Deolinda Rodrigues Francisco de Almeida (sometimes spelled Rodríguez; pseudonym, Langidila; honorary title, "Mother of the Revolution"; 10 February 1939 – 2 March 1967) was an Angolan nationalist, militant, writer, and translator, who also taught, wrote poetry, and worked as a radio host. Born into a Methodist family, she received a scholarship to study in Brazil, from where she corresponded with Martin Luther King Jr. Fearing extradition, she continued her education in the United States before returning to Angola. Rodríguez was a member of the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and co-founded its women's wing, the Organização da Mulher de Angola (Organization of Angolan Women ; OMA). She was captured, tortured, and executed by a rival nationalist group in 1967. A documentary of her life was released in 2014.
Deolinda Rodríguez de Almeida
|Born||10 February 1939|
|Died||2 March 1967|
|Other names||"Mother of the Revolution"|
|Occupation||Nationalist, militant, writer, teacher|
Early life and educationEdit
Rodríguez de Almeida was born in Catete, Angola, on 10 February 1939. Her Methodist parents were schoolteachers, and she was a middle child, with four other siblings, including a brother, Roberto de Almeida.
She moved to Luanda and lived with her cousin, the poet Agostinho Neto, who went on to become the first president of Angola. Though she was educated in the Methodist Missionary schools and taught writing and translating while a young girl, by the late 1950s, she had begun to question the paternal attitude of both the government and the church.
In 1956, Rodríguez joined the MPLA as a translator. While a sociology student on scholarship at Methodist University of São Paulo in 1959, she exchanged correspondence with Martin Luther King Jr. Fearing she would be extradited from Brazil because of the Portuguese Imperial relationship between its colonies and her support of the growing Angolan Independence movement, Rodríguez de Almeida moved to the United States the following year and studied at Drew University. Because she wanted to be an active participant in Angola's independence, Rodríguez returned to Angola without finishing her studies.
In February 1961, she was recruited to participate in the MPLA attack on "Fortalesa", later gaining the honorary title of "Mother of the Revolution". Rodríguez traveled to Guinea-Bissau and Congo Kinshasa, where she co-founded the Organização da Mulher de Angola (Organization of Angolan Women; OMA), the women's division of the MPLA. She received guerrilla training in Kabinda, and joined the Esquadrão Kamy. She returned to Angola in 1962. As a revolutionary movement leader and activist, she campaigned for human rights in Angola, and was associated with the Corpo Voluntário Angolano de Assistência aos Refugiados (CVAAR). In 1963, the government expelled the MPLA leadership, forcing them to flee to Brazzaville. Her writings from the time show an increasing move towards Marxism–Leninism and a painful awareness that her womanhood made her invisible even though she was part of the leadership. She expressed her frustration at the discrimination she faced for her lack of domesticity, saying that she was treated as if being single was "shameful or of the devil".
Death and legacyEdit
Rodríguez de Almeida and four other OMA members (Engracia dos Santos, Irene Cohen, Lucrecia Paim, and Teresa Afonso) were captured by the União dos Povos de Angola (UPA) guerrilla group (later, National Liberation Front of Angola) on 2 March 1967. They were tortured and dismembered alive. Taken to the FNLA camp, Kinkuzu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rodríguez was executed in prison.
Posthumously, her diary was published in 2003 under the title Diário de um exilio sem regresso and her letters and correspondence were published in 2004 as Cartas de Langidila e outros documentos. In 2010, a documentary of her life was begun. Filmed in Angola, Brazil and Mozambique, the film interviews associates and incorporates text from Rodrígues's diaries. It took four years for the documentary to reach completion. Langidila—diário de um exílio sem regresso (Langidila—Diary of an exile without return) was released in 2014 and gives the story of the independence of Angola from the perspective of Rodríguez and her companions. In 2011, Marcia Hinds Gleckler, who had served in the Methodist Missionary Movement in the 1950s, wrote an on-line memoir and book entitled Dear Deolinda of their time together, her recollections and reflections of the era.
- Rodríguez, Deolinda (2003). de Almeida, Roberto (ed.). Diário de um exilio sem regresso (in Portuguese) (1a ed.). Luanda, Angola: Editorial Nzila. ISBN 978-972-8-82314-6.
- Rodríguez, Deolinda (2004). de Almeida, Roberto (ed.). Cartas de Langidila e outros documentos (in Portuguese and Kimbundu) (1a ed.). Luanda, Angola: Editorial Nzila. ISBN 978-972-8-82378-8.
- S., Gill, M. (2005). Immortal heroes of the world (1st ed.). New Delhi: Sarup & Sons. pp. 173–174. ISBN 9788176255905. OCLC 297506163.
- Stead, Rorison & Scafidi 2013, p. 22.
- Paredes 2010, p. 15.
- Paredes, Margarida (26 March 2019). "Rodrigues, Deolinda". Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780190277734.013.485. ISBN 978-0-19-027773-4. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
- Faustino, Oswaldo (25 June 2014). "A história da militante angolana Deolinda Rodrigues" (in Portuguese). Raça Brasil. Archived from the original on 29 August 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
- Paredes 2010, p. 20.
- "21 July 1959 To Deolinda Rodrigues Montgomery, Ala". Stanford University. Archived from the original on 17 November 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
- King, Carson & Holloran 2005, p. 250.
- "Deolinda Rodrigues" (in Portuguese). Luanda, Angola: Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola. Archived from the original on 23 March 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
- Kukkuk 2005, p. 140.
- Tripp 2015, p. 119.
- Paredes 2010, p. 23.
- Paredes 2010, p. 21.
- Paredes 2010, p. 22.
- Sellström 1999, p. 416.
- Moorman 2008, p. 198.
- "Cartas de Langidila e outros documentos". Archived from the original on 2016-03-06. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- Azulay, Magdala (31 August 2015). "Diário de exílio de Deolinda Rodrigues disponível em DVD" (in Portuguese). Luanda Sul, Angola: Semanário Economico. Archived from the original on 5 February 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
- Gleckler, Marcia (2011). "Dear Deolinda". Baltimore, Maryland: Dear Deolinda. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
- King, Martin Luther Jr.; Carson, Clayborne; Holloran, Peter (2005). The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr: Threshold of a new decade, January 1959 – December 1960. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-24239-5.
- Kukkuk, Leon (30 May 2005). Letters to Gabriella. FLF Press. ISBN 978-1-891855-67-2.
- Moorman, Marissa J. (2008). Intonations: A Social History of Music and Nation in Luanda, Angola, from 1945 to Recent Times. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press. ISBN 978-0-8214-4304-0.
- Paredes, Margarida (2010). "Deolinda Rodrigues, da Família Metodista à Família MPLA, o Papel da Cultura na Política". Cadernos de Estudos Africanos (in Portuguese). Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal: Centro de Estudos Internacionais (20). doi:10.4000/cea.135. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
- Sellström, Tor (1999). Sweden and National Liberation in Southern Africa: vol. 1 : Formation of a popular opinion (1950–1970). Nordic Africa Institute. ISBN 978-91-7106-430-1.
- Stead, Mike; Rorison, Sean; Scafidi, Oscar (2013). Angola. Bradt Travel Guides. ISBN 978-1-84162-443-3.
- Tripp, Aili Mari (20 October 2015). Women and Power in Post-Conflict Africa. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-11557-6.
- Alfieri, N. (2021). "Deolinda Rodrigues: between historical and biographical writing. Reception of an Angolan fighter and intellectual". Abriu: Estudos De Textualidade Do Brasil, Galicia E Portugal, (10), 39–57. https://doi.org/10.1344./abriu2021.10.2