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  1. Capoeira and Community in Grupo Besouro

    Marcus, Ari
    May 2018

    Capoeira is seen as a martial art, a dance, a game, and a music. Shaped by slavery and official repression throughout the 19th and early 20th century in Brazil, it is uniquely Brazilian, but at the same time, many capoeiristas acknowledge its afro-centricity. Often called a jogo, or game, two players use kicks, evasive maneuvers, leg sweeps, counterattacks and balances on their hands and head to resist the other’s advances while an instrument ensemble plays capoeira music and sings around them. Through my thesis, I argue that Capoeira Besouro, a capoeira school in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, functions as a For Us, By Us community center that strengthens the surrounding community and creates community leaders. Furthermore, the capoeira school serves as an grassroots alternative educational space that passes on a black-centric narrative, passing on Afro-Brazilian musical, cultural, and artistic traditions. For my Senior Thesis in CSRE, I will be using the framework of Django Paris and H. Samy Alim’s theory of Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies to explore and offer insights into the community practices of Grupo de Capoeira Besouro.

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