Black Women of Brazil

The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent

“Too black for Brazil”: British documentary details one woman’s rise and fall due to the politics of skin tone


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Short film “Too black for Brazil”

Note from BW of Brazil: In the past few days, the BW of Brazil blog has been attracting numerous new readers due to a recent report/documentary about former Globeleza and current Record TV actress Nayara Justino. We’ve shared Nayara’s rise, fall and rebound ever since she came on the scene a few years ago after winning a nationally televised contest to replace the outgoing Globeleza girl Aline Prado. The documentary produced by The Guardian newspaper features editor and translator Marques Travae breaking down some facts about not only Nayara but racial politics in Brazil as a whole.

“Too black for Brazil”

The brief documentary speaks to a number of issues that are consistently featured here on the blog. Colorism. The representation of Globo TV’s Globeleza personality. Prejudice. The “place” reserved for black Brazilians. The embranquecimento (whitening) of the black population through interracial unions. Interestingly, Nayara’s own mother speaks of how black skin is disappearing in her family even as her daughter is also married to a white guy. All in all, a great little snapshot of how race and color plays out in Brazil. Very short clocking in at over 9 minutes, but just enough to make viewers curious for more details; which is why BW of Brazil is here!

News about the documentary was quickly picked up in the Brazilian media as the video was shared within Brazilian social media circles. Below are just a few of the reports from Brazilian sites that appeared shortly after the film’s release. 

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British daily ‘The Guardian’ releases short film about actress Nayara Justino who believes she lost the role of Globeleza girl “for being too black”

Courtesy of Vio Mundo

The video featured in this report was produced by the British daily The Guardian.

To complement it it’s necessary to add that the Brazilian elite imported pseudoscience from Europe attesting to the superiority of whites in relation to blacks. It had been made to justify the colonial massacre committed by Europeans in the scramble for Africa. Because of this, blacks had no soul, were barbarians and had no history.

The Brazilian elite, in a tragicomic way, imported theories and derived from them the thesis of the whitening of the population. It was the official policy that brought immigrants from all over the world, to free Brazil from its black blood.

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Veteran actress Neusa Borges

The descendants of slaves, abandoned by the state after abolition, plunged definitely into a second slavery. The remains of “the darker, the worse” and the mulata woman as an object of sexual desire of Europeans were incorporated into sexist, racist and colonized Brazilianness.

Racism against Nayara Justin became a documentary that shows how late the country is on the subject

Courtesy of iG

The British newspaper The Guardian decided to show in the form of a documentary that at Carnival there is also racism and chose the former Globeleza Nayara Justino to illustrate it, showing in images pictures how a black woman is no longer the Globeleza girl because of being “too dark”.

Nayara was elected Globeleza in 2013, but soon began receiving racist comments on Facebook and, shortly thereafter, was informed that was no longer the muse of the Carnival vignette.

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After Nayara’s dismissal, Globo replaced her with Érika Moura

“I found out when they called me and said ‘You will no longer be [the Globeleza]. Thank you very much, we loved your participation.'” According to a friend, the station didn’t explain the reason for the decision.

The documentary broadcast by the newspaper shows that racism is not only whites but also of the black community itself, and for Nayara, that’s the worst part. Currently she is an actress of Record TV and continues dancing samba in the Acadêmicos da Rocinha samba school in Rio.

In 2015 other Globo TV personalities also went through this kind of situation in social networks and even had to press charges. Actresses Taís Araújo and Sheron Menezes and journalist Maju Coutinho were not the first, let alone the last to go through such a situation.

Source: iG, Vio Mundo

9 comments on ““Too black for Brazil”: British documentary details one woman’s rise and fall due to the politics of skin tone

  1. bamabrasileira
    February 13, 2016

    I am so proud of Nayara for continuing to move forward and speak about what happened to her with such grace. They tried to break her spirit and, instead, gave her a powerful platform to expose the racism here in Brazil.

    In truth, I cannot help but think that – just maybe – globeleza was TRYING to expand the Samba Queen archetype by “voting” for a dark skinned Black woman for the first time. There does seem to be a tortoise-paced attempt here to bring more shine to Black folks (however misguided it is most of the time). I say this because it is just really difficult for me to believe that she won through a legitimate voting process from the normal viewers AND faced such enormous backlash after winning. It is hard for me to think that she could have legitimately won and not had mountains of support from the public that apparently voted for her. Just a thought…

    In any case, I am happy to see that her story has gained international attention, and that any Black girl/person with youtube can see that we are deemed beautiful and worthy worldwide. I hope that she will continue to be an inspiration to Black women all around the world. She has so much courage for choosing not to stay hidden!

  2. King Kevin Dorival
    February 13, 2016

    I had no idea that Brazil was acting like that with the black skinned Brazilians. They completely took Nayara off the Globeleza to put a lighter skin female. My heart goes out yo her because this act is a true outrage. The global brainwashing continues. We shall overcome one day soon. Stay strong my Brazlian sisters and brothers!! Black is beautiful!! Great documentary!

  3. studio54
    February 14, 2016

    See what history has done, the words have followed into the present time by the racist Oliveira Vianna,

  4. jcole8503
    February 14, 2016

    IMO.. The most heartbreaking part about the video was when her mother said that there would be no black people left in her family because they are all marrying white people… “Bettering the race”… That’s heart breaking.. The legacy of slavery and anti-blackness has affected us so deeply worldwide… you can go to any colonized country where african people were taken and you will see the same things from their descendants… albeit, it may manifest in different ways depending upon context but “Bettering the race” bullshit is something we have got address seriously…

  5. kissofdanger
    February 17, 2016

    The lighter skinned woman should be ashamed of herself for taking the position after Nayara. She isn’t helping be being complicit in this.

    • gatasnegrasbrasileiras
      February 17, 2016

      That’s one way of looking at it but another is to understand that the media doesn’t really permit really role of prominence to black women and many women would have been willing to step into the position. It’s just a reality.

      • kissofdanger
        February 17, 2016

        That’s not an excuse for her. There are other things to do with your life. Prominence be damned. She needs to do her part to be in solidarity, but instead she took the job.

  6. Brazil hates Black women
    March 10, 2016

    The same black woman that was removed as the Globeleza Carnival Queen have a nerve to turn around and marry a white man! She ain’t helping the black situation in Brazil by marrying white. Self hate is very strong in Brazil.

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