“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.

Black Women of Brazil


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


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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New generation of black women are putting the stereotype of the Carnival dancer in check in Rio de Janeiro

I’m of the belief that like-minded Black women from both North and South America could move mountains for great causes!

Black Women of Brazil


Note from BW of Brazil: If there is one thing that I’ve learned continuously in studying history and viewpoints; we must always consider the other side of the story in order to get a full understanding of any given topic. Sometimes we will agree with alternative viewpoints, sometimes we will disagree. In some cases, the debate is more valuable than the conclusion itself! And as I’ve written in other posts, I am always willing to present different views so as to give my readers a balanced understanding of the issue at hand. It’s not possible for an audience that has little experience with a given topic to understand what is at stake unless they can see both or all perspectives on any particular topic. The best example I can provide is the topics this blog covers. While the focus is on black women of Brazil, for readers outside of Brazil…

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Whites still make up 90% of Brazilian advertising, but three recent commercials featuring Afro-Brazilians provide a glimmer of hope for racial diversity

Hope springs eternal…fair representation just might be a reality in my lifetime!

Black Women of Brazil


Note from BW of Brazil: One post (among many) revealed a fact that is quite shocking: “In Brazilian advertising, more than 90% of the protagonists continue to be white.” Anyone who has taken time to analyze commercials (as well as programs) on Brazil’s television stations from the racial perspective could tell you this. It’s really not that hard to see. Anyone who has visited Brazil  will surely not see the country as a majority white nation (well, maybe if they visited the southern region of the country), but that’s not the idea one would get from the media. Nothing new here.

6 Recent C&A commercial for the Verão Misturado campaign

After, didn’t I tell you that “black women account for only 1% of the protagonists in Brazil’s TV commercials”? Or that there exists a fear “that white women won’t buy a product if the girl in the ad…

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“Bonecas Pretas” (black dolls) video by Bahian singer Larissa Luz gives voice to the rising demand for black representation in the toy market

Saturday spotlight: Little-discussed topics, pertinent to those of us who are under-represented. Perfect post for Black History Month!

Black Women of Brazil


Note from BW of Brazil: The struggle continues…and voices demanding change, equality and representation also continue to grow! The fact that I have documented for the past five years is that black Brazilians are extremely under-represented in countless areas of Brazilian society. The media is a near complete whitewash. Politics is the home of white supremacy in which very few black aspiring politicians manage to enter the game. The toy market is yet another area in which more and more black voices are calling for more representation. If any of us care to think about it, very few of us can remember having had the opportunity to play with black dolls. In the world of the child’s imagination, how is a black child supposed to dream of seeing him or herself in the place of the superhero action figure or model doll when the overwhelming majority of…

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TV host fired after calling black singer a ‘monkey’ on the air; singer and TV network both issue statements

The host will most likely get another job, in the same way that people like Paula Deen, “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” Hulk Hogan, and other racist celebrities here in the states maintain popularity after showing their true colours. It’s a shame.

Black Women of Brazil

4 TV host Marcão Chumbo Grosso, left, was recently fired after referring to singer Ludmilla as a ‘monkey’

Note from BW of Brazil: Well, I have to admit, I am a bit surprised at how quick this situation was taken care of. In all honesty, I thought this guy would get away with a ‘slap on the wrist’ and walk away relatively unscathed. I mean, I’ve seen people walk away after such incidents with only a brief suspension. But let’s not get too crazy here; this guy will probably have no problem getting another high status job. After all, as racism works as a network, the punishment is never too severe as everyone who is part of the network generally thinks the same way. To get the full background on this story, see the video and read the excuse of the guy at the center of this latest controversy, please…

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Meet 12 YouTubers who are empowering black Brazilian women on the internet

It’s nice to see others out there giving a voice to, and putting a spotlight on, the underrepresented issues that many of us still face in this day and age. Kudos to these hard-working, inspiring young ladies!

Black Women of Brazil


Note from BW of Brazil: You gotta admit it. YouTube has opened up a flood of opportunities for common, everyday people that simply weren’t possible just over a decade ago. Thanks to this ingenious website, people are becoming famous almost overnight by displaying whatever it is that they do best. We’ve singers blow up and earn recording contracts and endorsement deals because of YouTube. We’ve seen people appear on nationally televised TV programs after earning a loyal following on YouTube. We’ve seen women parlay their leading roles on YouTube into the release of a brand of lipstick specifically for black women. Indeed, YouTube has become a true starmaker! To be truthful, I spend far more time searching this video-sharing website than watching television as I find exactly what I want to watch there as opposed to the garbage that free and paid TV offers on a…

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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!

Black Women of Brazil


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!


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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The rising popularity of Kwanzaa in Brazil: Festa in celebration of African heritage catching on in cities like Salvador and São Paulo

Excellent article, here!

Black Women of Brazil


Note from BW of Brazil: For millions of people around the world, today is celebrated as Christmas Day. And although I partake in family-oriented events, in recent years I have tended to look at the day more for what it really is: the Winter Solstice. Coming from a background in which Christmas usually has anywhere from 3-7 inches of snow on the ground, I must admit, Natal (Christmas in Portuguese) is a little strange. How strange?

natal-sp-2 Avenida Paulista, São Paulo: Feliz Natal

Well, right now in New York it’s 39 degrees fahrenheit while in São Paulo on December 23rd it was about 35 degrees…celsius! In other words, about 95 degrees fahrenheit!! For any American living in Brazil, particularly those from northern states, seeing men parading the streets and in shopping malls in the typical red and white Papa Noel (Santa Claus) suit in such scorching heat is perhaps the pinnacle of superficiality…

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Demanding respect and more space in society but why does black women’s activism bother people so much?

Yep – this is what I live on a daily basis…and I refuse to be silenced.

Black Women of Brazil


Note from BW of Brazil: Well, one must admit that this seems to be the case. For the decades and in fact centuries that black women of Brazil simply accepted the position that Brazilian society reserved for them, no one really said anything because, well, it was just the way things were. But times have changed and continue to change. Black Brazilian women want representation in ALL areas of Brazilian society as well as a voice at the table to discuss her role and how she will be portrayed. But with this activism has come all sorts of complaints and push back. Black women and the black population as a whole has been accused of “seeing racism in everything”, “whining” and forgetting “their place.” And we also note these attitudes in the increased racist internet attacks on black women who have prominent public profiles (see here

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