Black Women of Brazil

The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent

The extinction of black, brown, yellow and beige: The extinction of the black race in Brazil


Photos taken from Brazilian artist Angélica Dass's Pantone Skin Tone Project

Photos taken from Brazilian artist Angélica Dass’s Pantone Skin Tone Project

Note from BW of Brazil: Well, it’s a conversation that many people don’t seem to want to have. Depending on where you live in Brazil, the title of today’s piece may seem absurd, ridiculous or an exaggeration. But really, is it? In all honesty this thought has crossed this writer’s mind often throughout the years during my travels across the country. Is it possible that the black race in Brazil, descendants of the millions of Africans forcibly brought to the South American country to provide free labor in the construction of the nation, could be headed toward extinction? How could this be possible? Again, if one bases this question on Bahia, it may not be as easy to notice, although not as difficult as it appears. You see, Bahia is one of the three blackest states in Brazil, so the presence of persons of the darker skin tones of the black race isn’t rare. But even so, if one spends any time with black families throughout the state, one is sure to note how the skin color of numerous families has lightened over the generations with hair textures becoming progressively straighter. 

If one ventures further south this pattern becomes even more obvious because of the fact that southern states such as Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul received millions of European immigrants between the years 1870 and 1940. This is also very clear in the southeastern and most populous Brazilian state, São Paulo. In the city of São Paulo, some days, it seems difficult to find black couples among masses of white and mixed couples. This becomes even more challenging if one considered only black couples of approximately the same skin tone. During travels, this writer has noted the same pattern in Paraná and, according to contacts, the situation is similar in Rio Grande do Sul. Many friends confirm the trend in the city of Rio although perhaps not as drastic as, percentage wise, the black population is much larger there than in the aforementioned southern states. 

Should this really be a surprise? Numerous writers of the material on this blog have voiced opinions that among black men, there is a clear preference for white/blond women. This ideology of whiteness also affects black women (see here and here). And while these views are often brushed off as the rants and raves of angry, black female militants, if one enters any social network or comment sections of websites that discuss racial issues, they will note that all of these opinions can be attributed to only black women, as we see in the following comment…

NEGROS OS PIORES RACISTAS (loiras) - The Guardian fala sobre racismo no Brasil da Copa (julho de 2014)Antonio: “I work in a luxury hotel that promotes sports events mainly of São Paulo futebol clubs and until today I still haven’t seen a rich, black futebol player with a black woman at his side. It’s striking of the base and starting players, all of them are married or dating blonds with light eyes and after they complain of racism? Stop blaming whites for everything because you are ashamed of your own race, taking the garotas de programas (call girls) from the whorehouses (and) marrying them but not dating black women. BLACKS ARE THE WORST RACISTS.” – (‘The Guardian fala sobre racismo no Brasil da Copa.’ July, 2014)

It would be absurd for someone to honestly believe the rates of mixed relationships in Brazil are simply love beyond borders of skin color. Why? The fact is that, as has been pointed in several previous pieces, Brazilian elites planned and socially engineered this trend with the objective of the extinction of the black race. Having participated in numerous online debates on the topic, I find it a bit contradictory that so many Brazilians can point out the fact that the citizens of the US (that they consider to be blatantly racist because of the fact that interracial unions are far fewer there) are so racist nut don’t perceive how race has played out in their own backyard. Americans don’t mix that much because the history of that country was and still is based on segregation. In the same way, Brazil was set on a path of miscegenation with the clear objective of the disappearance of the “black stain” from the country and as such, this pattern also holds true today. True racial diversity would be a reality when ALL racial groups are accepted as they are rather that certain groups being made to feel ashamed of who they are and what they look like, thus, as an exit strategy, attempt to escape their racial characteristics by mixing with the very group that propagated these views within their community. Again, a number of blatantly honest articles on this blog expose how racism, racist jokes and feelings of inferiority have contributed heavily to these sentiments. 

