Why is November the month of the Black Consciousness?!

Bust of Zumbi in Brasília. The plaque reads: "Zumbi dos Palmares, the black leader of all races." sourced from the 'Zumbi' wikipedia entry on 22/11/10

November 20 is remembered and celebrated among us as the Day of the Black Consciousness. In fact November is full of important references to the Brazilian Black community and to capoeiras all over the world. This is the reason why this month is also a contemporaneous form of protest among us. A protest because it’s celebrated by the Black community, as well as by other oppressed minorities, over the 13 of May, the day of the Abolition of Slavery in Brazil. November draws its symbolic strength from other important events, all somehow related to Capoeira; at least for those who see it as an art of resistance. The Revolt of the Whip; the death anniversary of Zumbi dos Palmares (20/11/1695) and of Mestre Pastinha (13/11/1981); and the birth anniversary of Mestre Bimba (23/11/1899) all happened in November, making off this month an important opportunity to debate and learn from such protests and historic events.

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Paulo Freire and Capoeira – Video Resources

After I wrote Paulo Freire’s Philosophy of Education and the ‘Politics of Capoeira’ students and friends became more curious to discuss his work. His method has been a frequent topic in classes, trips, and e-mail conversations. Looking for resources in English I found some bits and pieces of interviews, seminars, and websites that might help those still not familiar with his theories and methods while searching for his books. For those who have been looking at issues of hierarchy, ethics, ‘culture shock’, and group/style rivalry, these sources may come in useful. Continue reading

Paulo Freire’s Libertarian Philosophy of Education and the ‘Politics of Capoeira’. 2/2

Politicking is a power and money-driven practice of a few, which causes the withdrawal of many devoted students and young instructors in Capoeira. Conversely, politics can be a way to engage and take action against politicking and other unhealthy practices within the art. A way of re-organising Capoeira towards more noble values and purposes within our communities. Freire’s argument for a libertarian process of education helps demystify the discussion of a ‘neutral’ versus a politicised approach to the art. Continue reading