Papo Preto #115: Musical project rescues history of black icons – 03/04/2023

Singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Wanderson Lemos sought out a restlessness he had as a teenager to create the audiovisual project ‘América Negra’, which tells the story of several black icons through music, clips and short films. “I think about this work since I was in high school, because of the lack of references I had in school”.

In this episode of Papo Preto he talks about the creation process of this project that rescues the history and memory of figures such as Carolina Maria de Jesus, Luiz Gama and Conceição Evaristo.

“I kept thinking that the day I’m able to do a work in honor of black icons, I’m going to do it so that other generations don’t go through what I’ve been going through. Looking at history and only seeing white men, white women, watching television and seeing only white people acting… I dreamed of doing that” (from 03:25 of the file above).

He says he intends to leave as a legacy for future generations material that exalts the importance that so many blacks had and still have for Brazil and South America. “Art has had this power to create this instinctive adoration in human beings for centuries. If we look at the Greeks, they represented human beauty through statues and literature for years. We didn’t do that as black people in South America” (from 11:14 of the file above).

One of the characters in the project is the linguist and writer Conceição Evaristo. He says he has seen cases of people who didn’t know her and came to know her because of the music. “We have to try to use contemporary tools to talk about these people, to talk about our importance and go further” (from 12:46 of the file above).

Papo Preto is a podcast produced by Alma Preta, a journalism agency with social themes, in partnership with the UOL Plurala collaborative project between the UOL, collective and independent vehicles. New episodes air every Wednesday.

Podcasts are audio programs that can be listened to anytime and anywhere — on your computer, smartphone or other device with an internet connection. You can listen to Papo Preto on the UOL YouTube channel and on the podcast platforms Spotify, Google Podcast, Deezer, Apple Podcast and CastBox.

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