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Francisco Guimarães (circa 1875-1947), known as Vagalume [which means firefly in Portuguese], was one of the few black journalists of his time, and one of the few among them to reach prominence, having worked for Rio de Janeiro’s main newspapers. A storyteller of carnival and the streets, he lithely circulated between the rich and the destitute, between Avenida Central, the ultimate symbol of the Europeanized city, and his home in the suburb of Piedade, not far from Vila Quilombo, where the writer Lima Barreto resided. A close friend and partner of the composer Sinhô, whom he idolized, he left behind a single book, Na roda do samba [In the Samba Circle], a precious account of urban samba’s origins and the conflicts between popular composers and the record industry and radio. In reports and articles, he was a fervent defender of the heritage of Afro-Brazilians, whom he referred to as the “race to which I am proud to belong”.