LAMP Preserves Archive of Afro-Brazilian Activist

Abdias do Nascimento in the title role in the 1953 Brazilian adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's play The Emperor Jones

Saturday, January 12, 2013
Judy Alspach -

In cooperation with the National Library Foundation of Brazil, the Brazilian National Archive, the Instituto de Pesquisas e Estudos Afro-Brasileiros (IPEAFRO), and the Library of Congress Rio de Janeiro office, LAMP has preserved part of the Abdias do Nascimento archive. With funding from LAMP, IPEAFRO cleaned, identified, and indexed the documents in the archive.  The National Archive and IPEAFRO worked together organizing and labeling the collection, and the National Library Foundation microfilmed the documents. The Library of Congress staff in Rio consulted on this project and conveyed the microform copies to CRL.

Nascimento (1914–2011) was an influential Afro-Brazilian artist, activist, scholar, and politician. He founded the Teatro Experimental do Negro (TEN - Black Experimental Theater) in 1944 and played many roles in the theater's productions. A leader in the campaign for Afro-Brazilian rights, Nascimento was forced into exile in 1968. While in exile, he was active in the Pan-African movement and became a visiting professor at several U.S. universities. He returned to Brazil in 1983 and was elected the first Afro-Brazilian Senator in 1994.

LAMP’s archival collection includes significant sections on the Teatro Experimental do Negro, and Museu de Arte Negra, as well as Nascimento’s biography, literary and academic works, and documentation of his political activity.

A guide to the collection is attached to the CRL catalog record.

For more information about another of LAMP’s important 20th-century Brazilian collections, see the article on Nunca Mais.

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