Black Women of Brazil

The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent

Can we keep it real, Brazil? You don’t really love the Rafaela Silvas of the world; you only like this one temporarily because she won the gold!


rafaela-silva-comemora-ouro-olimpico-no-judo-1470688761404_v2_956x500

Judo artist Rafaela Silva celebrates gold medal winning victory in 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio

Note from BW of Brazil: OK, so now that we have celebrated the exhilarating victory of judo artist Rafaela Silva bringing home Brazil’s first gold medal right in her own hometown, today we will take a more critical view of all of the celebration, accolades and pride that Brazil claims to have in her victory.

Considering all of the things we’ve seen just on this blog alone since 2011, one must conclude that all of this hype and love for Rafaela Silva is, like so many other things we’ve seen, a myth…a farse. For Brazil doesn’t like women who look like Rafaela Silva. On a daily basis in Brazil, women who look like Rafaela Silva are told that their hair is “ruim” (bad), that they can’t work in certain places with “that hair”. Women who look like Rafaela Silva and come from her poor, favela background can be shot, killed, thrown in the back of a police truck and have her body dragged on the ground for several yards.

Women who look like Rafaela Silva are rarely seen in protagonist roles on television or in films and when they are even featured, they’re usually “the help” or some sort of sensual vixen. Women who look like Rafaela Silva are more likely to be raped and/or killed and are routinely passed over in the relationship market where most Brazilian men prefer white women.

Women who look like Rafaela are more likely to be imprisoned, will be paid four times less than white men and suffer racial insults on social networks even being rich and/or famous. Women who look like Rafaela will be routinely passed for white women in jobs, even when she is better qualified.

We will continue to remind our audience that Brazil continues to believe that certain places and jobs are not meant for black people.  In fact, with certainty, if Rafaela Silva owned a home in Rio’s upper crust South Zone and people didn’t know her, someone ringing her doorbell would probably ask to see ‘lady of house’ as they would assume that Rafaela couldn’t possibly be the owner of the home. Let us also remember that these same Brazilians have always rejected the quota system so that more Rafaelas can get into college because they don’t like the idea of their maids’ daughters going to the same university as their childrenThey don’t like seeing people like Rafaela at the airports, in cool restaurants or in ritzy shopping malls either. 

So I find it laughable and even a slap in the face that so many white Brazilians would be celebrating Rafaela’s victory for Brazil, because, as the country still has such fond memories of the slavery era, these same people would see Rafaela as only being suitable for serving them in their kitchen if she didn’t happen to get involved in sports, one of the few areas (along with music) in which black Brazilians are allowed to excel. And even then, it depends on the sport and type of music, just ask former champion gymnast Daiane dos Santos or a number of black female singers who managed to avoid “the place” where they were directed.

We are all Rafaela

Globo TV website headline: “We are all Silva. Rafaela wins 1st gold of Brazil in Rio’s Olympics.”

So, no Brazil, you aren’t really celebrating with Rafaela Silva. And no, we are not all Silva, in the same way that we weren’t all Maju when you showed your racist character once again against the new black weather girl. We are only all this or that when your objective is to hide the true racist nature of this culture all the while avoiding a real, honest conversation on this social disease (1). Rafaela herself clearly remembers when these Brazilians called her a monkey after her disappointing defeat in the 2012 London Games. 

You must celebrate Rafaela as she’s won Brazil’s first, and so far, only gold medal. You only celebrate black people and culture when you can appropriate and whiten it because the “coisa do negro” (black thing) is always better when it comes packaged in a white(r) body. Because in the real Brazil, someone like Rafaela would be told to get back in the kitchen if were thought to be out of “her place”!

20

Gold medalist Rafaela Silva

“The most reliable expression of homage to Rafaela …”

By Gislene Ramos

“Is it BRAZIL’S GOLD”?

NO! This gold is Rafaela Silva’s!

Brazil hates Rafaela Silvas.

Brazil imprisons Rafaela Silvas.

Brazil beats Rafaela Silvas.

Brazil rapes Rafaela Silvas.

Brazil harasses Rafalea Silvas.

Brazil denies jobs to Rafaela Silvas.

Brazil neglects Rafaelas Silva.

Brazil thinks the hair of Rafaela Silvas is bad.

Brazil clutches its purse when near Rafaela Silvas.

Brazil is “practically (one of the) family” of Rafaela Silvas.

Brazil beat its pots for the end of Rafaela Silvas.

BRAZIL HATES RAFAELAS!

So Brazil…gold is belongs to the Rafaelas who struggle daily, on the mats and off of them!

