Skip to main content

16 Harsh Realities of Being Black and/or Mixed in Brazil

Avatar • Aug 14, 2015

The Instagram photos spread throughout this piece are from the Brazilian art and photography collective CATSU, which documents the beauty and vitality of black and mixed culture in Brazil. Read more about them here.

Photo credit: CATSU https://www.facebook.com/catsublog

Photo credit: CATSU https://www.facebook.com/catsublog

On July 31 Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail released an expansive, 9,000+ word report on race in Brazil. That the series even exists is amazing because Brazilians strongly deny the existence of race or racism in their country, and perceive themselves as the ultimate mixed culture. And in many ways they are — a full 51% of Brazillians describe themselves as black or mixed race. But beneath the facade of a diverse country are racial inequalities that are, in some instances, worse than what blacks suffer in the United States.

Here are 16 harsh realities of being black and/or mixed in Brazil we learned from The Globe and Mail’s report;

1. Many black Brazilians hope for their children to have white skin so they do not suffer as they do.

The article opens with the story of Daniele de Araújo, a dark-skinned mixed Brazilian woman whose one prayer when she found out she was pregnant was for a white-skinned baby.

She told God she wanted a girl, and she wanted her to be healthy, but one thing mattered above all: “The baby has to be white.”

Ms. de Araújo knows about the quixotic outcomes of genetics: She has a white mother and a black father, sisters who can pass for white, and a brother nearly as dark-skinned as she is – “I’m really black,” she says. Her husband, Jonatas dos Praseres, also has one black and one white parent, but he is light-skinned – when he reported for his compulsory military service, an officer wrote “white” as his race on the forms.

And so, when their baby arrived, the sight of her filled Ms. de Araújo with relief: Tiny Sarah Ashley was as pink as the sheets she was wrapped in. Best of all, as she grew, it became clear that she had straight hair, not cabelo ruim – “bad hair” – as tightly curled black hair is universally known in Brazil…

And there is no point being precious about it. Black is beautiful, but white – white is just easier. Even middle-class life can still be a struggle here. And Sarah Ashley’s parents want her life to be easy.

2. Many dark-skinned Brazilian women are seen as only good for domestic labor, and dark-skinned Brazilian men are seen as only good for service jobs.

It is a cornerstone of national identity that Brazil is racially mixed – more than any country on Earth, Brazilians say. Much less discussed, but equally visible – in every restaurant full of white patrons and black waiters, in every high rise where the black doorman points a black visitor toward the service elevator – is the pervasive racial inequality.

3. During the slave trade, Brazil imported more slaves than any other country

Brazil imported more slaves than any other country. Fully 20 per cent of all the people abducted from Africa to be sold were brought here – an estimated five million people; 400,000 went to the U.S. and Canada.

Afro Brazilians. Source unknown.

Afro Brazilians. Source unknown.

4. Because they were cheaper to purchase and replace, Brazilian slaves were treated worse than slaves in the United States.

The journey to Brazil was cheaper than the one to North America because of both proximity and wind patterns, which meant that the slaves were cheaper, too. Slave owners saw no point in spending money to feed their slaves well or care for them; it made more sense to work them to death and replace them. As a result, slaves in Brazil had dramatically shorter life spans than those who went to the United States. But they were essential for the development of the economy – the sugar plantations, the coffee farms, the gold mines.

5. Brazil was the last country in the world to officially end slavery

Afro Brazilians. Source unknown.

Afro Brazilians. Source unknown.

6. When slavery was abolished in 1888, blacks outnumbered whites in the country, so the government instituted “embranquecer”, a policy to ‘whiten’ the population via emigration of poor white Europeans.

The government actively discouraged their former owners from giving the slaves paid work, and launched an effort to woo poor white Europeans to the country as a new labour force – with the overt intention to “embranquecer,” to whiten, the population.

The founding principle of the first republic was eugenics,” is Mr. dos Santos’s sardonic assessment. This was eventually enshrined in an immigration law that stated, “The admission of immigrants will comply with the necessity of preserving and developing, in the ethnic composition of the population, the characteristics that are more convenient to its European ascendancy.”

Afro Brazilians. Source unknown.

Afro Brazilians. Source unknown.

7. Samba and the Brazilian dance-fighting art of capoeira were both appropriated from black Brazilian slave culture.

Cornerstones of black culture – such as samba music and the martial art capoeira, practised in secret by slaves – have been thoroughly co-opted into Brazilian identity.

8. Brazilian favelas (or slums) were created because former slaves were denied the right to live in cities.

9. Black and mixed Brazilians earn less than white Brazilians, and are severely underrepresented in government and business.

