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A representação do negro no material didático

 

Mírian Garrido, do Carta Educação 

Livros didáticos, pós-abolição e a validade de pensarmos na educação positiva.

Todo fim de ano destinamos um tempinho para pensar sobre o que aprendemos. Quando mais jovem, esse período coincidia com o fim do ano letivo. Eu chegava da escola com a camiseta assinada pelos amigos e guardava meus livros didáticos. Fazia planos de como, no ano seguinte, eu me dedicaria ainda mais, sem deixar de fazer atividades extracurriculares que eu tanto adorava. Começava o ano e meu pai desembolsava um dinheiro significativo com livros didáticos – sacrifício de um metalúrgico que acreditava na educação como garantia de um futuro melhor –, em um ciclo que perdurou por 12 anos, ou seja, ensino fundamental e médio.

Na época, não me preocupei em avaliar o livro didático em si, se ele foi sido usado com excelência, isto é, utilizado como apoio, criticado pelos professores e complementado por eles. Tampouco refletia sobre o impacto dele sobre mim, se o que eu lia e tentava absorver era capaz de influir na visão que eu tinha de mim mesma, da minha família e da sociedade em que eu vivia. Pensava nas notas “azuis” e nas férias a serem curtidas à exaustão.

A perspectiva muda quando me vejo, já no mestrado, procurando livros didáticos para utilizar como fonte da pesquisai. Percebi o quanto esse objeto tem um papel central no ambiente escolar, ecoa na atenção da mídia, mas é efémero. Ficaria ainda mais surpresa quando aprofundasse na pesquisa, e descobriria, então, que o livro didático – esse que circula de mão em mão entre os jovens brasileiros – possui uma variável enorme de elementos que lhe dão forma.

Foi então que, como pesquisadora na área de História, busquei entender quais eram as representações dos negros em livros didáticos. A empreitada parecia fadada a reforçar a ausência do negro na literatura didática ou, ainda pior, a confirmação de que todos os tipos de estereótipos eram ensinados aos leitores dessas obras. Joel Rufino dos Santos, historiador e intelectual defensor das causas negras, já havia – na década de 1980 – condenado os livros didáticos e convocado professores a se livrarem de tais objetosii.

Mesmo assim, a tentativa tinha legitimidade, afinal o Brasil se tornou o maior comprador de livros didáticos do mundoiii e nós, brasileiros e financiadores dessa política de compras, precisamos conhecer os produtos adquiridos. Devemos conhecer essa mercadoria, não apenas pelo caráter econômico, mas, em última instância, porque serão, também, os instrumentos que ensinarão as crianças e adolescentes “que sociedade é essa”.

Como seria impossível dar conta de “toda a história”, fiz meu primeiro recorte: escolhi estudar como o pós-abolição é apresentado aos leitores dos livros didáticosiv. A justificativa era simples, era sabido que o elemento negro ocupava espaço significativo nos livros enquanto escravizados – numa dolorosa perspectiva de mercadoria que produz outras mercadorias. Mas conhecer a história dos que lutaram por sua sobrevivência, contra o passado de escravização e um Estado que os manteria afastados de direitos, conferia, a meu ver, um sentimento de pertencimento positivo muito maior.

A demanda de uma educação que valorize a cultura e história dos diferentes elementos constituidores da sociedade brasileira emergiu com força nas pautas dos movimentos sociais contemporâneosv. Essa atuação impulsionou a aprovação da Lei 10.639/2003vi, configurando-a em instrumento de valorização da História e da Cultura africana e afro-brasileira. Se a ideia “somos o que recordamos” é verdadeira, como esperar que alunos afrodescendentes queiram sentir-se parte de uma cultura e história dada como inferior? Elemento que teria nascido da escravização, e que teria – quando muito – contribuído apenas com palavras no vocabulário popular e comidas típicas?

