Brazil / 1960
Solano Trindade was born in Recife, Brazil in 1908. He is considered one of the key literary figures that first wrote about Blackness and Black Pride in Brazil. He was devoted to cultivating a concrete Afro-Brazilian identity and literary movement. Like “Conversa,” many of his poems denounced racism. Trindade’s work was especially important, considering slavery in Brazil only ended in 1886. Trindade felt it imperative to correct and redefine what it meant to be Black in a post-slavery Brazil. Trindade died in Rio de Janeiro in 1974. Trindade’s then-revolutionary ideas about Black pride and societal racism broke the ground for modern-day BlacK-Brazilian pride and cultural groups like Olodum and Ile Aiye to exist today.
In English “Conversa” means “Conversation.” This poem is written in the style of a conversation. In it, an enslaved Black Brazilian man tries to convince his fellow workers that they are people. This dialogue is a microcosm for the kind of call to action and dignity that Trindade himself promoted amongst Black-Brazilians.