#ÉPelaVidaDasMulheres (it’s for the life of black women) #MulheresNegras (black women) #MulheresFortes (strong women) #LuteComoUmaMulher (fight like a woman) #RafaelaSilva

The most reliable expression of homage to Rafaela…

IMG-20160808-WA0015

“Woman, black is from struggle. Congratulations Rafaela Silva! First gold of Brazil in Rio 2016”

Untitled text

by RSilva, courtesy of Nós Somos Negros WhatsApp group

I kept telling myself this yesterday …when I saw the white elite cheering Rafaela, having all that party … receiving her in their arms supposedly, welcoming her… 😏😏😏

They had to swallow Rafaela, because it she, the reverse of appreciated standard in Brazil, the only one, so far, that gave a gold medal to this perversely prejudiced country…

Certainly, that girl – Rafaela Silva – is the same that would be blatantly discriminated against in a mall in the south zone of Rio de Janeiro, or even in a store on Rua Uruguaiana (street) or in Saara (popular market). Better our biotype condemn us, even without committing any crime or offense

Rafaela beat out several medal hopes, exalted and praised in recent months by the national press…Some of them have already been, precociously, declassified in horse riding and in canoeing.

Congratulations Rafaela Silva, this gold is yours, the fruit of your talent and hard work with your coaching team…(Former coach) Flávio Canto has to roll the red carpet out for you indeed…he fought for years and never won the gold, with (social/financial) conditions, certainly much better than yours. He said he would trade his PAN (American) medal for your gold at home…undoubtedly the symbolic and real value of this medal is immeasurable!

This achievement positively impacts the lives of the black youth of this country …

SimNósNegr#@@sBrasileirasPodemos (yes we black men and women Brazilians can)!

RSilva

Source: Celso Vicenzi, Nós Somos Negros

Note

  1. A topic that has been discussed in numerous posts, this in reference to the ridiculous manner in which Brazilians claim that “we are all equal” or “we are all so and so” whenever a racist incident occurs. This sort of reaction never leads to any sort of real challenge to racism and in fact avoids the issue.

35 comments on “Can we keep it real, Brazil? You don’t really love the Rafaela Silvas of the world; you only like this one temporarily because she won the gold!

  1. Joan Adrienne
    August 11, 2016

    Ms. Rafaela Silva,

    Congratulations on your excellence in the sport of Judo and having the distinct honor of being the first gold medalist for Brazil; a country that should be ashamed for recognizing and saluting you only when the world’s glaring eyes are watching.

    As I watch The Olympics from Los Angeles, California (USA), I applaud you and all of the black Brazilian men and women for your determination to succeed in the face of adversity, and being great role models for young black Brazilian boys and girls from the favelas and to those who might reside in Rio’s upper crust South Zone and “in between.”

    Be strong, my beautiful black sisters and always know that we are the queens of the earth, whose beauty and grace are surpassed by no one.

    Wishing you God’s unprecedented love and favor in all you aspire to do.

    Joan Adrienne
    Los Angeles, CA (USA)
    .

  2. Andre
    August 11, 2016

    They love you when your on top. But hate and fight for us to stay down. They love all our beyonces and eddie murphys and will smiths. But hate their millions of black fans. Smfh

  3. renee roberts
    August 11, 2016

    You go Girl, so happy for you. Continue doing what your doing. Look at our Serena, lots of hate for her, but shes our shero, here in USA, All our black athletes, are my hereos.

  4. Gumi
    August 11, 2016

    they like the gisele bundchen’s, they presented her as the epitome of beauty, the best of what brasil had to offer

  5. Brian Asingia
    August 11, 2016

    Reminds me of PELE The Legend and his struggle with his style of soccer. At DreamAfrica we are trying to capture more stories in multiple languages and from multiple cultures to help us connect with each other.

  6. ZiZi
    August 12, 2016

    Congratulations to Mrs. Silva on her gold in Taekawando.

    I remembered reading her bio about her struggle in her country.. how she became upset when her do called racist” fans ” dogged her for not winning it on her first try.
    Now that she has…as you said…every White person want to be her friend.

    It’s Rafaela’s medal.It’s also her community’s medal but I say this with all due respect.. as a whole,it shouldn’t be Brazil’s medal, only because of the extreme racism that she faced by White Brazilians. Why should Rafaela play for people who are fare weathered? Sure..they love you when you can do something for them,but once the dust settles down and Rafaela returns to her routine,once again ..she will be thrown on the back of the bus by some of those same White Brazilians. They don’t deserve to touch her medal.

