Brazil-Africa: Crossed Histories Programme

© UNESCO

Promoting recognition of the importance of the African-Brazilian history intersection, in order to revamp the relation between different racial groups living in the country. This is the essence of the Brazil-Africa: Crossed Histories Programme, established by UNESCO in Brazil, following the approval of Law 10.639, in 2003, which advocates the teaching of these subjects in the classrooms throughout Brazil.

Since then, the process of implementing the Law on Education of Racial-Ethnic Relations in the Brazilian educational system has been facing challenges, including the need for developing a new school culture and a new pedagogical practice that recognizes the ethnic and racial differences stemmed from the Brazilian society development. In order to contribute to this process, the UNESCO’s Brazil-Africa: Crossed Histories Programme encompasses three strategic, complementary and fundamental hubs:

  1. Monitoring the implementation of the Law
  2. Production and dissemination of information on the history of Africa and of the African-Brazilian people
  3. Advising on public policy development

This action intents to identify critical issues, progress and challenges concerning the implementation of the Law, as well as to cooperate in the development of strategies for carrying out public policies accordingly, besides systematizing, producing and spreading knowledge on the history and culture of Africa and of the African-Brazilian people, by means of supporting the changes proposed by the legislation.

For UNESCO to support the implementation of the Law on Education of Racial-Ethnic Relations is a way to strengthen the African identity, memory and culture in Brazil - the country with the largest population originating from the African diaspora.

Once the role of the African origins in the development of the Brazilian society is known and recognized, and exchanges between both are disseminated, important channels for respecting differences and fighting against various forms of discrimination will open, as well as for rescuing self-esteem and building the identity of the population. Together, these channels will contribute to the development of the country.

Therefore, working with these topics in schools and in school systems proposed by the national legislation ultimately leads students and society to value each person’s right to citizenship.

All this shows a remarkable convergence with the work of UNESCO, which operates throughout the world, stating that learning more about other civilizations and cultures allows understanding segregation and racial conflicts, as well as affirming human rights.

 

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