The Cemetery of New Blacks and International Exchange Programs
Brasilian slavery traffic endured for 400 years, being the country with largest number of African descendants outside of Africa. The genocide of thousands of Africans during the slavery traffic is still a debt to be paid, considering that in recent year’s slavery and the murder of lower income black people is still a contemporary problem.
Interest on the topic of The New Blacks has been increasing among researchers and community members on a local and international basis. Thanks for initiatives led by the Institute of the New Blacks, the Research Institute founded, on the slave cemetery, and by members of the local community (such as professors, educators, and tour guides) who develop educational programming on site.
Through his research Júlio found out more about Brasilian African Diaspora. Providing researchers with crucial information about a veiled past that is still there to be investigated into deeper layers.
Júlio César, on his book “A flor da Terra” gives a voice to those who have gone unheard, and he motivates those who alive and seek understanding of the missing aspects of the life and culture of their ancestors. He describes facts and data to shed light on a past that has been neglected over centuries, a past that unveils roots and create connections between the dead and the ones who need to give voice to them. This connection opens up opportunities for reflections, dialogues between people from different geographic areas who seek to understand their cultural background and to reconnect with their African roots.
The Institute of New Blacks has been struggling to survive and maintain its educational programming. IPN has just four full time employees and contributors, such as researchers, who work under temporary contracts and lead the history and cultural programming. Other contributors are volunteers who resonate with the cause and help to keep activities alive. Check #ipnresite campaign.
The Institute promotes pos graduate course programming for scholars and workshops for international exchange students and visitors.
On May 1rst the IPN received many US students from SIT Study Abroad Exchange program to learn about the Cemetery of New Blacks and current issues around it. Professor Bill Calhoun, from Chicago in collaboration with Professor Julio Cesar (UFF) lead a group of young students seeking for understanding and live experiences on different Brasilian issues.
Kelly Tavares, director of Rio Encantos, worked as an interpreter mediating the workshop and presentation. Rio Encantos is a local tour agency focused on creating partnerships to promote educational tours in Rio de Janeiro. The agency promotes cultural heritage tourism promoting the interaction among people and human-built environments as a means to learn about and experience the arts, heritage, reality, and importance of the visited place.