Even after those 13 years of rapid change, black and mixed-race Brazilians continue to earn far less than do white ones: 42.2 per cent less. More than 30 per cent fewer of them finish high school…

At the last census, in 2010, 51 per cent of Brazilians identified themselves as black or of mixed race. But the halls of power show something else. Of 38 members of the federal cabinet, one is black – the minister for the promotion of racial equality. Of the 381 companies listed on BOVESPA, the country’s stock market, not a single one has a black or mixed-race chief executive officer. Eighty per cent of the National Congress is white. In 2010, a São Paulo think tank analyzed the executive staff of Brazil’s 500 largest companies and found that a mere 0.2 per cent of executives were black, and only 5.1 per cent were of mixed race.

10. Interracial marriage in Brazil often consists of higher status blacks marrying lower status whites/morenos (brown-skinned Brazilians) to produce lighter children.

Even interracial marriages are not the tribute to colour-blindness that they might appear to be. Disaggregate the data on who is marrying whom, and they show that such marriages are least common in the highest (predominantly white) income brackets, and most common among the lowest earners, who are almost entirely black or of mixed race. Carlos Antonio Costa Ribeiro, a white sociologist at Rio’s State University who studies race and economics, describes it as a sort of bleak bargain: When such marriages do occur, the darker-skinned partner usually has a higher level of education or a higher income or both. The relationship, at least on one level, is an economic transaction – each person is gaining social mobility, of one kind or the other.

11. Blacks who do manage to succeed in society are often re-cast as moreno or white. Their success ‘whitens’ them.

There is also a sort of alchemy, Prof. Ribeiro explains, by which people with a mixed racial heritage who succeed in business or politics, such as billionaire media magnate Roberto Marinho, come to be viewed as white. Even in the two fields in which black Brazilians succeed at the highest levels – sports and music – that alchemy can work its dark magic. Soccer phenom Neymar da Silva Santos Jr., who presented as black when he first began to attract attention on the pitch, has, with his ascendancy, become in the popular perception, if not white, certainly not black.

12. Blacks sometimes think of themselves as ugly.

I wish I looked like you,” the five-year-old says. “I wish my skin was like yours; your skin is beautiful.” Her mother gently corrects her. “I tell her, ‘My skin is ugly. This colour is ugly.’ ” … When she was growing up, her mother, who is white, said things such as, “I found you in the garbage.”

She didn’t say it in a mean way, exactly,” Ms. de Araújo says. Yet her mother never made comments like that to her sister. “I always wondered if it was because my sister was older, or because she was lighter,” she recalls. “I believed I was the worst of the worst, the ugliest. I believed everyone was looking at me.”…

Ms. de Araújo is close to her aunt, Simone Vieira de Lucena, whose skin is as dark as hers, and who grew up, like Daniele, as the darkest of her multihued siblings. Ms. de Araújo often uses the family nickname for her: Neguinha.

I’m the darkest – so they always called me that,” says Ms. de Lucena, 42. When she was a kid, she says, her sisters told her that someone with her nose, her hair, could not hope to find a husband. The idea took such firm hold that she would not let anyone take her photo until she was in her 20s… She and her niece refer to each other as preta, black, sometimes, instead of by name, and Simone calls her best friend, whose skin is darker than hers, macaca (monkey) or fumaça (smoke). They do it, Simone and Daniele say, with complete affection. “It’s different,” says Simone, “when it’s between us.

13. It is considered impolite to refer to people as black.

…among strangers, it is polite to describe colour by using a word that implies lightness: Call the person you’re looking for morena, not negra, even though her skin is black.

View this post on Instagram

Se é para tombar, ela tombou BANG BANG. 👏❤️

A post shared by CATSU | 011. (@catsustreet) on

14. The introduction of affirmative action at public universities in 2004 was largely met with resistance.

Brazil has two kinds of universities: There are private ones, which are either exceedingly expensive or of very poor quality. And there are public ones, run by the federal and state governments, which tend to be of a much higher calibre – and are free. But because competition for spots in the public schools is fierce, only applicants who have had a private-school education, and the benefit of months or even years of private coaching for the entrance exam, can pass the entrance test.

But in 2004, UFBA introduced a new policy: 36 per cent of seats would now be reserved for black and mixed-race students. For years, black activists had been targeting the universities, as the ultimate symbols (and purveyors) of the elite, for a first effort at affirmative action. In 2002, university administrations began to adopt ad hoc strategies, reserving spots for non-white students. The quotas, as they are baldly called here, applied to every faculty, but they had an outsized impact on the prestigious schools of law, medicine and engineering, which, even in majority-black Bahia, had long graduated all-white classes, year after year.

