Not as equal as advertised.
July 6, 2014 6:50 AM   Subscribe

Black Women of Brazil
From the ‘mammy’ to the Carnaval ‘mulata’, black women’s representation on Brazil’s airwaves remains very limited.
Although Brazil is a multi ethnic society some have remarked on the whiteness of the teams’ coaching staffs and fans in the stands of the 12 Brazilian stadiums.
Earlier in May there had been a particularily Brazilian protest of “somos todos macacos
Brazil has a long history of constructing discourses of national unity, while simultaneously pushing their black and indigenous populations to the margins.
posted by adamvasco (4 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
A good find! Thanks for posting.

I poked around and read this article, thought it was pretty good: "Neymar's blond ambition and the question of racism, identity and marketability of black public figures" (lots of comments to the piece as well).
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:32 AM on July 6, 2014

Racial identity in Brazil is fascinating and (from the outside) often confusing. These links will be fun to dive into.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:52 AM on July 6, 2014

Thank you for this. A Brazilian saying quoted in the second link that blew my mind: “White women for marriage, mulata woman [sic] for fornication and black women for work.”

I realized that whenever I see light-skinned black women ("mulatas") in media representations in Brazil, they are always mostly naked, in a Carnaval-type setting. These women are always presented as entertainers, existing solely for the viewer's enjoyment. And the relentlessness of this image has such a pervasive, pernicious effect; after seeing these kinds of portrayals over and over all of one's life, as I have, this image becomes so entrenched. Can one even conceive of women of color as scientists or doctors? And, are they permitted to imagine themselves as something other than a means of entertainment for those more privileged? The images become a kind of mental and thus social straitjacket for everyone. It's most definitely a means of oppression.
posted by Atrahasis at 5:36 PM on July 6, 2014

Here is ¨Haiti¨, a powerful song which touches on Brazil´s vile, twisted version of racism. By the great Caetano Veloso, a peerless singer-songwriter. I am responsible for the suibstandard translation of his lyrics.

Caetano Veloso

Quando você for convidado pra subir no adro
Da fundação casa de Jorge Amado
Pra ver do alto a fila de soldados, quase todos pretos
Dando porrada na nuca de malandros pretos
De ladrões mulatos e outros quase brancos
Tratados como pretos
Só pra mostrar aos outros quase pretos
(E são quase todos pretos)
E aos quase brancos pobres como pretos
Como é que pretos, pobres e mulatos
E quase brancos quase pretos de tão pobres são tratados
E não importa se os olhos do mundo inteiro
Possam estar por um momento voltados para o largo
Onde os escravos eram castigados
E hoje um batuque um batuque
Com a pureza de meninos uniformizados de escola secundária
Em dia de parada
E a grandeza épica de um povo em formação
Nos atrai, nos deslumbra e estimula
Não importa nada:
Nem o traço do sobrado
Nem a lente do fantástico,
Nem o disco de Paul Simon
Ninguém, ninguém é cidadão
Se você for a festa do pelô, e se você não for
Pense no Haiti, reze pelo Haiti
O Haiti é aqui
O Haiti não é aqui
E na TV se você vir um deputado em pânico mal dissimulado
Diante de qualquer, mas qualquer mesmo, qualquer, qualquer
Plano de educação que pareça fácil
Que pareça fácil e rápido
E vá representar uma ameaça de democratização
Do ensino do primeiro grau
E se esse mesmo deputado defender a adoção da pena capital
E o venerável cardeal disser que vê tanto espírito no feto
E nenhum no marginal
E se, ao furar o sinal, o velho sinal vermelho habitual
Notar um homem mijando na esquina da rua sobre um saco
Brilhante de lixo do Leblon
E quando ouvir o silêncio sorridente de São Paulo
Diante da chacina
111 presos indefesos, mas presos são quase todos pretos
Ou quase pretos, ou quase brancos quase pretos de tão pobres
E pobres são como podres e todos sabem como se tratam os pretos
E quando você for dar uma volta no Caribe
E quando for trepar sem camisinha
E apresentar sua participação inteligente no bloqueio a Cuba
Pense no Haiti, reze pelo Haiti
O Haiti é aqui
O Haiti não é aqui

Caetano Veloso

When you are invited to climb to the churchyard
Of the Jorge Amado Foundation House
To see from the top the row of soldiers, almost all them black
beating black rascals, smashing them on the head
Beating mulatto thieves and others who are almost white
Treated like blacks
Just to show the other almost blacks
(And they are almost all blacks)
And the almost white poor and mulattos
How it is that blacks, poor and mulattos
And the almost white almost black are treated for being poor
And it doesn´t matter if the entire world's eyes
For a moment may be looking the other way
Where slaves were punished
And now they are playing batuque batuque
With the purity of uniformed high school boys
On the day of a parade
It’s the epic grandeur of a people in formation
It attracts us, fascinates us and stimulates us
Nothing matters:
Neither traces of the colonial manor
Nor the lens of the fantastic,
Nor a record by Paul Simon
No one, no one is a citizen
If you went to the good hair party, or if you didn´t
Think of Haiti, pray for Haiti
Haiti is here
And Haiti is not here
And on TV if you see a congressmjan in a thinly veiled panic
Before any Education plan that looks easy to implement
That looks facile and fast
And threatens to democratize
Teaching the first grade
And if that same congressman defends adoption of the death penaly
And the Venerable Cardinal says he sees such a great soul in the fetus
And none in the marginalized
And if while running the red light, the old usual red light
You notice a man peeing on the street corner on a bag
A bright garbage bag from the rich neighborhood of Leblon
And when you hear São Paulo´s smiling silence
Before the slaughter
111 defenseless prisoners, but they are almost all black
Or almost black or almost white they are so poor
And the poor are filthy and everyone knows how blacks are treated
And when you're travelling around the Caribbean
And when you fuck without a condom
And showcase your intelligent participation in the blockade of Cuba
Think of Haiti, pray for Haiti
Haiti is here
Ans Haiti is not here
posted by abakua at 11:46 PM on July 7, 2014 [3 favorites]

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