Manuel Querino (1851-1923): An Afro-Brazilian Pioneer in the Age of Scientific Racism

Who was Manuel Raymundo Querino? The (incomplete) answer is a Black man from Santo Amaro, Brazil, who was orphaned by a cholera epidemic, apprenticed as a painter and decorator, and went on to become a teacher of geometric design, labour leader, militant journalist, abolitionist, republican, politician and civil servant. He then turned to studies of Bahian folklore, cuisine, artists and art history and ethnography and became a Black vindicationist, defending the positive role of Africans and their descendants in the construction of Brazilian society. Bringing together essays by E. Bradford Burns, Jorge Calmon, Eliane Nunes, Christianne Vasconcellos, Jeferson Bacelar, Carlos Dória and Sabrina Gledhill, this book addresses and seeks to do justice to various aspects of Querino’s work and pioneering spirit as the first historian of Bahian art and scholar of Bahian cuisine and the first Afro-Brazilian to confront scientific racism with scholarly works of his own. Published in English and Portuguese, it is part of a long campaign to honour the memory of this “illustrious unknown” who used pen and ink to combat the prejudices of his time.