimination among blacks and whites. No discrimination against the elderly, against
natives or homosexuals. A world of fraternity, equality and justice.

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