Singer Luedji Luna earns three nominations at the Caymmi Music Awards recognizing the best of Bahian musicians

This post illustrates why most reviews are meaningless to me: the people who write them are only interested in maintaining the boring, insular status quo. They could care less about putting the spotlight on talented up-and-comers who could use a little boost! Sad to say, that is a common reality amongst the creative arts – the deck is stacked against most.

Black Women of Brazil

1 Photo: Nti Uirá

Note from BW of Brazil: I learned many years ago that some of the best artists in music are those whose names are not plastered on the covers of every magazine, constantly featured on talk shows, sell out huge revues or get hundreds of millions of views on YouTube. On the one hand, it’s a shame because so many of us won’t even know of the existence of some great artists. But on the other hand, when you discover such artists you sometimes feel that the artist’s music is your own little secret for your own little world. Once upon a time I remember only listening to those artists whose music made it onto the Top 10 list of some music chart. But in the past few decades, I have found myself becoming more and more distant from what is usually defined as Top 40 music…

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Where are the Afro-Brazilians in history books? 17 black people that you never learned about in school

This is an all-too-common practice, unfortunately. The “white-washing” of history is shameful and needless. Ignorant, narrow-minded colonials with supremacist beliefs wish to erase and eliminate the rich heritage and culture of non-white peoples worldwide.

Black Women of Brazil

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Note from BW of Brazil: Today’s article is short, right to the point and something that my research and experiences on/in Brazil demonstrate why such material is important. The first reason is something I’ve mentioned in a previous post. On my very first trip to Brazil, I went to Salvador, Bahia, a city that is considered the country’s center of African culture. Within a few days of my arrival, one of my friends who was acting as my guide in the city along with a young man I had become acquainted with shortly thereafter took me to a small restaurant in the city’s historic Pelourinho district. In this small restaurant, I saw a photo of the great intellectual and anthropologist Lélia Gonzalez. As I stood in awe of the photo, my two companions wondered why I was looking at the photo. Neither of the two had any idea who…

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The daughter of a street vendor, Mahany Pery from São Gonçalo in Rio de Janeiro, becomes the darling of the fashion industry

It’s always inspiring and refreshing to see a new (super)model, who I can relate to, breaking into the fashion industry!
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Black Women of Brazil

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Note from BW of Brazil: What words come to mind when you look at this young lady? Gorgeous? Striking? Lovely? Stunning? I’m sure as people fixate on her photos, more adjectives will surely emerge. It’s been a while since I’ve posted a story about a Brazilian-born black model and when I come across them they automatically receive a place here! What I find even more newsworthy about Mahany’s story, besides her humble origins, is the fact that she’s found such success with such an African phenotype. As Brazil has always favored its more European-looking African descendants, her arrival on the world stage should be celebrated even more (see note one). After all, if the dreams of the nation’s 19th-century elite had come true, people who look like Mahany wouldn’t even exist! This planning for a whiter Brazil has been discussed in a number of previous posts, so today, let’s…

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The final pillar of the debunked ‘racial democracy’? Post-doctorate research project exposes racism and racial hierarchies within interracial families

Too few people ever truly examine the disease of racism within themselves, much less how they became infected with it. This article discusses how bigotry, racism, and self-hatred manifest in multi-cultural families. I’ve certainly seen it up close and personal in my own family!
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Black Women of Brazil

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Note from BW of Brazil: In reality, I don’t know why this research would come as a surprise to anyone who has studied the issues of race and racism in Brazil. Maybe if one were to seriously believe the rhetoric about race relations it could come as a surprise. After all, popular discourse among millions of Brazilians posits that racism cannot exist because of the existence of so many interracial couples. Or that, as Brazilians are all mixed, “somos todos iguais” (we are all equal). We’ve already seen so many examples of how racism functions in Brazilian society (in the labor market, in the media, or in schools, for examples)  that anyone who seriously denies the existence of white supremacy would come across as either blatantly lying, in denial or openly attempting to cover up the facts. 

