Black Women of Brazil

The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent

Student has bus card photo rejected because of her afro


'RACISMO É COISA DA TUA CABEÇA'- REALMENTE (3)

“If my hair doesn’t fit in a 3×4 your prejudice doesn’t fit in the world”

Note from BW of Brazil: Nothing new or shocking to report here just another example of how much Brazil attempts to enforce the European standard of beauty. The story is so not new it is almost a carbon copy of a previous report…More on that later, for now let’s get to the details. 

Encontro talk show discusses controversy involving cabelo black power of student from Paraíba

RACISMO É COISA DA TUA CABEÇA REALMENTE (2)

Márcia Lima was prevented from taking her document because of appearing with her hair loose in a photo

The student Márcia Lima, from Campina Grande in Paraíba (state), was interviewed on Tuesday (1st) at the Encontro com Fátima Bernardes talk show. She has a cabelo black power (afro hairstyle) and was prevented from getting her bus pass card because of the photo with her hair.

Márcia said that in the pre-registration there were no rules for haircuts in the photo. “The lady who was serving me said that my photo could not be this, that the manager had not released it”.

'RACISMO É COISA DA TUA CABEÇA'- REALMENTE

Márcia Lima’s photo that was rejected

Anchieta Bernardino, director of the agency that is responsible for student records at Campina Grande Bus System (Sitrans), gave an interview to the team of TV Cabo Branco, in which he claimed that the hair is not part of the identity and photos have to have the standard of identity card.

For the director Sitrans, Márcia’s photo was artistic and therefore was not accepted by the system. Actor Pablo Sanábio said he was shocked by all this and commented that the hair is a working tool for him, which helps to define the identity of the characters he interprets.

Another case

In 2014, Fátima Bernardes talked with a journalist who had a problem similar to Márcia. Lilian de Souza was getting her passport and also wasn’t able to because of her hair.

“I am black and from the moment I didn’t wear my hair escovado, straightened, it’s a constraint to which I was subjected at the time, because of my aesthetic decision, of identity,” said Lilian.

Singer Sandra de Sá also commented on the case stating that she’s already had black hair like Márcia and still sang the song “Olhos Coloridos” (1).

Sandra de Sá – “Olhos Coloridos”

Note from BW of BrazilBelow is how Márcia explained what happened in her social media profile. 

“Racism is just a thing in your head”: Really…

Another from the series: #nãoexistepreconceitonoBrasil (prejudice doesn’t exist in Brazil) nãomeKhaloMais

Me, at the bus station office, with all necessary documents and procedures trying to duplicate my pass card when the girl who helped me called the manager and showed something on the computer. The manager nodded her head and I could read her lips: “She can’t”

I didn’t understand. The girl in the window handed back my documents and on the recepit writes and says to me. “You have to change the picture.”

I asked why and she says it was the manager who said I couldn’t. I insisted on understanding the reason, explaining that my picture met all pre-established rules on the site where I filled out the registration. She says that unfortunately she couldn’t do anything and that I should change my photo to complete the procedure.

Dissatisfied, I went to the manager and politely – it’s worth pointing out – I questioned why I had to change the picture. First, she said that the picture is dark. I said no, because it’s not. Then she says that there is a kind of evaluator on the site that defines whether the picture may or may not be used. I questioned her about that, since my photo after I did the registration was marked as valid and who determined whether if it could or not was the same because I saw it. When she released this gem:

– “.. My love, take a picture with your hair up which would be BETTER. IT’S ONLY TO TIE IT UP, like it was  in your Student ID. You take it with your cell phone. It’s just a picture..”

The boy who next to me asked: “So the problem is her hair?”

She repeated looking at me: Just tie it up and it’ll be fine, okay?”

I look at her, stepped back and cried. I cried a lot. I was crying until now to be perfectly honest. Because everyone I know takes their 3×4 photos with loose hair, why couldn’t I?

The problem was not the photo before anyone comes to say. It was recent, it was clear, it had a white background, I was facing, there were no other people, I didn’t have props.

The problem was the hair. Meu black (my afro) Being loose. Existing.

It’s been a while since something like affected me so much. Today it only hurts. But it passed.

In fact this text from today serves more as a message to me and this manager: NEVER AGAIN WILL SOMETHING LIKE THIS SHAKE ME UP SO MUCH. THE ONLY ONE TO BE SHAKEN FROM THIS DAY FORWARD IS MEU BLACK. BECAUSE IT’S BEAUTIFUL! IT’S MINE! BECAUSE THERE WILL BE A BLACK (afro) IN 3X4 PHOTOS, YES. AND HOW IT WILL! THERE WILL ALWAYS BE!

Respect that, bow down bitches!!!!!!

Note from BW of Brazil: OK, so let’s take a look at this case. It actually happened in February but it’s still worth reviewing here. As mentioned above, the case is similar to what happened to a journalist back in July of 2014. Now of course there will be those who will say that this case has nothing to do with racism, but is that really true? Márcia Lima’s photo was rejected and the manager told her to just tie her hair down. But here’s the question. If a white woman with straight hair would have come in to take such a photo and her hair was untied would she have been told to tie it down or tie it back? The simple truth is that Lima’s hair was judged according a standard of hair that she does not naturally have, which is one of the prime reasons so many black women use powerful chemicals in an attempt to attain this aesthetic. But in the 21st century, more and more black women such as Márcia refuse to cave in to such standards that are directly connected to racist ideologies. Period!

Source: G Show

Note

  1. This 1982 hit by Soul singer Sandra de Sá is a classic in Afro-Brazilian circles and is considered an anthem of orgulho negro, or black pride. The song, written by songwriter Macau was composed in the 1970s after the author was unjustly arrested by Military Police in Rio de Janeiro.

One comment on “Student has bus card photo rejected because of her afro

  1. Janet
    May 15, 2016

    She’s so beautiful

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