The quotas pushed the normally veiled discussion about race in Brazil into the open. Students and faculty staged large, angry protests against them. Television news programs showed weeping white mothers describing how their children had prepared their whole lives to follow in their parents’ footsteps but suddenly were being denied their birthright. The harshest critics of affirmative action insisted the policy was introducing racial discrimination into Brazil – rather than working to mitigate it – simply by noting the very existence of a hierarchy between the races.

15. Brazil has little black business or culture infrastructure although this is slowly starting to change.

There’s no black radio or TV and there’s one magazine with a circulation of 40,000 copies. Second, economic power – we don’t have economic power in this country. Because of segregation, they had it in the U.S. – in a strange way it was helpful. There had to be black lawyers, black doctors, there was a black Wall Street in the 1950s. You can’t have black media or black education, with private schools to teach the history [like the U.S. had], if nobody has any money.”

16. Like the United States, Brazil has high rates of police brutality against black men.

Rio’s military police killed one out of every 23 people they arrested in 2008, the year they launched a “pacification” program in some favelas, ousting gangsters and installing military police units with new training in community policing. (The comparable figure for the United States is one in 37,000.) The number of people killed by police has since fallen dramatically in pacified areas: While in 2008 police killed 122 people in alleged conflicts in pacified favelas, in 2014 they killed just 10. However, less than a third of favelas have been pacified and, in the city as a whole, the number of people killed by police increased by 25 per cent from 2013–14.

17. Despite all this the number of people who identify as black in Brazil is rising, as black pride starts to take hold in the culture.

For 130 years, Brazil’s census data showed one steady trend: Every time the government counted its citizens, more of them were white. The successive waves of immigration played the biggest role in this. But so did a less tangible process: the slippery business of “passing,” through which mixed-race people took on a white identity.

And then, in 2010, came a change that startled demographers. For the first time since the slavery era, there were more black and mixed-race Brazilians than white ones. The census enumerates adults, so the birth rate doesn’t explain the change – and in any case, that rate is nearly equal across races.

Something else is going on, says Sergei Soares, who heads the national Institute For Applied Economic Research. It’s a shift in self-identification. “You could say that what’s happening is not that Brazil is becoming a nation of blacks, but that it is admitting it is one,” says Mr. Soares, who is white. There has been a black movement here since before the end of slavery, but it has never been influential. With the end of two decades of military dictatorship in 1985, however, there began to be new space for debate about rights.

Ladies, what are your thoughts? Any Afro-Brazilians want to chime in?

83
Leave a Reply

avatar
33 Comment threads
50 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
57 Comment authors
Pite MogojeemartellZarashaJennifer SarkodieAmy Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
Notify of
nappy4sure
Guest
nappy4sure

I believe The Globe Mail…proof with all America’s sins and equality.…I feel we ARE THE country in the world.…Brazil is bigger than America, but our BLACK pride is way more evident than Brazil…yes the word BLACK in caps and PROUD!!! thank you James Brown.…say it loud, I’m BLACK and PROUD

MD Carmichael
Guest
MD Carmichael

”but our BLACK pride is way more evident than Brazil…” There is NO black pride in Brazil. They just CANNOT HIDE their skin color!!!
ALL those who can pass as white/whiter DO!!!!
I met one of them who told me: My grandfather was Spanish, but he married a black woman… (his grandmother!!!) And commenting on his dark/tanned skin he said he GOT his skin complexion from DRINKING LOTS OF CARROT JUICE!!!!!!
ARE YOU SERIOUS BRAZIL????

maralondon
Guest
maralondon

You cannot say there’s NO black pride in Brazil. Yes there’s definitely a struggle where identity is concerned with many Brazilians of African descent but your statement is disrespectful to those who still carry on the Yoruba traditions of their ancestors for example, the dancer who was able to tell me the story of his great grandmother smuggling his grandmother into Brazil after she was captured and kidnapped by the Portuguese in Nigeria during the slave trade and the many women who are turning their backs on the European ideal on beauty.

Layla
Guest
Layla

can you tell why African American people believe to be the only blacks in Americas? Do you have Candomble and other African traditions in US? You have been in Bahia? Do you know Bahia is the city in Brazil where you can feel African soul?

18th street
Guest
18th street

Instead of being “proud”, why don’t you study and work heard? This will earn respect from people. Just shooting of your mouth and whining is not going to get you any respect. Comprende?

jjac401
Guest
jjac401

Racism emotionally and physically kills people of color.

