Note from BW of Brazil: As long as I’ve been talking about the question of the lack of high-profile black couples in Brazil, I’ve had Brazilians, black, white and mixed race, accuse me of being a “racist American”, while on the other side, many of my African-American colleagues believe I am exagerrating the situation to some degree. Well, as I always say, the truth will eventually win out. For me, proof of what I’ve seen for years comes in the fact that so many Afro-Brazilians in recent years have found the necessity of discussing this also.
Whether it’s black women detailing the challenges they have of finding a long-term partner, black men denying or acknowledging that the issue is legitimate, both sides pointing fingers at the other side or both coming to some sort of agreement in the fact that the issue needs to be addressed.
Increasingly, nowadays, I am finding more and more black Brazilian-oriented websites that are posting stories about what they see as an increase of black couples, both everyday people as well as public figures. This in addition to a number of online communities and apps that openly declare that their platforms are for the promotion and hooking up of couples formed by black men and black women. With this in mind, one has to agree. In a society that has long wanted to rid itself of its black population, black love, black couples and black families truly are revolutionary acts.
On love, affection and prejudice
By Léia Abadia
We live in a country whose racist and sexist social structure directly interferes with the dynamics of love, of loving and being loved. The concept of love and affection that we experience today is the result of the colonial narrative about the concept of what is good and bad; about what is beautiful and ugly; about what is valuable and what is worthless.
In Colonial Brazil, we were divided into three groups: indigenous natives, colonists from the European continent and the black population, abducted from the African continent and enslaved, for years. The only group capable of creating narratives and imposing standards, even if by force, literally based on the extermination of its opponents, was the white population from Europe.
Unfortunately, we still live under this period. The white standard was placed in the Brazilian’s imagination as the right choice and any other option as wrong. In that light, embranquecimento (whitening) was the only secure path. Having “white” approval was rooted in the subconscious of the Brazilian people, and this has been reinforced for several generations.
The result of this aggressive and cruel past is easily identified in the loneliness/solitude of the black woman and man; in the objectification of black bodies and in the hypersexualization of black children, youth and adults. In a society where white is the meaning of right, whitening or getting closer to that standard has been something the community has desired for years. Getting married or having relationships with pessoas brancas (white people) was seen as ascension.
The homem negro (black man), who for some reason ascended professionally and financially, was encouraged to choose a white girlfriend or wife. With mulheres negras (black women), it can occur at the same time, but less frequently, since this group belongs, in social classification, to the base of aesthetic social negligence, which takes us directly to the solidão das mulheres negras (loneliness of black women).
Racism directly interferes with all forms of love and loving. The LGBT Ql + community also suffers from the loneliness of black bodies. The struggle of a black trans woman or a black gay is also a racial struggle. The movement still has much to deconstruct when dealing with hypersexualization, affection and love.
Today we already understand that giving and receiving affection within the community, without the interference of branquitude (whiteness), is an act of resistance and points to the emergence of our own narrative about love, loving and being loved! O amor afrocentrado está no ar! (Afrocentric love is in the air!)
It’s beautiful and necessary to see black men and women loving each other, building black families, fighting side by side to have the life they desire, with dignity and demanding equal rights, including that of loving, without fear that this amor preto (black love) is a hindrance to the trajectory of social ascension. We are appropriating love in its essence!
Afro-centric couples are recognized as something positive and examples to be followed. Pessoas negras (black people), of public life, who only have relationships with white people, today are questioned. And all of this leads to reflection on racism and affectivity. It’s not a question of criticizing interracial relationships, but of highlighting and understanding our own trajectory in relation to love, dating, marriage and relationship. Knowledge is the only possible form of freedom.
The love between pretos e pretas (black men and women) can be revolutionary. Get inspired by these real and passionate couples!