“Humanity” by Afro-Brazilian Writer & Poet Carolina Maria de Jesus – By Rosaliene Bacchus

Three Worlds One Vision

Carolina Maria de Jesus - Favela of Caninde - Sao Paulo - Before publication of first book

Carolina Maria de Jesus with cart – Favela of Canindé – São Paulo (circa 1958)
Photo Credit: Jornal Estado de Minas (Collection Audálio Dantas)

My Poetry Corner November 2018 features the poem “Humanity” (Humanidade) by Afro-Brazilian writer and poet, Carolina Maria de Jesus (1914-1977), born in a rural community in Minas Gerais, Southeast Brazil.

An illegitimate child of a sharecropping family, Carolina was treated as an outcast. After just two years in primary school, when she learned to read and write, she developed a love for reading. She dreamed of becoming a writer.

“The book…fascinates me,” de Jesus writes in My Strange Diary (Meu Estranho Diário). “I was raised in the world. Without maternal guidance. But books guided my thinking. Avoiding the abysses that we encounter in life. Blessed the time I spent reading. I came to the conclusion that it’s the poor who must read. Because…

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