18th street
Guest
18th street

people of color” is a stupid term. I directly associate that with racists.

Memy
Guest
Memy

Beautiful article !!! So true. I have been there a couple of time and my dark skin hasn’t been appreciated til my foreign identity was revealed. Sad

Camille
Guest
Camille

About #4, although I know cane sugar was especially brutal to harvest, most US slaves were NOT fed well and were ALL being worked to death. They are still buried on the plantations where malnutrition and overwork still show on their bodies despite years of decay. Children are usually way over represented when they dig up slave graveyards.

I know some people think the one drop rule is evil, but there is power in numbers.

maraondon
Guest
maraondon

It’s always been said that the Portuguese were the most brutal in their involvement in slavery. Whether the Ancestors were enslaved in America, South America or the Caribbean the outcome was brutal. I can’t imagine being forced from your land shackled, transported on ships where you were packed up like sardines people dying right next to you from dehydration and whatever else, taken to foreign lands from your homeland with no way of returning to see family and then being made to work on plantations for hours on end without any pay and under the most horrific conditions. We don’t… Read more »

Glitter AF
Guest
Glitter AF

The last country to abolish slavery officially was actually Mauritania in 1981

Ijeoma A.
Guest
Ijeoma A.

WOW I never knew that. I always thought it was Brazil. I heard that Mauritania did have really big issues with slavery.

18th street
Guest
18th street

I believe that there is still slavery in Africa today. Why is the black race the “lowest”?

Claudette UK
Guest
Claudette UK

Makes my heart bleed to read this. I first became aware of this inequality in the 80s. It is sickening.

Vanesa
Guest
Vanesa

I’m European of African origin. Brazilians and by extension South Americans can be some of the most racist anti black people in the world. I would like to visit but I’m aware of how things are and I’m pretty sure that even still I wouldn’t be as treated as badly as the native population as I’ll be visiting as a tourist. With all the bad news coming from the US, if I had to choose, I would rather live in the US than Brazil. Brazilians refuse to believe that there’s any problem in their country at all and try to… Read more »

Pite Mogoje
Guest
Pite Mogoje

As a black South African who grew up under the brutal system of aparthed, I feel very saddened that a beautiful and tourist attractive country like Brazil believes in and practices racism. There is no difference between racism and apartheid. Both systems are designed to denigrate and humiliate another human. We grew up looking at famous Brazilians like Pele and Ronaldo for inspiration. But as the black population in Brazil is growing all the time, the government must address this hidden pain and the Brazillians of all races are not gonna run away from the problem forever. It will catch-up… Read more »

Spread .Sweetness
Guest
Spread .Sweetness

As a brazilian black woman, I can say that even if it’s still pretty tough there’s a hope of change. In the same country where some white people deny the very existence of racism, there’s a strong movement of empowerment of black women by accepting their natural hair. While an uninformed performer did a blackface on national TV, there are a growing number of facebook pages and websites on black culture and representation. While a black meteorologist was severely cursed on her facebook (only for her appearance on TV), the response of the kind, right-minded people defending her was even… Read more »

DeepCherrish
Guest
DeepCherrish

Your English is great! Thank you for giving this insight.

Ijeoma A.
Guest
Ijeoma A.

Your english is great. Did you know of any organizations that are online?

Chelsz
Guest
Chelsz

Sadly these “south americans” “central americans” and “carribean” people think that they are superior when in fact only a small percentage of Africans made it to “north american” soil. These africans were dropped off in the southern regions and worked in tobacco fields and plantain fields and sugar cane fields more than cotton. Its so irritating because the only difference is that the spaniards (european-spain) colonized and controlled the negros as slaves and servants. Hence the spanish language and culture. But at the same time spaniards had a big belief system in Catholicism and certain holidays they embedded into the… Read more »

Dominique
Guest
Dominique

????????

Devoted Honkey
Guest
Devoted Honkey

L.