When we add to this the shocking rates of murders of black youth throughout the country, less access to health care, sterilization and historic events such as the 19th century Guerra do Paraguai (War of Paraguay), we see numerous mechanisms that have led to massive deceases in the Afro-Brazilian population and a widespread lightening of the overall skin complexion of the average Brazilian. Or embranquecimento (whitening) as this process is known. Of course there will be those who will deny the facts, define this thought as reactionary of conspiratorial but, as we can see, there are people who are seeing it and calling it what it is. 

The extinction of black, brown, yellow and beige: the extinction of the black

By Elisângela Lima

A extinção do preto, marrom, amarelo e bege - a extinção do negro

It’s not utopia, it’s how humanity proceeds. And because this reality drives me crazy day and night, I couldn’t help but make my contribution to the topic.

Increasingly I am convinced of how hard the fight against racism is, how structural and raging the separatists methods are and especially how much we, black men and women are individuals in the fights.

Here are our ancestral and contemporary dilemmas: Let’s classify the extinction recalling a bit of the past!

Previously, when Princess Isabel ceded to capitalism and its definitions thus passing the slave chain to the worker, she legitimized a black and indigenous working class in Brazil, which even after the abolition found itself totally dependent. “Curiously” they are the lower and most marginalized classes by the society to the present.

From this point we know who needs who and who deceives who for this. It is important to emphasize how much the story in general is blurred and superficial to address these issues. I speak of an era where one killed or arrested blacks with any type of book in hand.

Since his imprisonment, the black in Brazil, in general, had his intelligence underestimated and his past hidden, leaving to his ancestors a great curiosity in dealing with origins and an inferiority complex due to “ethnic belonging”. Many people find it hard to understand that the past has a strong influence on our present, what we do today structures the path of tomorrow, is the saying denominated “today, a reflection of yesterday”. To understand this text, it is essential to understand this image:

A extinção do preto, marrom, amarelo e bege - a extinção do negro (2)

Every moment our heads are occupied with empty interests to even think of seeking or being curious of something that refers to origins. But it’s natural to want to know where it came from and where it’s going, right? This is pure philosophy. Within many this was another right denied and stolen, and we are conditioned by a Eurocentric culture to not think better when the subject is the past. Because indeed, the key identifies itself as ANCESTRY.

A healthy concern in continuing the black doesn’t exist.

The black community is bald knowing of the deaths in the morros (hills) of Rio, northeastern slums, in the impunity of the streets, feminicide, illegal abortion, crack, etc and still fight for the minimum right to know statistically how many of us were buried per day, but huh? How patient we are!

Increasingly, the death of young black men, to which we point out in several measures to end this war, a fundamentalist wave that prioritizes capital and not who sustains it still permeates throughout the country. Here’s a question that really saddens me: How will we have a future if we have already died young? Well, looking to the past, the feeling is that they only the changed the names.

Another ethnic extermination method used in the past and that still reverberating today are the interracial relationships and the familiar sequence coming from such unions. A thorny issue, however necessary.

Interracial relationships also fit into this bias of extinction, with criteria elaborated by this system in an era where the free black in Brazil could result in a majority population (XX century), and the concern of the sinhozinhos (slave masters) was obvious. Most of the time the black and indigenous women attract in only one sense: the sexual.

In the past, raped by immigrants (who had free access to colonies in Brazil, facilitating the process of embranquecimento, whitening).

Today, we still reproduce some of these behaviors, as the writer Gilberto Freyre well addresses in his book Casa Grande e Senzala (The Masters and the Slaves), “branca para casa, mulata para foder, negra para trabalhar” (white woman for marriage, mulata for fucking, black woman for work). It’s important to emphasize that this saying was portrayed after a generation, less than a hundred years after abolition and it was also the first generation of miscegenation in the country. Coincidence? No! Strategy.

