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From the first auction to Lei Áurea

Brazilian writer Laurentino Gomes’ Slavery trilogy describes the cruelest side of Brazilian history. With the help of the author’s sophisticated text, readers get the opportunity to get to know in depth the entire development of slavery in the green and yellow land.

Laurentino Gomes is a name that has been gaining a lot of fame for quite some time now. Since the bestseller 1808, about the arrival of the Portuguese court in Brazil, appeared in 2008, the author has enjoyed great publishing success.

Laurentino Gomes graduated in journalism from the Federal University of Paraná and completed a postgraduate course in business administration at the University of São Paulo. In addition, he completed courses at Cambridge University in England and Vanderbilt University.

“Escravidão” is the author’s latest work, the first volume of which was published in 2019. Two more books were published in 2021 and 2022. The work has taken a large part and the demand for copies is growing all the time. Not such a surprising result if you consider that the theme arouses a lot of interest among Brazilians and that the author has already proven the quality of his stories.

The three books, which are relatively large – about 500-600 pages each – provide a complete and in-depth picture of the different stages of the Brazilian slave system, and in them we look at important historical events and famous names from different perspectives.

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The Slavery Trilogy by Laurentino Gomes

Part I – From the First Auction of Prisoners in Portugal to the Death of Zumbi Dos Palmares

This is the first part of the Orjuus trilogy by Laurentino Gomes in the order of the books. During the slave raids, Brazil was the country of the United States that took the most African prisoners, about 5 million, accounting for 40 percent of the 12.5 million sent.

Therefore, no other theme is as pervasive in our social identity as slavery, essential to understanding our past, present, and future.

This is the first book in a trilogy created from 6 years of research that began with the first slave auction in Portugal in 1444. The author takes readers on a journey that crosses three continents: Africa, Brazil and Europe.

In a piece clearly influenced by his journalistic training, the author presents a story marked by the perspective of historiographic scrutiny, which seeks to re-read and even reject some concepts that the author considers to be somewhat flawed.

At the very beginning, Laurentino Gomes introduces the concept of slavery in human history and how it was different for Africans, although different peoples in different parts of the world have experienced this perversion.

In different places, in different ethnic groups and in different times, many people were captives, such as the blue-eyed Slavs, who gave rise to the word “slave”. However, nothing compares to the atrocities committed against the peoples of Africa for about 350 years. Thus, for the first time, “slavery” became synonymous with black skin color. And even today we live with various historical legacies such as racial prejudice.

Laurentino Gomes made this part of our history a bit more interesting to read with detailed and very well written books. We can mention the curiosity discussed in the book: the conditions on the voyages of the slave ships were so miserable that the mortality rate was very high and therefore even the sharks changed their migration routes.

Part II – From the Gold Rush in Minas Gerais to the Arrival of Dom João’s Court in Brazil

slavery book 2 Laurentino Gomes

This is the second book of the Escravidão trilogy, published in 2021. Laurentino Gomes maintains the structural characteristic seen in his other books, that is, presents a narrative organized into independent chapters and does not necessarily follow temporal linearity.

“Whenever possible, I avoid the temptation of a linear and chronological narrative, which would perhaps make the work monotonous and predictable. Instead, I prefer to build my text in the form of a panel or mosaic, illuminating different aspects of the theme in a way that surprises the readers through the pages of the book”, in own words🇧🇷

One of the main points the author makes in this book is to “fight” against what he himself calls an outdated view of the behavior of slaves in the slave system – passive and apathetic, as described by Gilberto Freyre or the slave in a permanent state. rebellion, an idea widely preached among Marxist currents in the 20th century.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, millions of people were brutally torn from their African lands, forcibly thrown onto the precarious bottom of slave ships and brought to American lands.

Many would become auction goods before being taken to their owners’ farms, where they would work for the rest of their lives under the threat of fury. The Portuguese American colony had the largest concentration of African slaves on the planet.

In this part of Escravidão, Laurentino Gomes focuses on the events of the 18th century. History records this as a period when there was a peak in the movement of black people across the Atlantic Ocean, which was accelerated by, among other things, gold and diamond mines and the growth in the production of various agricultural products. , taking into account other regions of America as well.

Part III: From Brazilian Independence to the Golden Rule

slavery trilogy book 3

This is the third and final book in the slavery trilogy. The book was published very recently, still in 2022, and it has already achieved great sales figures, and it is again one of the best sellers on Amazon by Laurentino Gomes.

On the historic afternoon of September 7, 1822, when Dom Pedro arrived on the shores of Ipiranga, Brazil was up to its neck in so much slavery. The slave trade was the most common business in the now independent country.

During this period, the prison population accounted for more than a third of the total population. The other third consisted of blacks with letters of manumission, mestizos of African descent, and a white minority that dominated all others. The indigenous peoples destroyed by wars, diseases and massacres no longer even appear in the statistics.

This book is dedicated to the 19th century. A century of significant moments and events in history, such as independence, the first and second reigns, the abolitionist movement that caused great pressure until the Lei Áurea was signed on May 13, 1888. But it also tells the legacy of many years of slavery and shows how this recent past still weighs strongly for our nation’s progress towards the future.

This book has the most pages among the three. There are almost 600 pages of content, with subtitles in the same way as in other parts.

This work even goes beyond the subject of slavery and goes very deeply through the second reign, the fall of the monarchy and the establishment of a republic (not a republic at all).

Conclusion

Orjuus series by Laurentino Gomes is definitely a work worth reading. It is one of the most accessible materials, rich in substance, detail and the unique way the author organizes the story.

Brazil is one of the most culturally diverse countries on the planet, and it is clear that much of our present has been shaped by the influence of African nations. Therefore, such works are a great contribution to the population’s awareness of our own history. Especially since a lot of people seem to want to forget about it.

In 2022, our beloved and long-suffering country celebrated 200 years of independence. Something that further strengthens our reading recommendations for you.

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