Stephanie Nolen
Guest
Stephanie Nolen

Thanks for sharing so much of our project Leila! It’s really interesting to read some of the responses from your audience. I’m happy to let your Brazilian readers know that it’s also online now in Portuguese, a first for the Globe and Mail. And if you want to continue the conversation on the sensitive topic of black hair in Brazil, we’ve got a piece on an amazing Brazilian leader whose focus that is http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/careers-leadership/brazilian-hair-care-ceo-leila-velez-breaks-down-barriers/article23568496/

Phillihp Ray
Guest
Phillihp Ray

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=408860865973730&id=100005494606221
Racism or the denial thereof are the real deal down here.

emiti
Guest
emiti

Most of this post, the non-historical part, doesn’t show the whole thing. The discrimination agains’t black people is not because of the color of the skin, it’s because of financial reasons, and logically there is more poor people with black skin than white, this includes marriage, police brutality, earnings, jobs. The beauty thing is because only rich people are shown on tv, so there is more white people than black people shown on screen, when there is less representaton of people like you, you start to think that you are weird or ugly. Kinda pissed that this article compared our… Read more »

Ely
Guest
Ely

So que não né. If it’s “all about money”, tell me why when I go to restaurants all the diners are white but most of the waiters and cleaners are black. In companies, businesses, my private college, stores, etc it’s all the same situation. If it were “all about money”, then surely there are many black people who are trying to study hard and work above it. But there isn’t. I rarely, if ever, see black judges, black public officials, black CEOs, or even just simply a black boss. So we have two choices: either black people are lazier, less… Read more »

emiti
Guest
emiti

In comparison with white people it’s much harder for black people to be in higher position because of the obvious historical past of europeans saying they own certain lands and africans being used as slaves, it’s easier to have money now if your ancestors had money before, it’s hard to have money now when you ancestors weren’t even considered people. It’s history not racism.

Lavender
Guest
Lavender

“It’s history, not racism” this sentence is really ignorant if you realize that it is racism because our whole history is racist. People who don’t have money now because their families didn’t have money for being slaves like you said it’s because our society was already based on racism then. It’s not only about money, in Brazil if you are black people will assume you are poor, mainly because they are denied the right to ascend economically, but people forget that part and say it’s because they are marginals, because they are dangerous and ugly because of the european white… Read more »

emiti
Guest
emiti

But saying that all white people nowadays are racist because of what their ancestors did is wrong, saying that black people are on this situation now is because of the white people on the present is wrong, that is what I’m trying to say. It is about money, I saw it happening with my relatives, going to a shop with a blazer on one day and with a simple shirt on the other and you can see the different attention that they gave, I saw it happening with both my black relatives and my asian relatives, so the treatment is… Read more »

Layla
Guest
Layla

I think the best think you can do and stay in silence! You are not Brazilian so you don’t have right to say something you don’t know! Black Brazilian people suffer racism like African American people! Is for your all these historical posts are rubbishes please write for us your history! I have never listen the black people are not victim of racism a cause their skin colors!

ykronos
Guest
ykronos

Stop talking! I’m a historian, and what you are saying is beyond ignorant. It’s plain simple stupidity and denial… Particularly denial of the experience of those whom are telling you that this is what they’ve lived. STOP TALKING!

Márcio Ramos
Guest
Márcio Ramos

And now you became marxist? The problem isn´t just economic. It’s an ecominic, social class and genre issue.

Blahblah rahrah
Guest
Blahblah rahrah

I feel that if white Brazilian nowadays want to make good from the past they should actively be part of a solution rather than turning their head as they are profiting off the benefits of slavery and all that it brought with it.

Kristina Latskay
Guest
Kristina Latskay

I am coming from a completely white country, and yet all the problems with people looking down on each other are there. If you didn’t come from the family that had money, you don’t get much education or good attitude. They see your cheaper clothes, shoes, if you use public transport… and even shop workers! look down on you and are RUDE! That is why I think people do such a stupid thing as getting loans to get expensive clothes (and still use public transport,anyway 🙂 I think Russia and Brazil are so similar in their problems with government, judging… Read more »

Zarasha
Guest
Zarasha

How will the country progress if the are intentionally being suppressed. I can’t believe the hate the majority of the world have for the black race. This started from slavery. Before that black people were highly esteemed. Even seen as the most beautiful race. All the oldest artifacts if Jesus we’re black, but white supremacists whitewashed them. Egypt was a black civilization but the white race whitewashed it. At least they are now being honest that the one people who don’t carry Neanderthal dna is African Blacks. Scientist have discovered this truth. Neanderthals were animal like. The white race has… Read more »

Marina Oliveira
Guest
Marina Oliveira

People like this are the biggest reason we can’t properly talk about racism here in Brazil. We have a 50% black population. Now please count how many black people you see on the media. On movies, on soup operas, on commercials. Now repeat after me: “there’s no racism in Brazil”. Blacks statistically are committed to jail more often and for longer than whites for the same crimes. Now repeat after me: “there’s no racism in Brazil”. Black hair is nonchalantly called to as bad hair. Now repeat after me: “there’s no racism in Brazil”. Black women are always assumed to… Read more »

Mariana Rego
Guest
Mariana Rego

Isso ai!

