One of the things that racism does is to dehumanize us.
And how does it dehumanize us? By saying that we do not
have subjective character complexity, with bodies for
~ LÍVIA NATÁLIA IN HER INTERVIEW WITH LUÍS FERNANDO LISBOA,
A TARDE, AUGUST 1, 2018.
What I am is a black woman writing. So, every time I write,
even if I'm not talking directly, frontally, about issues
related to racism, in whatever manner, my text is a text
racially marked by the manner of speech. It is a black
woman speaking, above all. It's a black daughter talking.
It is a black lover speaking. All the time the “black” is
glued to everything I do, to my gesture, to the way I
dress, to the way I think, to the black intellectual being. I
am a teacher, so all my intellectual work also circulates a
lot due to the question of blackness.
~ LÍVIA NATÁLIA IN HER INTERVIEW WITH SciELO ONLINE LIBRARY,
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL, 2017.
TRANSLATIONS PORTUGUESE TO ENGLISH BY ROSALIENE BACCHUS
Lívia Natália de Souza
Para Cuti, Limeira e Guellwaar Adún
Há uma linha invisível,
lusco-fusco furioso dividindo as correntezas.
Algo que distingue meu pretume de sua carne alva
num mapa onde não tenho territórios.
Minha negritude caminha nos sobejos,
nos opacos por onde sua luz não anda,
e a linha se impõe poderosa,
oprimindo minha alma negra,
crespa de dobras.
Há um negridiano meridiando nossas vidas,
ceifando-as no meio incerto,
a linha é invisível mesmo:
mas nas costas ardem,
em trilhos rubros,
a rota-lâmina destas linhas absurdas que desenhas
enquanto eu não as enxergo.
Poem from Correntezas e outros estudos marinhos, poetry
collection by Lívia Natália de Souza, published by Ogum's
Toques Negros, Salvador/Bahia, Brazil, 2015.
SOURCE: LiterAfro: Portal of Afro-Brazilian Literature, Federal
University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, September
by Lívia Natália de Souza
Translation by Rosaliene Bacchus
For Cuti, Limeira and Guellwaar Adún*
There is an invisible line,
raging twilight dividing the current.
Something that distinguishes my blackness from your
on a map where I do not have dominion.
My negritude navigates in the riffraff,
in the shadows where light does not wander,
and the line imposes itself powerful,
oppressing my black soul,
curly with folds.
There is a negridianal meridian in our lives,
destroying them in a treacherous manner,
the line is indeed invisible:
but burns on the backs
in blood-red tracks,
the track-blade of these absurd lines that you draw
while I don’t see them.
*Afro-Brazilian authors born in 1951 and 1971.
LÍVIA NATÁLIA DE SOUZA,
born in 1979 in Salvador,
Bahia, Northeast Brazil, is
a poet and university
graduating in Literature
at the Federal University
of Bahia in 2002, she
went on to earn a
Master's Degree (2005)
and Doctorate (2008)
from the same institution
where she lectures in
Literary Theory. She also
coordinates and teaches
Workshops and works on
projects for children at
Her debut poetry
collection, Água negra
(2011), received the
Capital Bank Culture and
Other poetry collections
by Lívia Natália include:
~ Sobejos do mar (2017);
~ Dia bonito pra chover
(2017) - received the
2017 APCA Award for best
~ Água negra e outras
águas (2016); and
~ Correntezas e outros
estudos marinhos (2015).
SEE POET'S BLOG with
selected poems from her
collection, Água negra
(2011). Last blog entry
September 17, 2013.
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