This saying originating from the 1930s is a legacy practiced (un)consciously even today.

The pawn was/is the black man for the so criticized and at the same time praised miscegenation, entitled by many in that era as a “processo de pureza” (purifying process).

Black women are marginalized and associated with improper. For the black man, a white woman is an invitation to live with dignity in this society, and this is really how they planned it. Thus, in this way, we don’t give continuity to our ancestry because of racist motives that persecute our self-esteem.

This process is classified by many as a genocidal measure because it was strategically designed for this purpose. And so silently that it seems harmless, it reminds me of “it seems harmless, but it dominated you” because this is what has resulted in Brazil; a loss of identity for ethnicity, an individual confusion of belonging where being black is another political issue and affirmation of who is “confused” or “camouflaged” as white in society.

As this process of embranquecimento was implemented in society (better known as miscegenation), white patriarchal sexism was too.

Willy Lynch, a master of Caribbean slaves in the eighteenth century, was one of the most sought after by other masters and had his “psychological skills” propagated which was based upon separate, divide and conquer. Lynch used effective methods in which disunity among blacks fortified the true relationship of slave and master, giving privileges to men (for being man), the younger (by their condition), to those that approximate a European beauty (for classifying this beauty as superior) and thus created a separatist and segregating culture among black men and women of the time.

This whole process has resulted today in a large-scale conflicting and separatist culture, where the greatest villain of the whole movement and outside of it is the superiority and ignorance pertaining to differences.

The cult of Christianity brought us the sexist patriarchal culture and other customs until then unknown and re-enforcing what was already sown.

These examples and others not mentioned here, simplify the title of this text.

Our quilombola cultures, still alive because of several states (Asè), send us a dark message: that of the black is the black helping the other black. Unity is still the main key to the whole problem. We don’t need to bring within our black movement or homes the concerns of branquicistas (supporters of whitening), we don’t need racist criteria of their evaluation for treatment among ourselves, we will face it together.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to stop and wait for the conclusion of all this structural anger. Don’t let end our ethnicity end.

Source: Blogueiras Negras

16 comments on “The extinction of black, brown, yellow and beige: The extinction of the black race in Brazil

  1. Max Joseph
    June 28, 2015

    Afro Brazilian and Afro Americnare pretty much going experiencing the same same thing living in a white dominating society. Here in America it is extremely difficult to find a black couple. Black females in America a ver difficult to get along with. Crime rate and incarceration is high amongst black males. The black race is getting lighter most black males are having babies with unattractive white females and more black females are doing the same. The black who come out of Africa end up marrying whites. The country’s like Haiti and Jamaica have high mortality rate. The government in Haiti has been able to keep the country going with out having to result in drama. I would say its suck being black. If we don’t come together it’s going to be a wrap.

    • kelley
      June 28, 2015

      As a Black woman in America, I understand your frustrations, but please don’t lump us all into one category.

      I agree that Black men and Black women are venturing out to date other races at a much higher rate, and, because of some of the reasons you mentioned, maybe even more often than our white counterparts.

      I agree that if we don’t come together, it’ll be a wrap, but I’ve seen a surge in unity lately. There’s hope for change, I see it DAILY. So please try to find the bright spots and maybe alter your bleak outlook.

    • Nelson G.
      July 14, 2015

      Max Joseph please! How old are you? Saying, “Here in America it is extremely difficult to find a black couple?!” Do you live in Idaho or Montana, states where hardly any black people live? Interracial pairings are few and far between today in the USA. Blacks still marry and or procreate with other blacks in the USA. We aren’t strongly pro-miscengenation likes blacks in Latin America are. Please! You act like every black person is with someone non-black. Nigga please.

  2. lauren
    June 28, 2015

    Max I would have to disagree with your comment. I live in Los Angeles and although you see alot of interracial dating, you all see alot black couples together. I should add in cities like Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Raleigh, New York, and several others you have big populations of blacks and alot of educated blacks. You can clearly see black love is alive and well.

