ON STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT BUFFALO
DOCTOR HONORIS CAUSA
ON STATE UNIVERSITY RIO DE JANEIRO
FOUNDER OF THE BLACK EXPERIMENTAL THEATER
RIO DE JANEIRO
FOUNDER OF THE BLACK ARTS MUSEUM RIO DE JANEIRO
PLAYWRIGHT - ARTIST - POET - WRITER - DEFENDER OF CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS OF AFRO-BRAZILIANS
SENADOR DA REPUBLICA (1991-99)
ABDIAS DO NASCIMENTO – The Brazilian National Treasure celebrates 90 years of a remarkable life and a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. I was thrilled that I managed to be there for one of the many celebrations at his opening on 09-06-04 at the Solar Grandjean de Montigny PUC-RIO. The exhibition was part of VII Congresso da Brasa (Brazilian Studies Association).
I spent two days with them including seminars with friends giving speeches about the life of Abdias do Nascimento. Elisa Larkin Nascimento – his wife and author of many books about the Afro-Brazilians – gave a talk on the Sunday morning and in the afternoon friends and luminaries from America and Brazil gave speeches on Abdias' life and his work for human rights.
Abdias was sitting next to his son Osiris. Elisa was part of the panellist as was Mae Beata de Iemanja. (The following week I went to the Afro-Brazilian religion House of Candomble of the Priestess Mae Beata de Iemanja in the suburb of Rio de Janeiro. And I did go on Central Station – Central do Brasil – twice but nobody noticed me. I am saying this because the Brazilians that I know do not go near Central Station, because they usually get killed!).
I was hugely influenced by Abdias do Nascimento. I do believe in the cause he had fought for all his life, for human rights and the Afro-Brazilians. So, unconditionally, Abdias do Nascimento is my Brazilian hero!