    It’s the same thing with Black athletes in the USA, some racist were appalled that Gabby Douglas for not putting her hand on her heart while pledging allegiance to the North American flag. I ask myself this question: with all the racism that is taking place in the States, why should they have to do it? They are not respected in it. If anything,I probably would have raised my fist saluting Black equality like those athletes did in Mexico City in 1968.

    P.S. It would be nice if all of those Black women ( from the U.S. and from the diaspora) winners from the Rio Olympics can would get together and celebrate their accomplishments.

    • Alain
      August 13, 2016

      There is no such thing as a north american flag…. There is 23 independent countries in North America. Your short sightedness, bigotry and supremacist mentality is very similar to the racial inequality going in in the world. The united states is NOT North America!

      • gatasnegrasbrasileiras
        August 14, 2016

        The funny thing here is that it is increasingly common to see persons of the United States being referred to as “North Americans” in the Brazilian media and even blogs. While it is true that Americans of the US are North Americans, when one refers to a person as a “North American” the prevailing thought of the reader will often be that said North American is from the US when they could in fact be from Canada or Mexico.

      • Keke
        August 17, 2016

        Like someone said here: very shallow words!
        Você mesma está se denegrindo e sendo racista!

  7. Sharon Cox- Cole
    August 12, 2016

    TIC TIC TIC–isn’t this the 21st century.

  8. greenline63
    August 12, 2016

    I could seriously hug the author! Beautifully written piece. This is so accurate. Im SO over joyed to see Afro -brazilians all over my tv! As an afro American, I commend our family in Brazil. You have cultivated an outstanding culture and amazing strength born from your oppression. They can never take credit for our wins…

    • gatasnegrasbrasileiras
      August 13, 2016

      Thank you for taking the time to write your kind words! It would be great to connect with other Africans of the Diaspora. All of our struggles are our struggles!

  9. Poliana
    August 12, 2016

    Infelizmente é verdade, a elite branca odeia a Rafaela e tudo o que ela representa: Mulher, negra e da favela! Mas nem de elite branca é feita o Brasil, e é muito triste que seja generalizado.

    Beijos, amo esse site!!

  10. Juls Charles
    August 12, 2016

    I loved this article or blog, I felt the passion and hatred in it. This article open my eyes because I did not know Brazil was that racist towards darker skin people.

    • gatasnegrasbrasileiras
      August 13, 2016

      Happy to know you found the blog. A lot of info here is also new (and sometimes shocking) to people outside of Brazil.

    • Marie
      August 14, 2016

      I always knew Brazil was a very racist country, ones have to remember those Portuguese people would purposely invite migrants from European countries to stay in Brazil to whiten it.

  11. Malu Ribeiro
    August 13, 2016

    This is deplorable!!! Brazil this, Brazil that… How ignorant!! Yes, there’s racism in BR and it has gotten worse thanks to US influence (because everything USA is adored and venerated in BR, even politics, evangelists and what not are imitated) and a larger affluent right-wing bourgeois middle-class, and the progress that the lower classes made out of poverty being able to afford and mix in sectors of the society where they didn’t before, that and economic recession always bring out the bigots.

    Though let’s remember that in BR there never was a Jim Crow neither segregations laws like in the US!!
    ;
    But HELLOOO! This is such a shallow essay, and I’m appalled that people willfully wish to spread such a lie and smear that could damage a whole population!! Most of Brazil is of mixed-race, there’s no other country in the world with as much miscegenation, and most of Brazilians are not racist and sincerely are happy and proud of Silva, even among whites, let’s not forget that in the US white Brazilians are not white, unless they’re blond and blue eyed, and still, for them we’re Latinos, Hispanics (they don’t know the difference), so before people throw stones at others they should examine their own societies!! But this author is only spreading prejudice and misinformation!

    • gatasnegrasbrasileiras
      August 13, 2016

      And another living in denial! Look, nearly every point you made in your comments have been discussed in various past posts on this blog and, as such, I won’t waste my time responding to them.

      But hey, you go ahead believing what you’re saying, but I believe that people who follow this blog come here to read something besides denial, continuous finger-pointing at the US and “we Brazilians are mixed, so we’re not racist”.

      After all, we’re all entitled to having our opinions, but as your words prove, we are not obliged to believe all of them!

  12. Amon
    August 13, 2016

    This is the EXACT SAME F*$%ing thing that happens in the US. There is literally no difference. As you can already see every olympics most of the people that win medals for teamUSA are black. And when this happens the whole country jumps for joy claiming that “we are all Americans” and that “we are all equal”

    Then after the Olympics black people revert back to being thugs criminals and niggers in the media. White racists defend race soldiers who murder innocent black citizens and the whole country tries to act like this white supremacist oppression is normal.

