Doctor Juliano Moreira is an excellent and good person; and he is not afraid of men like me, for he has studied them and is able to guess their pain.
– Lima Barreto (1998)
Juliano Moreira was born into a family of enslaved people in 1871 and was a poor boy in Salvador until he became one of the youngest doctors at the Bahia Medical School. He worked from 1903 until 1930 as director of the Hospício Nacional de Alienados, where he also lived. A man of great delicacy, he was an affection therapist, adored by his patients. He introduced occupational workshops and removed patients’ straight jackets.
Throughout his life he faced the deviations of evolutionary ideas that were boiling at the time, preaching the superiority of races and social hygiene. He fought the consensus that the degeneration of the Brazilian was attributed to the miscegenation of its people, affirming that it was necessary to set aside prejudices of colors and castes and to identify the true villains and causes of diseases: social and sanitary conditions, violence, hunger and malnutrition.
Most of the mentally ill are out of hospitals and mental institutions, they are out there.
– Juliano Moreira
Today, the legacies of slavery still reveal themselves in contemporary psychological problems: issues of authority, oppressive or authoritarian sexual and social practices, and issues of dependency. The unequal distribution of resources in the postcolonial era fueled growing social and economic inequality and deprivation of rights, giving rise to a society in which the culture of violence has become the norm.
– Frederick Hickling
When I was 5, I remember very well, my mother slept with a white man. It is a very important fact. Unfortunately, after three days, the man disappeared, taking my mother’s watch, and never came back. A white child was born. This is of great value. Having a white brother makes us proud. The other kids on the street don’t humiliate us anymore. This gives us more freedom in the studies. This boy was a gem.
– Fernando Diniz (Em busca do espaço cotidiano, 1983–1987)