    I went to Brazil a few years ago with a friend for New Years and can say things there are completely different. The black people there were looking at me questioning how I could be vacationing at such a young age in Buzios. My friend and I were the only black people there on vacation it seemed, all the workers were black though. The thing that struck me the most was when we did see a black person they would stare at us very hard. They would ask us if we were singers and some wouldn’t even look at us. The ones that wouldn’t look at us seemed as though they we’re just trying to blend in and that saying anything to us would “blow their cover”. I don’t know…. Being in Brazil really made me sad in some ways… The blacks there are really messed up and still have a slave mentality.

    • kelley
      June 28, 2015

      I see that from reading this blog! I’m very saddened that our brothers and sisters worldwide are still so lost.

  3. Anthony Thomas (@djfourmoney)
    June 28, 2015

    Slave mentality? Face Palm, sigh… While there are certainly problems in the so-called Black Diaspora, they all start at the beginning. Racism plays a roll but what I find often is that Blacks tend to give White Supremacy too much credit.

    Sorry but most of the ranting does come from Black women. Most of the hostile behavior comes from Black women. Most Black households are headed by Black women, raising a bunch of b*tch made Black men who are emotional and argue like women!

    It’s these factors that lead to the high prison population. Certainly longer and harsher sentences don’t help but staying out and away from the criminal justice system is more important than trying to humanize it.

    The moaning of Black men being with non-Black women comes only from one source = Black women.

    Why because in every country except Africa they are towards the bottom of the totem pole. Is that the fault of White Supremacy? A bit, but then the excuses come long, far and wide and who’s fault does it end up being = Black men

    There is no risk of the disappearance of Black people. Frankly speaking the entire human population is at risk of extinction long before dark skin people disappear from view.

    This is an unrealistic, non-scientific, emotional filled trope that Pro Blacks love to throw out there.

    Black men STILL, STILL at over a 94% clip in America and 70% clip in Brazil MARRY BLACK WOMEN WHEN THEY DO MARRY.

    Eh, in-fact Black men when they do marry somebody else they marry Latinas more than even White women. The problem is that some Latinas identify as White which messes simple data gathering.

    What Black women want is what White women enjoy which is 95-98%. But I dare you to find a blog where White women are ranting about the increasing competition from Asian women.

    What would help if blogs like this spent more time trying to solve the deep economic problems of Black people instead of engaging the global gender war.

    • Heg
      June 28, 2015

      I don’t always agree with you, but spot on.

    • The Alchemist
      June 30, 2015

      You sound bitter

      • Corey N
        July 4, 2015

        “You sound bitter” – A non-response, yeh!

    • Kandace
      July 5, 2016

      Hit the nail right on the head

  4. Heg
    June 28, 2015

    And I also think this blog is inconsistent with it’s own ideologies… There are stories after stories defending the unity of blacks, quoting of statistics to claim that “blacks and pardos in Brazil are treated almost the same”, that mixed raced blacks should embrace their blackness etc etc. And although it rejects the one drop rule, there is a clear agenda to adopt a more American model in Brazil. On the other hand, you are insisting that there is a plan to make blacks disappear whereas by your own logic, whites are the one vanishing in Brazil and we should therefore be no the least worried.

    • gatasnegrasbrasileiras
      June 29, 2015

      Good evening Heg! And thanks for your comment!

      I don’t see how see the logic as flawed. I have written in previous posts that while there are clear differences between Brazil and the US in terms of race, the idea is show that there are also quite a few similarities. In terms of your comment that “there is a clear agenda to adopt a more American model in Brazil”, I would say the unity of the so-called ‘pretos’ and ‘pardos’ don’t necessarily have to draw upon the US situation. For even if the US model never existed, if one were to measure social statistics that basically put pretos and pardos in the same boat, unity of the two groups would still be an obvious solution. The ideology of divide and conquer expands centuries before the existence of the US and as such, it wouldn’t matter what happened in the US.

