Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Students and faculty commemorate Black History Month with reading of "O Navio Negreiro (The Slave Ship)"

February 13th, 2020

Story by Erika Pettersen, Stone Center graduate student and Publicity Assistant

Students and faculty from Tulane and Xavier universities joined forces on Friday, February 7, 2020 to open Black History Month with a bilingual reading of the Brazilian epic poem “O Navio Negreiro (The Slave Ship)” by Castro Alves. Penned in 1880, this evocative denunciation of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade recalls the tragedies and trauma wrought over the course of three centuries.

Stone Center Ph.D. student Carolina da Timoteo Oliveira prefaced the reading with some historical context, noting that Brazil had the longest-lasting slave economy in the Americas and importing an estimated ten times as many African slaves as the U.S. Following Carolina’s introduction, participants recited lines aloud in Tulane’s Cassatt Courtyard, bearing witness to the painful legacy of slavery in Brazil and throughout the Americas. The event closed with a moment of silent reflection during which each reader held up a sign with statistics about Brazil’s history of slavery.

This event was made possible by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, in collaboration with the Africana Studies Program and Stone Center for Latin American Studies.