Black Women of Brazil

The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent

“Palmitagem exists, I am an example”: Black man reflects on growing up in Rio & how the culture and racial hierarchy influences the adoration of white girls


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Note from BW of Brazil: Before I present today’s text I would like to provide a little background of how it came to be. It all started back in April of this year when I received a message from a guy who had read something on this blog. His name was Léo, a black man originally from Rio de Janeiro and who was currently working on his doctorate at a university in Finland. He came across an article on this blog that was written by Stephanie Ribeiro and approached the topic of black women being passed over by black men in their pursuit of white women. Numerous black women have written material, particularly in 2016, on the topic of what they call ‘palmiteiros’ and ‘palmitagem’. ‘Palmiteiro’ refers to black men who seem to have a preference for white women for romantic, long-term relationships, while ‘palmitagem’ relates to the phenomenon itself. ‘Palmitagem’, in the view of many black Brazilian women, was a least partly to blame for their difficulty in being able to secure long-lasting relationships. According to this theory, as both white AND black men fight over the affections of the white woman, black women are often left in a sort of imposed solitude/celibacy or continuously falling into the category of the woman who is good enough for a short-term/sexual relationship but not worthy of something more serious and long-lasting. 

As I’ve pointed out in numerous articles, many black men who I’ve personally discussed the topic with or with whom I’ve debated the issue in social networks don’t seem to want to even engage in a discussion on the issue beyond the cliche that “amor não tem cor” (love has no color). I’ve always seen widespread usage of such a phrase as a cop-out in order to avoid a deeper analysis of the subject or as a way to avoid the idea that they in fact DO have a preference for white skin, straight hair and light-colored eyes but with the rise of black identity politics, they simply can’t/won’t admit it. And as the thought-provoking essays written by black women began to pile up, I wanted my readers to be assured that if any black men wanted to address the issue beyond “amor não tem cor” his opinion would be welcome on this blog. Since that time,  Caio Cesar dos Santos expressed his thoughts in “We need to recognize our ‘palmitagem’, the preference for white skin”, Fala Pretinho brought us “Hyper-sexualization and the self-esteem of the black man”, and Fabio Esteban presented a pretty strong argument in his response piece “Why do black women blame black men for wanting white women when they too worship white men? We, as black people, have ALL been conditioned!” And the responses continue to come…

Getting back to Léo, after his initial message expressing his interest in analyzing his own identity and dating choices, he said he wanted to develop a piece directly discussing the topic but as he was busy with his studies, he didn’t know when he would have the time to compose the piece. His follow up e-mail revealed that he had indeed given the issue some thought. I didn’t know if and when he would follow up on that e-mail that was in itself already worthy of publishing. As months went by I just kind of figured that he got busy and penning a piece was either too time-consuming or he had more important things to do. But then in late September he sent a message informing me that he had not only written the piece but that he had already published it on his own blog! Léo should be applauded here for having the courage to look within and come to some very uncomfortable conclusions. So with no further delay (four months have passed since this material was originally posted online), here it is!

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Léo Custódio

How are palmiteiros born? A reflection of someone who always preferred white women

By Léo Custódio

Palmitagem exists. I know it exists because eu palmito (I prefer white women). It’s uncomfortable and discomforting to assume this, but I must speak: I am a palmiteiro.

It’s also urgent. The rule of privileged black men having relationships with white women seems like one of the cruelest faces of structural racism in which we live.

Palmitagem is a cruel racist act because of its subtlety. At first glance, it seems only a matter of affection (just as uncontrollable and irrational as passion and love) combined with individual choice for those with whom they will live in a relationship.

But it’s not only that. It’s complex. It’s a combination of affection with structural issues (inequality, sexism and racism) that we experience since childhood and with relationships and power struggles in various everyday relationships when growing up.

Because of this urgency and complexity, I decided to write. This is not a text of self-defense. As I said, no matter how uncomfortable it may be, I assume myself as a palmiteiro.

What I want in this text is not to create a rule or prove a truth. I just want to reflect in search of answers. What factors influenced me to the point of all my lasting relationships, including my marriage, having been with white women?

My idea is to use my experience (things that I experienced and what I saw people experience) to suggest a possible genealogy of palmitagem.

I think this kind of conversation is essential if we are to confront palmitagem as a social phenomenon that particularly affects the lives of black women.