      As far as “insisting that there is a plan to make blacks disappear”, I state this because there are numerous recorded elite Brazilians who verbally stated this objective. Thus the blog simply repeats what was already established as a “solution” to Brazil’s ‘people of color’.

      In terms of whites disappearing, as Brazil wants to rid itself of people of color, your view also appeals to the idea of ‘one drop’. In Brazil, one can have African ancestry and still consider themselves ‘branca’. As such, as most people prefer to be closer to branca’ than ‘negra’, you would have a large group of brancas and almost brancas who will continue to whiten themselves. The black and more negroid looking pardos would be nearly extinct. In my view, the logic speaks to what is precisely happening in Brazil today.

      • Heg
        June 29, 2015

        Thanks. My point was only that if you truly believe “if one were to measure social statistics that basically put pretos and pardos in the same boat, unity of the two groups would still be an obvious solution.”

        Than you should not worry about “In Brazil, one can have African ancestry and still consider themselves ‘branca’. As such, as most people prefer to be closer to branca’ than ‘negra’, you would have a large group of brancas and almost brancas who will continue to whiten themselves. The black and more negroid looking pardos would be nearly extinct”

        Since pardo and pretos are the same, you would still have a very large group being discriminated and being targed as blacked. No need to worry about that.

      • Ned
        December 22, 2016

        What you have stated makes sense. The dichotomy between the two races in Brazil is perspicuous to our understanding of Brazil’s citizens. Brazil has a white majority and a black minority. We have already elucidated the fact that Brazil’s people have gone through years of miscegenation. This in fact is affecting the black population than the white population. By the year 2050, America might go through the same fate. I do not think that Afro-Brazilians would be extinct, but the Negroid genes would be carried amongst the white populations of Brazil. This goes to show you that miscegenation is similar to interbreeding. The European diaspora interbred with indigenous hominids who were already in Europe, before the first waves of people left the African continent. Today, most Caucasians carry 2-4% of these hominid genes. These hominids were the Neanderthal. They had become extinct because of interbreeding with these primitive people. The premise of this blog, is to perspicuously explain that Afro Brazils are not going to be extinct.

      • gatasnegrasbrasileiras
        December 22, 2016

        Hey Ned…

        Thanks for your comment, but the premise of this blog has never been “to perspicuously explain that Afro Brazils are not going to be extinct.” There have been articles discussing the Brazil’s goal for extinction of black Brazilians by amalgamation but this has never been the premise of this blog.

        The way I see things, in regions where pretos and pardos are minorities in the country, I can see a future in which darker-skinned Afro-Brazilians are extremely diminished with lighter -skinned persons reflecting slight traces of African ancestry. Those types of pardos who can “pass” for white according to Brazilian standards.

        In my view, the ideal of embranquecimento may not have succeeded in its goal of eliminating the black population by 2011 but this process remains ongoing as most blacks in Brazil have absolutely NO problem with mixing until their offspring look white or something close to white.

  5. lewislay19892015
    July 8, 2015

    I find it pathetic when some blacks complain of vile behavior of whites but at the same time, the blacks are fighting against each other just to sleep with the white master!As the case of Charleston where nine black people were killed in cold blood by a white racist!What is most surprising is to see that blacks forgive these white racists, and even have the courage to pray for them!
    When white racists who killed Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and many others none of them, they have ever asked to forgive their families! How to elect a president like Obama a biracial person, for me he is the representation of shame made in person! We have become a people of idiots, we are only able to complain but we don’t want do nothing to change our situation!
    Why black people should complain of white supremacy when in the end you like to sleep in and have children with our enemy?
    We slept for 500 years and will continue to do so until will not remain even half of us in the globe!

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This entry was posted on June 28, 2015 by in embrancquecimento, extinction, whitening and tagged , , , , .
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