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João da Cruz e Sousa was a symbolist poet from Santa Catarina, Brazil. A son of freed slaves, he was one of the great Afro-Brazilian writers. He published his first poem in 1877. He was one of the pioneers of Symbolism in Brazil.Son of manumitted slaves, since he was a child, he received the custody and a good education from his ex-lord Marshal Guilherme Xavier de Sousa, whose family name he adopted. Cruz e Souza learned French, Greek and Latin, besides have been disciple of the German Fritz Müller, whom he learned Math and Science. In 1881, he directed the journal Tribuna Popular, whereupon he fought the slavery and the racial prejudice. In 1883, he was refused as Laguna promoter for being black. In 1885, he published his first book, Tropos e Fantasias with Virgilio Varzea. Five years later he went to Rio de Janeiro, where he worked as an archivist at Estrada de Ferro Central do Brasil, also helping with the journal Folha Popular. In February 1893 he publishes Missal and in August, Broquéis, initiating Symbolism in Brazil, which extends itself until 1922. In November of the same year, Cruz e Souza married Gavita Gonçalves, whom he had four kids, all dead prematurely due to tuberculosis, leading him to madness. He died on March 19, 1898 at the miner city of Antonio Carlos, in a village named Estação do Sitio, to where he was transported carrily, overcome by tuberculosis. He had his body transported to Rio de Janeiro in a wage destined for horse transports. Upon arrival, he w..
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