CONTEXT

First, I must present the context in which I was born and grew up since the late 1970s. I grew up in Magé, in the Baixada Fluminense region of Rio de Janeiro.

From my childhood until my late twenties, blacks and whites lived close together and distant at the same time. As the city is small, co-existence was very close. But at the same time, whites were and still are proportionally better off in life than blacks.

In this context, I was in the middle. Because of being black and living in a lower middle class neighborhood, I lived on the street with my black peers, the majority poorer than me. At the same time, I had the privilege of studying in private schools and taking English courses, where I coexisted with white people who had a higher standard of living than I had.

The roots of palmitagem in childhood

Since childhood, this social setting already presented social and racial conflicts.

I vaguely remember situations in private schools when I felt shy and nervous in the presence of loirinhas (blonds) and clarinhas (white) girls (1). They were the girls that all the boys, black and white, wanted to spend more time with. We did favors, we wrote limericks and we would protect them from the most annoying classmates.

They seemed to enjoy the attention, but the charm ended for us, “neguinhos” (little black guys) when the chorus began: “She’s dating! She’s dating!” In these moments, some reacted with a “God forbid!” or “Stop it! My boyfriend is [the white boy with the face of a TV commercial].”

And where were the meninas negras (black girls)? In the corner (2). Some suffered exactly the same kind of thing that white and black boys were suffering in the hands of meninas brancas (white girls). Black girls played together but when the cries of “she’s dating” started, all of us, black and white boys, came out saying “God forbid!”

The implication – or bullying, as one calls it today – was also very common. It involved clothes, the lack of money for meals and other marks of poverty. The poor, white and black, were targets. It also implied the color of skin, hair and other racial marks. Blacks were the targets.

For us, meninos negros (black boys), a way of not being a target of the ridicule was to ally one’s self with the white boys who dished out the ridicule. Then you saw blacks calling others “macaco”(monkey) (3) in disputes of who was or was not black (when we self-declared ourselves to be “moreninho” (little brown one), “mulatinho” (little mulato) and other little terms to alleviate the “problem” of blackness).

And the meninas negras? They were everybody’s targets, boys, white and black, and white girls. They were the “feias” (ugly ones), those with “cabelo ruim de henê” (bad hair in which the girl needed use henê ((4)), those who had “cara de empregada” (a maid’s face) (5), those who looked like an animal, that looked like jabirus and other brutal adjectives.

All of this was before and during pre-adolescence.

We were children who already reproduced adult rules of distinction between pessoas bonitas e feias (beautiful and ugly people), boas e ruins (the good and the bad). The basis? Class prejudice and racism. In this reproduction, we learned that the nervousness of child love came with branquinhas (white girls). For the negrinhas (little black girls), remained widespread depression (due to constant criticism).

Palmitagem in adolescence

In adolescence, this distinction between black and white girls was already settled and widened in the heads of us black and white boys. At this point, inequality and privileges had still more relevance, even if the brutal ridicule had remained behind.

In my time, the private school where pessoas brancas (white people) were the majority, male and female students who were hooking up or dating each other tended to be white. I don’t remember seeing – and certainly didn’t experience – some interracial relationship in that context.

For white boys and white girls, black boys and black girls seemed to be more loyal companions and confidants than candidates for boyfriends or girlfriends (6). For me, it was the time of platonic passions, as it may now seem obvious, for white girls. For black girls, the feeling was one of deep friendship. Or contempt.

An important factor of that moment, in the 1990s, was the “appreciation” of the homem negro (black man). With the ascension and increase of space of blacks on television and on the radio, being a “negão” (big, black man) was gradually becoming something “positive” in society.

I put “appreciation” and “positive” in quotes because the time was nothing but the hyper-sexualization of the black man (7). Objectification is bad, but think about from the side of the black teenager who until then was rejected by the mulher branca (white woman) that he had always fantasized about and craved?

Being a black guy and with a good physique, friendly and/or able to dance fed the fantasy of meninas negras… and meninas brancas….“Adoro um negão” (I adore a negão), some of the blonds and white girls would say.

For many of us, homens negros, it was the chance to finally have a white woman like those in the novelas (soap operas) in our arms. For many others, it was a chance to feel their white bodies like those of the porn actresses that everybody watched on the sly.

