Dance Lest We All Fall Down: Breaking Cycles of Poverty in by Margaret Willson

By Margaret Willson

An unforeseen detour can swap the process our lives endlessly, and, for white American anthropologist Margaret Willson, a stopover in Brazil ended in immersion in a kaleidoscopic global of highway urchins, capoeiristas, drug purchasers, and clever lecturers. She and African Brazilian activist Rita Conceicao joined forces to wreck the cycles of poverty and violence round them by way of pledging neighborhood citizens they'd create a choicest academic application for ladies. From 1991 to the commencement of Bahia Street's first college-bound graduate in 2005, Willson and Conceicao 's event took them to the shantytowns of Brazil's Northeast, high-society London, and concrete Seattle.

In a story brimming with honesty and style, Dance Lest all of us Fall Down unfolds the tale of this awesome alliance, displaying how friendship, whilst mixed with braveness, perception, and fervour, can rework desires of a higher international into reality.

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Additional info for Dance Lest We All Fall Down: Breaking Cycles of Poverty in Brazil and Beyond

Example text

We are poor and dark,” Ana said, adjusting her shorts and middi top. “We dance only with people we know at festas. ” I followed their example, cast my eyes away, and wouldn’t dance with him. But I kept seeing him in the surging crowd. When he smiled at me, I wondered if I could love someone with whom I had not exchanged a single word. I danced lambada with Andrea, close and sexy, giggling, knowing I was showing off, intoxicated by the assurance that this tall man watched me. When I looked around, the crowd had taken him.

I reflected sadly that this relationship of employer-employee would stifle any potential romance, but I had determined before arriving in Salvador that I was not going to get sexually involved while in Brazil, anyway. Fernando accepted my offer with delight. “It’ll help me pay for university,” he said. We wandered Pelourinho, and Fernando began to tell me about it as perceived through his sharp eye and knowledge. He said that at some point, the Portuguese upper classes moved away and the huge houses became tenements, inhabited by the descendants of the very people who had previously been subjected to the whipping posts.

After the roda, our teacher corralled us all to join him and Agnaldo for drinks. “I think Agnaldo makes our teacher happy,” I said to Fernando as we watched them laughing on the rainy street. Fernando nodded. “Yes,” he said. ” At some point soon after I first met him, Agnaldo decided to teach me about his gods. I was not sure why; perhaps because he knew I loved his music so much. He told me that orixás were both saints and gods in his African-Brazilian religion of Candomblé. He taught me their names, male and female, their colors, their different personalities, and the protections they offered.

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