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On Black Awareness Day Péricles turns a poem by Carlos de Assumpção into music
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'I look in the mirror/And I don't see myself/It's not me/Who's there'. These are the first verses of the poem “Eclipse”, by Carlos de Assumpção, which Péricles transformed into music made especially for November 20th, Black Consciousness Day.

Compared by critics and scholars to great names in poetry, such as Castro Alves and Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Carlos de Assumpção is an icon of cultural representation and the fight of the black Brazilian population against racism and all its forms of prejudice and oppression.

Considered one of the pioneers of Afro-Brazilian literature, the poet, one of the last living links between slavery and the present day, grew up listening to stories from the time of slavery told by his grandfather, beneficiary of the free womb law. His work transcends time and space and exposes in verse and prose the harsh reality of black people in the country. Even with the greatness of his work, Carlos is considered the 'invisible poet', since his work is not known and recognized as it should be.


Péricles and Carlos de Assumpção (Photo: Eduardo Galeno)

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“The story of an extraordinary man like Carlos de Assumpção was meant to be known by all of us Brazilians. It was to be taught in schools, as is done with other equally important authors in the history of our country. I hope that through this tribute, his poems will echo throughout the four corners of Brazil and people will discover this jewel, this rarity called Carlos de Assumpção. It was exciting to have the opportunity to set one of his poems to music,” says Péricles.

The poet, elementary school teacher, lawyer and honorary doctor from UFRJ, was born in 1927 in the municipality of Tietê (SP) and has lived since 1969 in Franca, also in the interior of São Paulo.

At the beginning of November Péricles traveled to Franca to meet him in person. The poet received him at the Casa de Cultura de Franca and the chat between them turned into a Mini Doc with very rich and exciting content. The song, Lyric Video and Mini Doc will be available on all streaming platforms and YouTube from November 18th (Friday).


Carlos Assumpção – the invisible poet

Carlos Assumpção was born in 1927 in Tietê (SP) and settled in Franca, adopting the city as a point of resistance and production for his vast literary work. Understanding the power of words, the poet is an icon in the work of black resistance in Brazil. He is the grandson of Cirilo Carroceiro, who was no longer enslaved by the Free Womb Law (1871). The grandfather, illiterate, was the one who told testimonial stories about slavery, the marks of that period and served as a counterpoint to the boy who read a different story in textbooks. Carlos Assumpção's father was also illiterate, but he was skilled in spoken words. His mother was literate, loved poetry and worked as a cook and also washed clothes outside.

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His education was built on pillars to understand the world around him and what family members and so many other black people suffered in the past and still experience today. In adulthood, he managed to graduate in Law and Literature and even worked as a teacher for children while studying the so-called Normal course. Critics, scholars and other poets equate Carlos Assumpção with names like Castro Alves, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, João Cabral de Melo Neto and Ferreira Gular. The poet is already part of the history of literature and a protagonist in the current construction of poetry in the 21st century.


Even with the greatness of his work, Carlos is considered an “invisible poet”, since his work is not known as it should be. At 95 years old, he uses digital media to help spread his words and poetry. With his WhatsApp number, he sends his poems to his contact list and fills the day with a true, committed and authorial message from someone who knows how to act in favor of resistance for life.


Despite being a dean of Afro-Brazilian literature, Carlos de Assumpção debuted in individual publication only in 1982, at the age of 55, with the book “Protest”.

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In the following decades, he released four more volumes of poems (“Quilombo”, 2000; “Tambores da Noite”, 2009; “Protesto e Outro Poemas”, 2015; “Poemas Es Escolhados”, 2017).


The work “Não Pararei de Gritar” brings together his complete poetry: the five books plus another nine unpublished poems, written between 2018 and 2019.

Featured Photo: Péricles Photo: Eduardo Galeno


On Black Awareness Day Péricles turns a poem by Carlos de Assumpção into music

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On Black Awareness Day Péricles turns a poem by Carlos de Assumpção into music


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