    Its funny, I have gotten to the point where I can just guess what is happening to black Brazilians based upon the racism here in the US and I am usually right. So much for “white” Brazilians(lol) saying that there is no racism in the country and that these issues are only American problems.

    This is also why white supremacist are scared of black Americans and black Brazilians working together to solve these issues.

  13. giray
    August 13, 2016

    There is no white elite in Brazil. Majority of brazilians are mixed race it is them who are extremely racist to their black brothers and sisters. I know brazillians with black great grandparents or black grand parents which majority have

    • gatasnegrasbrasileiras
      August 14, 2016

      “There is no white elite in Brazil”? Really? When I see the owners of Brazil’s media, its government, its wealthy elites, I see white skin.

      What does having black grandparents have to do with this? It simply shows that people can have African ancestry without challenging the white power structure. The force of embranquecimento works very well in Brazil!

  14. Napaz
    August 13, 2016

    Writing about Brasil in english. And trying to cultivate a racist hate that we don’t have or foster in Brasil. Keep your hate to your school shootings, your euthanasia laws, your death penalties, your money wars, your Guantanamo prisons, your japanese concentration camps in american soil, your drug legalisation, your late civil right movements, but keep all that hate filled sickness to yourselves. Don’t try to bring it to us or any other country. Because we are not like us. We are a nation filled with love. We never look at someone and see black, or white, or yellow or blue, we see people, period. You are the racist, you are the hate fuel. Take your hate to your home, your language and forget about us. Nós não vivemos como vocês!

    • gatasnegrasbrasileiras
      August 14, 2016

      Hello there!!

      From your comments it would appear to me that 1) you believe everything you read in the mainstream media, 2) you are unaware or in denial about the existence of hate and authoritarian personalities in Brazil, 3) unaware of Japanese internment in Brazil during WWII.

      No one here defends anything that happens in the US that you are apparently referring to. The United States is a violent, racist, imperialist and incredibly unequal country. No doubt about that. But what about Brazil? There is no need for a blog to cultivate hate in Brazil. It’s already there!

      What do you have to say about the epidemic of linchamentos in Brazil? What about Brazil’s ranking as one of the most murderous countries in world, both in everyday violence and police violence against its citizens?

      I’d also like to know how you defend Brazil’s recent bloodless “golpe do estado” in which your interim president has been identified as a known US informant. What about Brazil’s role in the occupation of Haiti?

      I never argue about the sham of the Civil Rights Movement because it was engineered to fail. And?

      School shootings? HAHAHA! Very much misinformed! Stop getting your news from mainstream media sources! If you sought the truth you would know that most, if not all of the so-called ‘mass shootings’ in the US are false flags/staged events being engineered to confiscate guns. But this is much too deep to discuss here. I advise you to do the research!

      Please explain what you mean by “we are not like us”….

      A nation filled with love? OK, but also vast inequality, violence, sexism and racism. I suppose it depends on the side of Brazil you prefer to see while ignoring the other side…

      You “never look at someone and see black, or white, or yellow or blue”? Ridiculous! Too many posts on this blog that prove otherwise. And blue people don’t exist so people should stop saying this…

      Who do you believe is racist? I’d like to ask Rafaela Silva how she would answer that. Or any other black Brazilian who has been a victim of Brazilian styled racism.

      And what is “your home, your language”? Are you not writing in English? Is Brazil not FULL of foreign influences? Why not start removing these from Brazil before you start a war on a blog written in a language that you would rather not see…

      That is all!

    • A G L L
      August 15, 2016

      Vc acredita mesmo nessa m****? A NATION FULL OF LOVE. Páre de sonhar.
      O Brasil atual virou uma fábula, uma lenda, uma mentira, um paraíso pra quem tem grana e infelizmente os pobres no Brasil são geralmente de côr negra ou escurinhos… Indios, caboclos, mulatos, etc..
      Agora, o mais triste de tudo é que a minoria rica que pensa sêr branca, a não sêr gente do Sul de descendência Verdadeiramente Europeia (Alemão,, etc… ), em realidade são descendentes de povos Latinos (PT, SP. IT, Arabes ou Judeus… Sud-raças intermediárias entre Europeus e Africanos.
      Pobreza de espírito, Ignorância, tristesa.
      Adoro o Brasil… Aquele Brasil que conheci antigamente, adoro o Zé Povinho, pobre mas generoso, criativo e DIGNO.
      Esse Brasileiro é meu irmão mas em GERAL a partir da classe média pra cima, esse tal tipo de Brasileiro branco é uma caricatura to Americano Branco… Arrogante e ignorante.
      Esta é a minha experiência no Brasil e a minha humilde opinião. AMEN
      T.L.

