Black Women of Brazil

The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent

In Brazil, Malaak Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X, is shocked by black passivity in the face of genocide


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Note from BW of Brazil: With great anticipation, the city of São Paulo welcomed the youngest daughter of human rights icon Malcolm X, Malaak Shabazz last Thursday. A long-time activist in her own right, Shabazz did not disappoint! In a dialogue with activists, rappers, youth and the community, Shabazz received enthusiastic applause for numerous comments and memories (see full video below).

Shabazz spoke on a personal level about the activist work and dedication to women’s education of her mother Betty in not only the US but also in Africa. She also spoke on her own experiences with racism, her connection with Hip Hop, having grown up only a few blocks from where the genre began in  New York and the little known fact that her mother also spent much time in Brazil in the last decade of her life, having visited the states of Bahia, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo before her death in 1997. 

Shabazz would also field questions from an excited audience before hurrying off to another commitment and then on Friday participating in the annual March of Black Consciousness. One of the topics that she expressed most concern for was what many describe as the genocide of the black population. With ongoing headline-making protests and conflicts over the situation in the United States, Shabazz expressed surprise that an even worse situation for blacks in Brazil seems to garner fewer expressions of outrage

Receiving many requests to build bridges with activists and rappers of the black community, the activist let the audience know that, with a new 10-year Visa, she will be back to visit soon! Needless to say, Brazil’s black community will be looking forward to it!

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Malaak Shabazz also participated in São Paulo’s annual March of Black Consciousness on November 20th.

Malaak Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X, is shocked by black passivity in the face of genocide

Activist participated in discussion with black youth in São Paulo, after visiting a periphery suburb

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Activist Malaak Shabazz, shown here with Maurício Pestana, former editor-in-chief of Raça Brasil magazine and current Secretary of Racial Equality of São Paulo

Text and photos courtesy of Frente de Mídias Negras via Alma Preta

On a trip to Brazil, the human rights activist and daughter of the black American leader Malcolm X, Malaak Shabazz, called upon the black population to take stronger actions. In the interview she gave to the black press after meeting with young people in the city of São Paulo, on Thursday afternoon (19), the activist said she was surprised by the fact that people are so calm in the face of existing racist violence in Brazil.

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Shabazz appeared among numerous well-known Afro-Brazilian personalities such as rapper Dexter (Adidas t-shirt), Maurício Pestana (white shirt and tie) and rapper Rappin’ Hood

“[My mother] raised six girls while dedicating herself to the construction a society free of racism.”

At least 400 people gathered in the auditorium of Galeria Olido, in downtown São Paulo, to hear Malaak and also shared news about the living conditions of the black population. The audience was larger, but many were left out by order of the fire department. Among the many topics discussed, the American activist talked about black feminism, gender inequality, black representation in politics, the Obama administration as well as her impressions of racism in Brazil and the genocide that mainly affects residents of the periphery.

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More than 400 people packed into a room in the Galeria Olido to hear Shabazz speak

Sharing her experience, Malaak made an analysis of the political situation and addressed issues that are present in both American society and in Brazil, such as the police repression and the need for coordination between the black movements.

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In another appearance, Shabazz spoke and responded to questions of representatives of São Paulo’s black community including Douglas Belchior (in cap)

The activist shared important moments of her father’s biography, but was keen to emphasize the role of her mother in the anti-racist struggle. Dr. Betty Shabbaz, also an activist, “raised six girls while dedicating herself to the construction of a society free of racism.” She served, above all, to create conditions for young blacks to have access to education in a subsidized manner.

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Shabazz (sunglasses) at the March of Black Consciousness in São Paulo

Hours before the lecture, organized by the Municipal Secretariat for the Promotion of Racial Equality (SMPIR), Malaak visited the Cidade Tiradentes neighborhood, in São Paulo’s east zone and spoke to residents. At the end the activist demonstrated a willingness to cooperate with the proposed construction of an international seminar on the genocide of the black population.

Source: Alma Preta

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