In reality, the truth about how racism…

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“I want more Black women to feel beautiful just the way they are”: With inspiration from Mozambique, Ana Paula Xongani’s clothing line focuses on Black beauty

I love this! Uplifting and inspiring.
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Black Women of Brazil

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Note from BW of Brazil: If you’ve been following news out of Black Brazil for any amount of time you must’ve noticed that there is a sort of ‘fever’ catching on among Afro-Brazilians. Particularly among entrepreneurs, this fever that continues to spread is leading more and more Afro-Brazilians to stop waiting on a market that seems intent on ignoring their existence, culture and particular tastes, doing for self and tapping into a segment of consumer that is starving to represent with African and Afro-Brazilian styles that proudly show off ancestral origins. Designer Ana Paula Xongani is one of the women leading the charge and judging from the piece below, it’s only a matter time before her business blows up! Much success to you Ana Paula, keep it movin’!!

“I’ve never straightened my hair”, says afro fashion designer

Get to know the story of Ana Paula Xongani, whose clothing brand…

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March 8th – Black women and pension reform: With drastic proposed changes to retirement, International Women’s Day takes on a new meaning

A pertinent, timely post for International Women’s Day – excellent information, here.

Black Women of Brazil

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Note from BW of Brazil: Today, March 8th, we pause in recognition of International Women’s Day. The struggle of black women of Brazil against racism, sexism, violence and social inequality has long been documented, but with the installation of the current government, after the overthrow of the nation’s first female president, Dilma Rousseff, and the proposals of draconian measures disguised as methods to save and revive the future of the economy, many Brazilians, particularly black women, are being faced with new challenges that directly affect their lives and the ability to retire at a reasonable age in dignity. For this reason, I will amend a tried and true slogan: The struggle MUST continue!!

March 8th: Black women and pension reform

By Juliana Borges*

March 8th, International Women’s Day, is approaching in a worrying international and national situation, which ends up expanding its symbolism and representation of struggle.

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Brazilian woman, Nadia Ayad, wins world competition for carbon research. Graduate of Military Institute of Engineering in Rio, wants to improve science in Brazil

This is excellent – I love it!
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Black Women of Brazil

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Note from BW of Brazil: These are the types of stories that I love to feature here at Black Women of Brazil! Over the years we’ve seen a number of horror stories involving African and Haitian immigrants in Brazil so it’s great to be able to post noteworthy accomplishments that show what immigrants, children of immigrants or Afro-Brazilians can achieve if given the opportunity, access to knowledge and the tools to succeed. Like Maria Augusta Arruda and Sonia Guimarães, Nadia Ayad is a black woman making moves in the world of science and I’m looking forward to hearing more about this dynamic young lady!

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Brazilian wins world competition for carbon research

Still in the grad program at IME, the (now) engineer Nadia Ayad won a world-wide competition and wants to improve the use of biomaterials in the area of health

By Priscila Bellini

The life of Nadia Ayad…

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Russian photographer, surprised by racism in Brazil, decides to capture the beauty of black Brazilian women

If only more photographers would do this! It would be much easier for me to find one who knows how to work with proper lighting…
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Black Women of Brazil

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Note from BW of Brazil: Well it seems that Brazil’s ‘dirty little secret’ is becoming known by more and more citizens of other countries. And by ‘dirty little secret’, I speak here of how the nation treats and thinks of its black population and this population’s invisibility in so many areas of Brazilian life. Of course, this is not only the doing of a little blog like BW of Brazil, but also due to the entrance of many foreigners residing in the country for whatever reason. In the past, we’ve covered the experiences of African immigrants, Haitian immigrants, as well a few black foreigners from Europe or the United States. And while the experiences are not always exactly the same, each revelation informs us of the myriad of manners in which Brazilian racism re-produces itself. Below,  a Russian photographer shares her experiences as well as uses…

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Black women victims of violence bring their cases to the OAS; in a decade, murder of white women decreased 9% but increased 54% among black women

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, too…just in case you didn’t know.

Black Women of Brazil

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Note from BW of Brazil: Here at BW of Brazil we try to present a balanced portrayal of what it is to be black in Brazil, specifically a black woman. And in attempting to provide this balance presentation, the material posted here should present triumphs and victories, as well as disappointments, disturbing realities and just day to day news that, on the surface, may not appear to be directly connected to race, but once it’s realized how events, occurrences and statistics affect different groups in different ways, ultimately, the race factor still comes in. Violence against women is clearly one of those occurrences. Of course someone who prefers to negate the reality of the influence of race in the lives of people of color will simply believe that we need not analyze violence against women under the lens of race; after all, ALL violence against women should…

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