OkoAbeni
Guest
OkoAbeni

Amazing!!!!!!!!, Black is beautiful and its ever a delight to be one. I guess its time we promote Blacks and here is where Nigeria and Nigerians should step forward to provide the necessary platform; and this must be done. Regards, Lagos Nigeria.

Guest
Guest
Guest

What are you talking about? Every cosmetic aisle in Nigeria are filled with whitening, bleaching, toning, fading lotions. Natural hair is a rarity. Nigerian music videos are filled with oyibos (white folks), mixed or light skinned women. The media are filled with folks with fake accents because Nigerian accent is considered inferior. Everyone with money is flying overseas at the slightest chance. Politicians (ex governor Akpabio for example) fly overseas to get medical treatment instead of investing in the health care system in the country to make it as good as those overseas. Everyone with money going abroad to give… Read more »

Kristina Latskay
Guest
Kristina Latskay

I was mistaken as someone who works at the shop very many times in the US, and I am Russian fair-skinned. I think it also depends on how the person is dressed, expensively or not.

WilliamDrakeIII
Guest
WilliamDrakeIII

And that’s disgusting too!! I would NEVER say that as if it’s a “good” thing

trackback

[…] experiences as a black actress in Brazil are akin to some of the same struggles black actresses face here in the states. It appears as […]

Elle
Guest
Elle

Black in the U.S. traditionally meant at least 1/16 Black. Not 100% Black. So to be Black, your 8th great grandparent or something had to be Black, no matter how lily White, blonde and blue-eyed you were. What if this standard were applied in the DR? Cuba? Puerto Rico? Trinidad? Haiti? Brazil? Mexico? Argentina? Their ‘mixed’ and ‘White’ population would drink a Jim Jones cocktail. Ask any WASP in the U.S. and they’ll be quick to say everyone south of the Mason Dixon is all Black anyway (which is why White southerners are so angry). Yes, even Giselle Bundchen. The… Read more »

WilliamDrakeIII
Guest
WilliamDrakeIII

Never let them fool you!! The ONLY human race is Black! Genetically ONLY black ppl can create all colors of the spectrum even blonde hair, blue eyed white colored ppl.. They are called albinos! And much like white ppl They get sick easy, and die earlier. The so called “white” ppl have a missing link in there history! And they have no remains older then 7000 yrs. They were CAVE DWELLERS! And can’t even figure out where they came from! BLACK ppl have NO MISSING LINK and OUR oldest remains have been found to be MILLIONS of years old! We… Read more »

La Bandita
Guest
La Bandita

Good point for America. But the Spaniards always had the one drop of White blood made you White rule.

If you had a White grandparent you could get White stamped on your passport no matter how dark. The Spanish was invaded by the Moors, so thet’re racism is… different. They never wanted to loose the babies they had w/Black women so in all of their colonies gave White status to those kids.

There are 3 levels and constantly changing.
1. White Angelo Supremacy.
2. One drop Black rule.
3. One drop White rule — mixed race, changing to other, changing to White.

Marina Oliveira
Guest
Marina Oliveira

I’m from Brazil. I’m 1/8 black and people here wouldn’t even dream of calling me black. It is an offense. It is so widespread and not taken seriously that my dad, 1/4 black and way darker than me has told me he would pay for a plastic surgery on my nose, because it’s “too big”

TATONE08
Guest
TATONE08

Wow…that’s so sad.

PinkAriesMartian
Guest
PinkAriesMartian

That’s a shame. Black is beautiful!!!

Zerohim
Guest
Zerohim

“6. When slavery was abolished in 1888, blacks outnumbered whites in the country, so the government instituted “embranquecer”, a policy to ‘whiten’ the population via emigration of poor white Europeans.” Not entirely true. They certainly did that to whiten the society, but there were economics in that. First, the slaves were not able to do the same good work that a European would do. Second, the Market. England bashed Brazil to end slavery, so the British Empire could sell more; since slaves don’t have “buying power”, Europeans would be the best option. Problem is the Europeans came here but they… Read more »

Mo
Guest
Mo

‘7. Samba and the Brazilian dance-fighting art of capoeira were both appropriated from black Brazilian slave culture.” No “appropriation”! Since they were living in Brazil, the slave culture would be Brazilian, right? Of course the African roots are huge and represent everything, but there was no “appropriation”. The Capoeira and Samba are going strong and the roots are never forgotten. It’s valid for every Brazilian, not just for blacks os slave descendants!” Uh…no, it’s still appropriation. White people didn’t accept capoeira for a LONG time (from the 16th century to the 1940’s), going as far as arresting and torturing those… Read more »

