The 112th birthday of Brazilian psychoanalyst Virgnia Leone Bicudo is celebrated in today’s Google Doodle. She ensured that Black perspectives were heard in academia in her capacity as a psychoanalyst who established race studies in Brazil.
On this day in 1910, Bicudo was born in So Paulo. Her father, a Black guy, had aspirations of becoming a doctor, while her mother was an Italian immigrant and housekeeper. Her father made the decision to contribute to his children’s education after medical schools denied his application due to the hue of his skin.
Bicudo prioritised studying from a young age and carried on her parent’s objectives. She earned her diploma from Escola Caetano de Campos in 1930. Before accepting a position as a psychiatric attendant, she successfully finished a course in public health education. The Infant Oriented Clinic in So Paulo hired Bicudo as a supervisor after he quickly rose through the ranks.
Bicudo enrolled in the Free School of Sociology and Politics in 1936, which was Brazil’s first university to provide social science classes. Only she participated in the programme. She discovered Sigmund Freud while she was a student at this institution.
Two years later, she received her bachelor’s degree. Bicudo was convinced that psychoanalysis would help her understand the racial tensions in Brazil, which had had a significant impact on both her and her father’s lives.
At the same university, Bicudo pursued graduate studies as well. Her dissertation was the country’s first postgraduate study with a race relations theme. She received an invitation from UNESCO to take part in a study that examines race in various nations as a result of this. Her research revealed that Brazil was not a multiracial democracy, which went against the opinions of her advisor and prevented her work from being published.
Bicudo was considered as an imposter in academic circles after returning to Brazil since she lacked a medical degree. She relocated to London in 1959 and pursued her studies there under some of the leading psychoanalysts of the day. She used the BBC to broadcast lectures to Brazil in order to promote her work.
Bicudo established the Institute of Psychoanalysis of the Brasilia Society of Psychoanalysis in 1959 after moving back to his own country. She also wrote a column for the newspaper with the same name while hosting “Our Mental World,” one of Brazil’s most well-known radio shows. Bicudo’s perseverance and perseverance created the foundation for future generations of female psychoanalysts. If you’re interested in learning more, you may find her thesis online!
Happy birthday, Virgínia Leone Bicudo!