    • A G L L
      August 15, 2016

      Pare de mentir… Brazil is a country full of LOVE? Bullshit
      Abra os olhos e veja a realidade do povo brasileiro… Quanto mais escuro, mais pobre. A partir da classe média pra cima, o Brasileiro “branco” é xenófobo, racista, arrogante e sobretudo ignorante… Que nem American branco, né?
      Isto dito, estou generalisando, claro. Me desculpem por isso.

  15. A certain "living meme" from Rio
    August 13, 2016

    This text fails to mention that Rafaela herself is part of the same military force that dominates favelas and expanded Brazilian geopolitical power into Haiti, though, and that she could perhaps find those political opinions written in her name abhorrent – after all, they are taught to obey and instructed with a lot of conservative opinion being spoon-fed as part of their civic duty, even if it’s a low-paying job.

    When racialized people contribute to old colonial structures, we shoot at our own collective feet. It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about the police, the army, liberal politics, or the capitalist class. Brazil is a settler colonial state that must be abolished, together with worldwide colonialism, imperialism and capitalism. There is no liberation from antiblackness, anti-Indigeneity, Orientalism, antisemitism and antiziganism without doing it. The ideology comes from the system, the hatred exists because we face [different levels of and interrelationships in] subjugation, it’s not so much a system that is polluted by an abnormal racist ideology. We can extinguish the worst horrors with fascist fire in isolated places, but the belief in inherent human difference leading to the devaluation of black and brown bodies and cultures will always exist. In all of the world’s countries, racism is the default, for the hegemonical cultural norm is the Western one.

    With that said, all of the disprivileges the text cites apply to Rafaela but almost none apply to me (light-skinned Indigenous/European biracial – yes, bi, not “mix”, my identity to me means that I inherit both genocide and privilege, not assimilated transcendental ambiguity, no one in a white supremacist world can ever live the post-racial dream people talk of), so I’m cautious about questioning this.

    More into what I’m trying to say:

    https://onkwehonwerising.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/the-abcs-of-decolonization/

    • gatasnegrasbrasileiras
      August 14, 2016

      Well said. There are a few points of contention that I have in your comments but it was very well-thought out and written! I will be checking out the link!

  16. Nono
    August 13, 2016

    What a horrible article

    Stop bringing up the hate ,fools

    Everybody struggles

    Congrats Brazil ! Like it or not

    • gatasnegrasbrasileiras
      August 14, 2016

      You are not obliged to agree or even like an article. But the examples provided and linked speak for themselves. It has nothing to do with hate. It’s about exposing these things as they really are.

  17. J Amaral
    August 14, 2016

    This is very true indead!!! I have noticed the blatant racism against black Brazilians when living in Brazil for a year during my training with Braspetro! I’m Angolan and my ancestors fought against Portuguese occupation and segregation and my generation continued the fight for the changes in Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. What is happening in Brazil is not acceptable in the twenty first century and to make things worse most white Brazilians will not accept their fellow black countrymen to progress to their level! Brazil needs a serious revolution!!!!!
    Black people around the world, it’s time to care about our brothers in Brazil!!!!!

  18. Vee
    August 14, 2016

    I looked at the Olympics ceremony and was disappointed that dark coloured Brazilian…the blacks wrre not adequately represented

  19. Sonya Gooden
    August 14, 2016

    Wow!! The nerve of Brazilians to have so much hatred and treatment of another human being. The very one you outcast is the one God used to make great and uphold above you!! It’s not your skin that makes you a good person it’s your character and God will use the outcasted. That’s what he specializes in. I’m proud of her despite adversity and hardship she came out on top!! I will never want to go to Brazil if this the way they treat people of color!! Shameful and a Disgrace!! I’m glad she one now praise her for making you relevant!! The one you counted out has be exalted

  20. atadoftruth
    August 15, 2016

    Reading over the posts here and elsewhere, I find it amusing that the most racist and hateful people on the planet are FIRST to accuse racism’s victims as “racist.” It’s akin to someone who just laid a big stinking fart who then looks at someone else and shrivels up his nose. It is pathetic attempt at silencing the victim. For god’s sake, don’t’ even say “ouch.” The victims of racism should just keep accepting the same old shit, lest you privileged ones get your feelings hurt. To the sisters of this blog, keep shouting from the mountain top the truth.

  21. kossi agbomson
    August 15, 2016

    Only Hitler knows who is pure white pale person withe pale skin and the blue piercing eyes of a wolf. Hitler will determine if you are white or black so stay there and fool yourself. there is no more white race there is only white supporters.

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