The History of Afro-Brazilian People

IJHLTR Article

By Maria Auxiliadora Schmidt, Federal University of ParanĂ¡, Curitiba, Brazil, published 14th December 2017

A Theme of the Burdening History of Brazil

International Journal of Historical Learning, Teaching and Research [IJHLTR], Volume 15, Number 1 – Autumn/Winter 2017
ISSN: 14472-9474


This work is part of the following research projects: ‘Indians, Quilombolas, and Napalm’ funded by the Ministry of Education (MEC/CAPES-Brazil), and ‘Teaching-learning methodology and evaluation in controversial social issues of humanities and its contribution to social development’ supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology (CNPq-Brazil). The predominance of the ‘victor’s memory’ and the absence of conflicts have been prevalent in the Brazilian historical culture. But the country also possesses a history littered with events that can be considered ‘burdening history’ (von Borries 2016), ‘difficult history’ (Epstein & Peck, 2015). Regarded as one of the major atrocities in the history of Brazil, the slavery of African people is a past which still raises issues that need to be discussed with regard to school culture (Forquin,1993) and historical culture (Rüsen, 2016). Elements of the triangulation methodology (Duffy, 2007 & Martins, 2004) were used based on documentary research, from different research sources, specially the historiographic production about Brazilian history; researches about textbooks and others performed with children and youth who weren’t considered as members from afro-brazilian descendence.The results were analysed regarding the relationship between historical culture and school culture. Partial results have shown that it is necessary to think about those meanings from new points of view of learning concepts ant teaching methodologies.


The predominance of the memory of the winners and the absence of conflicts have been constants in historical Brazilian culture. However, the country also has a history full of events that can be considered as ‘burdening history’. According the German historian von Borries (2016) the term ‘burdening history’ refers to those past experiences involving damage, injuries, guilt/shame, or all together. As an example of this past subjects in Brazil, we can mention the events related to the war against Paraguay, the genocide of indigenous populations, social conflicts, the struggle for land in a country of landowners, the tortures should be within the periods of Brazilian Dictatorships and, especially, the history of the Afro-Brazilian people.

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