For some, being born in the countryside in the 1940s was a misfortune, even more so if one combines the condition of being a woman and being black. It wasn’t easy, but these vicissitudes were for me a spur to strength. That’s how I learned from the maxims of my mother who, among other things, said with strength: “blacks don’t have nerves, that disease belongs to the rich and white, blacks fight, blacks grow”. I affirm that this way of seeing has given me strength to face the effects of the pandemic and the isolation, as the maximum protection.
I remembered my childhood, there in my country house, with few neighbors, quite distant, of course, all white, where loneliness was accompanied by rereading, because the few books had been read again and again; with needle and thread, because one had to learn to sew and mend; with drawings made with bits of coal on cartridge paper. I took up this teaching again and the isolation was more bearable.
The reflection accompanied me, I reviewed my life, I meditated on my mistakes and successes, I took up again ideas and projects that had been stopped. In this way I believe that I have grown as a human and social being.
I learned that all human beings are brothers and sisters when faced with phenomena of this kind. I discovered people with different ways of manifesting themselves, supportive or selfish, and I appreciated that people cannot be judged by a simple fact or attitude. I was almost alone physically, but accompanied by the love of all: black and white.
I remembered that as a poor man and a peasant, my mother taught us that we had to be like the bibijaguas, save and save for later, and so I set rules for saving. I was not afraid of loneliness, I took advantage of it to fulfill goals, to reflect, to think what I could do to contribute to the development of the country, to overcome the confrontations presented to get ahead in my projects, counting on the support of everyone; alone, impossible.
I confirmed that all of us, without taking into account the color of our skin, economic position, religious affiliation, or social origin, make paths as we walk, leaving footprints where the men and women of tomorrow can happily pass by.