Arthur Ramos and the study of the black

The Arthur Ramos collection is composed of approximately five thousand documents and has been under the care of the National Library’s Manuscripts Division since 1956, when it was purchased from the doctor’s widow, Luiza Ramos. In the introduction to the inventory published by the National Library, Prof. Luitgarde Oliveira Cavalcante Barros (UERJ) – a believer in the importance of avoiding partitioning the studies of men and society – talks about Arthur Ramos’ understanding of the Social Sciences. The letters are also worthy of note, and they hint to the position Arthur Ramos had in the dynamics of the Social Sciences – he was the head of this discipline at the then recently created University of Brazil and at UNESCO.
Based on the selection made by Prof. Barros, we bring some images that exemplify Arthur Ramos’ concerns with the racial issue in Brazil. Going against the tide, he struggled to break theories that branded black men with an atavistic inclination towards stigmatizing behaviors. This exhibition aims to foster new views on the contribution of this author to the study of racial issues in Brazil.
The documents are currently being converted into digital format by the National Library Foundation.