Os afro-brasileiros merecem aprender que são originários de um continente cuja riqueza e diversidade construiu Impérios; Nações; Confederações; locais onde a autonomia não foi tomada completamente nem mesmo pacificamente. Devem aprender que descendem de homens e mulheres sequestrados e trazidos para um novo lugar, mas que foram capazes de se articular, criar laços, resistir e negociar, quando possível. Digo sempre: “parem de usar a palavra contribuir, eles não contribuíram, eles formaram o país”, e reforço “todos ganham com esses conteúdos, alunos negros e não-negros aprendem a diversidade que constitui a História”.

Retornando ao percurso da pesquisa, quanto mais eu lia a bibliografia sobre os livros didáticos – amplamente estudados academicamente no Brasil – mais notava que o conteúdo é “a ponta do processo”. Analisar o livro apenas pelo texto, imagem, atividade (dentre tantos outros elementos), era riscar na superfície de um objeto ainda maior.

O programa Nacional do Livro Didático, programa que avalia e compra os livros didáticos que serão distribuídos em todo território nacional. E, ao entrar nessa dimensão, passei a pensar no Edital de Convocação do PNLD como o espaço privilegiado para observar como o Estado é capaz de incitar a renovação de conteúdos didáticos, pois ali se encontram “as regras do jogo”. Qualquer elemento que julgue primordial para avaliação, o Edital precisa deixar claro, caso o contrário pode ser descreditado juridicamente pelas editoras.

E, afinal, quais são as representações dos livros didáticos para o pós-abolição? Os Editais de Convocação do Programa Nacional do Livro Didático auxiliaram na introdução de conteúdos não tradicionais? Os livros didáticos ainda devem ser descartados, como diziam intelectuais da década de 1980? As perguntas são inúmeras, as respostas serão bem abertas, principalmente, porque meu objetivo é propor reflexões e não responde-las com minúcia. Garanto que os livros didáticos mudaram muito depois de iniciadas as avaliações do PNLD, e isso se reflete, em especial, no ensino fundamental por ter sido alvo de maior número de avaliações. Inegavelmente, conteúdos não consagrados na literatura didática,

progressivamente, são incorporados, ainda que com limitações – não nos enganemos, ainda há muito por fazer. Defendo, também, que ele não deve ser descartado, criticado sim, mas compreendido na variedade de forças que lhe dão forma.

Desta forma, percebam o quanto o objeto “livro didático” é complexo, mais ainda, que na educação não existe espaço para amadores. Digo isso porque é crescente um movimento que insiste em criminalizar conteúdos didáticos e práticas docentes, sem se importar em compreender quão complexo é o processo que molda livros didáticos, bem como, a multiplicidade que influi na formação de profissionais da educação – assunto que deixo, inclusive, para especialistas. Movimento que, possivelmente, não é sensível aos conteúdos referentes a cultura e história afro-brasileira, por exemplo, no que tange o ensino das manifestações religiosas, importantíssimas para se compreender as visões de mundo nas diferentes sociedades, mas visto por eles como “doutrinário”.

Chegamos a mais um final de ano, do período letivo e a chegada do 20 de Novembro – Dia da Consciência Negra, também demanda do movimento negro que proponha a reflexão sobre como nossa sociedade lida com as questões raciais –. Momento, portanto, de reflexão sobre nossas ações ao longo do ano, o que aprendemos e o que ensinamos. Espero que nesse esforço se faça presente a preocupação com a importância da educação, alvo dos anseios sociais, mas, também, das políticas públicas, sejam elas as direcionadas aos livros didáticos ou as representações positivas do afro-brasileiro – questões que não estão, nem de longe, desconectadas.

Doutora em História pela Universidade Estadual Paulista, “Júlio de Mesquita Filho”, campus de Assis, a autora do texto tem se dedicado aos temas livros didáticos, políticas afirmativas, movimento negro (Brasil/Estados Unidos), afrodescendentes, biografias e independência de Moçambique. Suas pesquisas usufruíram de apoio financeiro da Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP), incluindo estágio no exterior (University of Pittsburgh) e trabalho de campo (Maputo/Moçambique). Pesquisadora e docente, Mírian Garrido defende uma universidade pública de qualidade e para todos.

Só no Portal Áfricas, “Palavras ganham voz”

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