Black Women of Brazil

The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent

‘Tell that one over there to reduce the volume of her hair’: young woman is target of racism on part of director of college in Rio


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Larissa says the prejudiced comment came from the director of the Souza Marques college

Note from BW of Brazil: So, how will those who are raised to believe that Brazil is a ‘racial democracy’ defend this one? “How is this racism? No one called her a macaca (monkey) or a ‘preta fedida’ (stinking black); she was just told to fix her hair!” I’m not saying that anyone actually said these words, but I’ve heard this reasoning so much over the years that it wouldn’t be surprising if someone thought or actually said the above typical response to accusations of racism. The fact of the matter is, as we’ve seen with numerous anti-black comments over the years, in Brazil, the standard for beauty, acceptance or the so-called ‘boa aparência’ (good appearance, code for white), one must approximate the European standard. As such, as afro-textured is considered ‘cabelo ruim’ (bad hair), Afro-Brazilian men are expected to wear their hair very close-cropped and Afro-Brazilian women are expected to straighten their voluminous tresses or wear a wig/weave to be seen as ‘acceptable’. It is a subtle form of racism in Brazil that is actually not so subtle at all. Today’s story is just another incident in the daily lives of black Brazilians…

Young woman is target of racism at Madureira College: ‘Ask that one over there to decrease the volume of her hair’

By Pedro Willmersdorf

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Larissa was approached in a college bathroom by another employee.

A 18 year old woman claims to have been the victim of a racist comment as she left Souza Marques college in Madureira, in Rio de Janeiro’s north zone on Thursday. An employee of the institution, Larissa Inácio was accompanied by a friend in the bathroom when she heard from another woman who works there a displeasing message that originally made by the director of the college.

“I was ready to return home, when a person who I’ve never seen in my life came and told me, ‘Look, the director sent word to you to reduce the volume of your hair a little to come to work tomorrow.’ And began to laugh, as did other women who were in the bathroom,” Larissa told Extra (website).

The young woman, employed by Souza Marques for a year and two months via project the Jovem Aprendiz (Young Apprentice) project, says that she had been relocated by the sector for five months and had never faced any prejudiced incident in the workplace.

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Larissa’s mother Monica expressed her outrage with the incident through her social network profile

Outraged, Larissa’s mother made an outburst on her Facebook profile: “My daughter is black, beautiful!!! She wears a super stylish cabelo black (black hairstyle). She’s intelligent, educated, extroverted (…) I called immediately to the college to find out the name of that Director. I was very well attended. In telling the story, the person who helped me was surprised and asked me to await a contact (…) The Director herself answered and said that it was just a JOKE. Okay. All right then. But no…I’m sick of these ‘jokes’”.

On Friday, accompanied by her mother, Larissa reported the incident at the 29th Civil Police Office (Madureira) and resigned from the college, after a meeting with the director, who claimed responsibility for the comment, and the director of the institution’s HR department.

“There wasn’t the least condition to continue working there, being seen as a ‘troublemaker’, the ‘vitimista’ (one who plays the victim),” says the young woman, who now plans to take legal measures in relation to the case.

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Larissa, beside her mother, Monica: support in time of sorrow and indignation.

Sought by Extra, the director of the college was not found by the time of publication of this report

Source: Extra

4 comments on “‘Tell that one over there to reduce the volume of her hair’: young woman is target of racism on part of director of college in Rio

  1. Ian
    May 12, 2016

    As a black man here in New York I’m happy this issue wasn’t allowed to be swept under the rug. People don’t realize how damaging negative comments can impact a person. Larissa and her mother has courage and that is admired and respected.

  2. Ian
    May 12, 2016

    By the way Larissa and her mother are gorgeous women, period! Change nothing!

  3. Wayne Gio
    May 14, 2016

    Brazil is not a black country i know that you are a black supremacist 50% of brazil is white half the population of brazil is white you are not going anywhere with this website shut it down its useless you see i’m the only one responding the south of brazil is the land of whites heavy european immigration took place actually brazil recieved the second largest european diaspora after the united states brazil is not a black country its a diverse country

    there is even whites in the north of brazil incase you did not know that

    one day i will hack into your website and shut this black supremacy website down

  4. Paula
    May 14, 2016

    You need to go back to school Mr Wayne Gio, Brazil belongs to the indigenous people in Brazil. And this website is for black women to have a voice,what happen to freedom of speak? Do you want black women to shut their mouths. Racism in Brazil has been a major issue ever since the colonial era and the slave era imposed by Portuguese settlers,

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