Mariana Rego
Guest
Mariana Rego

I’m Brazilian though not Afro-Brazilian, and moved to the States as a kid. I’d say this is all mostly true from my semi-detached perspective. A lot of times racism in Brazil is conflated with and/or veiled by classism. I recently had a conversation with a cousin about dating, and she said she wouldn’t date a black or mixed-race guy not because of racism but because of socio-economic class — she doesn’t like to date outside of her middle class stratum either up or down, which is made up largely of descendent of recent (late 1800s) European immigrants so that’s convenient.… Read more »

trackback

[…] and has the largest black population outside of Africa.  And yet, black people in Brazil experience numerous harsh realities that their white counterparts don’t, with darker-skinned Brazilians routinely experiencing […]

Sherron Roberts
Guest
Sherron Roberts

Do you know WHERE on this planet black people do NOT suffer from the negative impact of systemic racism? Anywhere that black people do not live integrated with the white race. The white race has consistently proven by THEIR actions towards black people that they cannot (and will not) live integrated with the black race in a kind, honest, fair, and equal way. The past and present supports this fact. Now ask yourself, WHY does the white race hate the black race? The nonstop oppression of blacks by whites everywhere on this Earth should tell us something. We will never… Read more »

BlueCornMoon
Guest
BlueCornMoon

A woman I met recently said ” Nobody loves us but God”

PinkAriesMartian
Guest
PinkAriesMartian

We have no friends

Jennifer Sarkodie
Guest
Jennifer Sarkodie

Remember in the bible God said if you was of the world the world would love you, but you are not of the world so they hate you. Count yourself blessed if the world hate you, that means you are not of the world. Satan is so jealous of black people, because God made us in his image. The bible describes the son of God looking like us the black race. Satan wants us to change that image by bleaching and straightening our hair. It has been researched and found that only people without Neanderthal DNA is African Blacks. These… Read more »

Afrika
Guest
Afrika

Hi Sheron; Just a quick explanation why we are hated. Ezekiel 35 v 5 tells us the Edomites (whites) in particular have a perpetual hatred for us Israelites. It started here — Genesis 25 v22 — 25). Esau is the father of whites and Jacob the father of the boack tace called the Israelites — us. Check out Deutoronomy 28 v 68 68] And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen… Read more »

Ziona
Guest
Ziona

wow!

Blessednfavored
Guest
Blessednfavored

This is so powerful and truth that should be taught in the churches. This info is very similar to information I have been taught over the years, however, the way you have eloquently broke this down has given me a higher level of understanding. Thank you for the scripture references as well. I am saving this.

emartell
Guest
emartell

the church will not teach you this

emartell
Guest
emartell

that all true my sister

trackback

[…] for this, but I am not an anthropologist to explain each of them. If you are interested in subject here is the good post about it. I am just an observer… And I can tell you for sure Brazil still […]

ShadowRising
Guest
ShadowRising

Wow, so what explains why Nigerians are buying into white supremacy and skin lightening? In America, blacks went through slavery and Jim Crow, but why would Nigeria which is fully black and run by blacks be adopting white supremacy(skin lighteners, straightening hair, etc)?

Apple
Guest
Apple

Nigeria was also colonized (by Britain) and had slavery which was abolished pretty recently in history (in 1960). Even if it wasn’t, European influence touches all in this global world that has White on top and Black on the bottom. The African diaspora has many colonizers and majority went through slavery. Almost every European country went to Africa to get their slice (of course they’re still getting it, they just dont keep us in chains anymore), it was not only in the U.S.

Márcio Ramos
Guest
Márcio Ramos

Yes. There’s racism in brazilian colective consciouness. Shut up if you think that’s not true.

18th street
Guest
18th street

Why did blacks accept being slaves? Didn’t they have any self-respect? Were blacks not considered human?

Analise Ferguson
Guest
Analise Ferguson

No, blacks were not considered as human…under the law.… that means they were considered as less than humans. They were seen as property, like cattle, and were tracked and treated like property. Eg. 10 cows, 19 male slaves, 3 horses, 17 female slaves. I would continue but as I’m writing I’m realising that the information is actually out there and available for anyone who is sincerely curious about what Africans who were kidnapped from their homes by persons with FAR superior weaponry than they had any use for, went through. This really now looks like a statement you are making,… Read more »

Heron Tait
Guest
Heron Tait

If Brazil wants economic development and power, it would make sure blacks are educated and become able to contribute to the economy in a meaningful way. How silly can these people be, who continue to prevent blacks from advancing! Cannot they understand that it benefits them more to have the entire the populace self sufficient, or have the facilities to become self-sufficient? No! not silly, STUPID.

