In 1984, Bahian-born Luislinda Valois was the first black woman to become a judge in Brazil, just one of many achievements. She earned her law degree at the age of 39 and lived in the city of Curitiba, in the south of Brazil, working as a municipal attorney, deputy chief and chief of the National Department of Roads and Railroads (DNER) for six years . Valois has won numerous awards and honors for her tireless dedication to the defense of black people and the oppressed. In 2009, she released her first book, O Negro no Século XXI (The Black in the 21st Century) detailing the current situation of black people in education, work, social justice, public policy and sports, and in 2010, she won the prestigious Claudia award, which honors women who dream, achieve and transform the lives of Brazilian people, in the category of Public Policy. Today, at 73, she continues to fight so that black women have more of a space in society.
Check out this article on Black Women of Brazil’s website to learn about other Afro-Baianas making a difference in Bahia.