For the love of black women and black people- The Story of Lino Guedes

Lino Guedes Pinto was an afro-brazilian poet and journalist born in 1897 in Sao Paulo who wrote articles, stories and poetry about racism in Brazil, his love of black women and the uplifting of the black community.

Son of former slaves he was part of a generation that felt strongly about the barriers that society imposed on black citizens after slavery which affected black people, especially in the labor market where newly arrived Europeans were picked before Black Brazilians for jobs.

As a young man he started his journalism career in the People’s Daily and People’s Mail and continued to work at numerous black newspapers which was an important mechanism, to give black people a voice mobilizing them against the discrimination they faced on a day to day basis.

This subject, as well as love is a subject heavily drawn on in his poems especially in a collection of poems from 1926, that were not published in book that came out after his death. In one of his poems called Ditinha he expresses his love for the black woman which was a theme in many of his poems, like his hero Luis Gama.

Lino Guedes hero Luis Gama

Lino Guedes also was engaged in the elevation of African culture, women and religion and greatly encouraged literacy for black people offering them reading material. He had a strong belief in journalism, literary and education as a means of overcoming adversity, he also championed black people to work and get married and felt through this black people could become good citizens.

His poems heavily used stanzas of six lines. This approach was said to make it more easily understandable for his audience that was largely illiterate and also to keep alive the link with their ancestry focused on orality.

Black people were the main focus in his verses and he didn’t deny the atrocities of slavery and racism, using his poetry and writings to uplift the black race.

Lino Guedes died on March 4, 1951, and three years later a complete edition of his works was published, comprising various literary genres: poetry, short story, novel, essay, biography, and others.

His literary production consists of the following works: Luiz Gama and his literary individuality (1924), Black (1926), The Song of the Black Swan (1927); black Resurrection (1928); Urucungo (1936), The Little Bandeirante, Master Domingos (1937), Black Night Black Colour (1938); Smiles Captivity (1938); Father John Vigil, Ditinha (1938); New Tenant of Heaven, Suncristo (1951).

by Toyin Ashiru

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