Who was Antonieta de Barros?

Antonieta de Barros was a teacher, school leader, journalist, writer and politician. An exceptional woman, ahead of her time, who broke many barriers and conquered unusual spaces for women, especially black women.

Through her chronicles, Antonieta de Barros conveyed her ideas related to education issues, political excesses, the female condition and racial prejudice. She also stood out for the courage to express her ideas within a historical context that did not allow women free expression.

Honest, energetic and humane, she was respected and admired for her spirit of justice. She was notable for being the first black state deputy in the country and the first female deputy in the state of Santa Catarina.

Both in life and after his death, in 1952, he received several honors. Currently, it is the name of a commendation, the Medal Antonieta de Barros, addressed to women who provided relevant services in defense of the rights of women from Santa Catarina. It is also the name of the main auditorium of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Santa Catarina and the tunnel that connects the central and southern regions of the island of Santa Catarina, in addition to several streets and schools.


Antonieta de Barros was born on July 11, 1901, in Florianópolis. Daughter of a very poor family, formed by the couple Rodolfo de Barros and Catarina, at a young age she was orphaned by her father, being raised by her mother.

At the age of 17, he joined the Escola Normal Catarinense, completing the course in 1921. In the following year, he founded the private course "Antonieta de Barros", with the aim of combating illiteracy in poor populations, which he directed until his death. She also taught at Colégio Coração de Jesus, Escola Normal Catarinense and Colégio Dias Velho.

From the 1920s, he embarked on literature and journalism, under the pseudonym Maria da Ilha. She created and directed the newspaper "A Semana", also contributed articles to the newspapers "O Estado" and "República". In 1930, she began to direct the biweekly magazine "Vida Ilhoa" and, later, wrote the book "Farrapos de Idéias".

She began her political life in 1931. In 1935, she was elected to the State Constituent Assembly for the Liberal Party of Santa Catarina. At the Congress, she was the rapporteur for the Chapter "Education and Culture" and "Functionalism". She served in the Santa Catarina legislative assembly until 1937, when the Estado Novo dictatorship began.

With the fall of the Estado Novo and the beginning of redemocratization, she was also the first woman to participate in the State Legislature of Santa Catarina, being elected an alternate Social Democratic Party (PSD), definitively assuming the vacancy in 1947.

She died in Florianópolis on March 28, 1952, having been buried in the São Francisco de Assis municipal cemetery, in the Itacorubi.

The Antonieta de Barros Tunnel, which connects the center to the south of the island through the José Mendes neighborhood, was opened on August 24, 2002. There are two parallel, two-way, north-south tunnels, 730 meters long, 10 meters wide and 11 meters high. At the time of the inauguration, Governor Esperidião Amin could not attend the inaugural act because it was an electoral period, having been represented by Engineer Marcos Brusa, secretary of works.