Excerpt from "The African Contribution to Brazil"

"The African slave was hardworking, thrifty, and provident, qualities which his descendants did not always conserve. He sought to give his offspring a licit occupation and whenever possible he saw to it that his children and grandchildren had mastered a skill. The work of the Negro for centuries sustained the grandeur and prosperity of Brazil. It was the result of his labor that Brazil could afford scientific institutions, literature, art, commerce, industry, and so forth. He thus occupies a position of importance in the development of Brazilian civilization.
Whoever takes a look at the history of this country, will verify the value and contribution of the Negro to the defense of national territory, to agriculture, to mining, to the exploitation of the interior, to the movement for independence, to family life and to the development of the nation through the many and varied tasks he performed. Upon his well muscled back rested the social, cultural, and material development since without the income which he provided and which made everything possible there would have been neither educators nor educated: without that wealth the most brilliant aspirations would have withered; the bravest efforts would have been in vain. With the product of the Negro's labor, the wealthy masters sent their sons to European universities and later to our own universities, from which, well instructed, came our venerable priests, able statesmen, notable scientists, excellent writers, brave military officers, and all the rest who made of first colonial and then independent Brazil a cultured nation, strong among the civilized peoples.
From the conviviality and collaboration of the races in the formation of this country emerged a large mestizo population of all shades and hues, from which have come so many illustrious men of talent who are the true glory of our nation. Without any effort, one can name Francisco Ge Acaiaba de Montezuma, Visconde de Jequitinhona; Caetano Lopes de Moura; Eunapio Deiro; André Rebouças; Antônio Gonçalves Dias; Machado de Assis; João da Cruz e Sousa; José Agostinho; Francisco de Sales Torres Homem; Visconde de Inhomirim; Saldanha Marinho; José Mauricio Nunes Garcia; Tobias Barreto; José Lino Coutinho; Francisco Glicério; Natividade Saldanha; José do Patrocinio; José Theofilo de Jesus; Damião Barbosa; Chagas; João da Veiga Murici; and many others. It can be concluded that Brazil possesses two riches: the fertility of the soil and the talent of the mestizo.
The black is still the principal producer of the nation's wealth, but many are the contributions of that long suffering and persecuted race which has left imperishable proofs of its singular valor. History in all its justice has to respect and praise the valuable services which the black has given to this nation for more than three centuries. In truth, it was the black who developed Brazil."

Manuel Querino, O Colono Preto como Factor da Civilização Brasileira (Salvador: Imprensa Official do Estado, 1918). The essay is reprinted in Querino, A Raça Africana, pp. 123-152, under the title "0 Africano como Colonisador."

Source: Bibliographical Essay: Manuel Querino's Interpretation of the African Contribution to Brazil, E. Bradford Burns. The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 59, No. 1. (Jan., 1974), pp. 78-86.

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