TATONE08
Guest
TATONE08

I wholeheartedly agree. I have a number of Brazilian friends who here in America don’t identify themselves as white even though their skin tone says different. Brazil is stuck in the past by assuming that the world will only do business with white faces.

Milo
Guest
Milo

But the truth is that many Brazilians who classify as white, are not ‘white’, they are Latino. They only classify as white because of the Brazilian context. Actually a friend told me that ‘whites’ in some areas in Brazil are not even white in every state in Brazil, because some whites are from Germany, and others are Portuguese. I mean it’s clear that race is a construct.

mistajay
Guest
mistajay

Its the prevailing tone of the media in these countries that dictate attitudes towards black. Any country that partook in the slave trade views black as inferior because of the circumstances and history of how the blacks are perceived in said country.

Amy
Guest
Amy

I am a Nigerian American who moved to Brazil, specifically Copacabana, RJ. I was shocked to notice that black people didn’t even acknowledge me like they do back home in CA. Most of them gave me one of those, “you can’t sit with me” looks while passing down the street. Back home, blacks AT LEAST give u a nod. This was non existent here. As a women black guys looked straight through me while the other white Brazilian guys would look at me or stare. Sooo glad that I’m from the US bc the black pride here exists!

trackback

[…] the TransAtlantic Slave Trade, 1 in 5 Africans were enslaved in Brazil. Brazil is home to the second-largest population of Black people in the world after Nigeria. And today, Black youth in Brazil are 4 times more likely to be killed […]

Ziona Ophir
Guest
Ziona Ophir

Mehn this article! am amazed by how still in the 21st century blacks are viewed as inferior.…

trackback

[…] is rife in Brazil and white Brazilians like Gisele Bundchen and Adriana Lima repeatedly presented as the face of the […]

Milo
Guest
Milo

This just breaks my heart. I think Afro-Brazilians have it the worst. Afro-Brazilians have no economic agency and everything they produce is appropriated and white-washed. The other day I watched a Brazilian short film, and the black people on the TV were from a channel in South Africa, meaning that there are no shows with Afro-brazilians as in positions of power so they had to use an African channel. Wow. It’s so important for the black diaspora to come together.

PinkAriesMartian
Guest
PinkAriesMartian

I agree

Anna Doe
Guest
Anna Doe

You think? Try Afro-Bolivians! A black UN expert from the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent was spit on, on the streets by strangers, in Bolivia when he went there to investigate on racial discrimination against black people there. You want to do something for the black diaspora to come together? Lets that 2015–2014 has been deemed the International decade for people of African descent. Have you heard about it? Nope, because there good-for-nothing diplomats are all talk but no actions. As black people from all over the world, we have a whole decade to change people… Read more »

Itumeleng
Guest
Itumeleng

You said it! Nigerians are even flocking to my native South Africa in droves. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard Nigerian men praise the lightness of skin of South African women compared to their own women.

Nigerians are the most disturbed group of Africans you will ever meet. Don’t let them kid you, their self hatred is the worst out of any group of blacks worldwide. I think they are even worse than Jamaicans with their bleaching. They are the same people anyway, as far as Jamaicans being descendants from slaves taken from Nigeria.

stephen washington
Guest
stephen washington

Jamaicans are not that far behind in the self hatred department, and yes many Jamaicans are of Nigerian descent.

stephen washington
Guest
stephen washington

I lived in Brazil and have had two Black Brazilian fiancees’ and it’s worst than you can imagine, my beautiful Black Brazilians are treated like dogs in the street literally, I’ve given hundreds of dollars to “little’ kids aged between 3–15 living on the streets with the state and white Brazilians not even caring to acknowledge their existence unless trying to force them away from the tourist areas. It’s sickening.

MissPiggyRules
Guest
MissPiggyRules

Brazil blacks have a high volume of HIV and its a killer when you don’t have meds. By 2020 most of the black Brazilians will be infected, just look at Chile.

Anna Doe
Guest
Anna Doe

The problem is Brazil is that there’s this national denial that there isn’t any discrimination against people of African descent. Talk with a non-black Brazilian and they’ll tell you that they’re all Brazilian, that there’s no racism, they won’t even acknowledge or do their best to leave the slavery part out of the conversation. Colorblindness and political correctness will never solve the issue of discrimination against people of black descent in South America.

Shopping Cart