And the menina negra? If those from the school were inseparable friends, those from the street were the disposable objects of sexual desire of black and white boys. It was with them that we liked to play hide and seek. They were the ones who we kissed behind the speakers at the baile funk (funk dance). It was with them that we left with on the sidewalk for secret nights of pleasure (8).

If hyper-sexualization of the black man won a “positive” force in the 1990s, the same type of process had already occurred with the black woman since forever. Only there was nothing positive. The idea of the mulher “fácil” (“easy” woman) of the street has always been, in our imagination, related to the black woman. And we knew that.

So much so did we know that when there was a black girl who exited from the standard of the easy woman, adjectives like “preta de respeito” (black woman of respect), “preta linda” (beautiful black woman) and  “preta de elite” (elite black woman) sprung up among us, black and white boys, like a categorization.

At the same time, I don’t remember hearing among black boys that kind of comment about white girls. Mesmo que fossem consideradas feias, eram brancas (Even though were considered ugly, they were white). The only ones who denounced the ugliness of white girls were the white guys. So then many of us, black boys, took advantage of their disposal to have our desire for a white girl satisfied.

Were there serious relationships between black men and women at that time? Yes, of course. But in general the boyfriend and girlfriend in these cases had a lack of privileges in common. They were similarly poor.

Thus, they were also similarly excluded from the possibilities of having an interracial relationship (unless, of course, there were white people on the same social level). From what I’ve read on the internet, deprivation of the lack of choice affects black women of other social classes as well. (9)

Palmitagem as privilege

This that is the issue of choice – that many of those who feel offended by the term palmitagem use as a defense – is problematic.

Choosing who to hook up with is a privilege generated by privileges.

In this case, the probability of a poor black boy being able to choose to hook up with a white girl is significantly higher than the probability of a black girl choosing to hook up with a white boy.

He, as a negão encorpado (black guy with fit body), charming and hyper-sexualized might choose to experience an interracial romance. For the poor black girl, she remains being chosen by white and black guys and hope that it’s not just for the pleasure of the flesh.

With all this, the conditions of life that I had in adolescence seemed to have been key factors that facilitated my palmiteira decisions. I had many privileges.

I was polite, nice and knew how to reproduce white ways that the poorest blacks could not. I had a certain financial condition that inserted me in predominantly white contexts. Very soon I became an English teacher, which generated a privilege and a great respect in my small town.

These types of factors contributed to my having conditions to be respected and liked by white girls and later white women with of which I coexisted.

That is, I could choose. And considering all the negative burden with which I lived in relation to black women, combined with all the fantasy nurtured from childhood by white women, my choices for long-term relationships have always been white women.

The choice for palmitagem and the reproduction of structural racism

Was being a palmiteiro something deliberate and intentional? My honest answer is yes.

The fact is that I never opened myself emotionally to a black person. I never opened myself on purpose.

Another fact is that I chose to date white girls and white women in a more long-lasting way than the black women with whom I related to. I chose because I had the chance to choose without even thinking about these choices.

And how do these choices relate to the structural racism of our day-to-day? This is another question that arises among us that gives chills. It’s also what leaves many palmiteiros like me on the defensive, desperate and/or angry.

I’ve gone through this phase of denial, too, but now I understand and admit that I reproduced in my relationships the structural racism of the society in which I grew up.

Because of this I experience the paradox that many other politicized blacks experience: I am a palmiteiro even though today I feel much more engaged in anti-racist causes than in any other period of my life. I admit that I acted racist for my whole emotional trajectory even having suffered and now fighting against racism.

Is it uncomfortable to assume this fact? Yes. It is also too confusing to deal with prejudiced characteristics that we perceive in ourselves. But it is very accurate. It is necessary and, as I said at the beginning, very urgent. But how?

To deal with palmitagem by the root

I always catch myself wondering how my life would be today if in my childhood and adolescence there were many discussions about the more subtle nuances and cruel racial prejudice among blacks.

Today, for example, I see young black men seriously dating black women in a quantity that didn’t exist in my teens. In my view, this relates a lot with the rise and popularity of black feminism in Brazil.

Be it in the visual and aesthetic question, be it in the question of debates and questioning of prejudices. The collective strength of black women have forced black men like me to question privileges and prejudices themselves. At the same time, it has contributed to black boys growing up appreciating the beauty of black women and opening their affection for them.

And it’s in this way, discussing, conversing, discussing and facing the issue of palmitagem that we will be able to deal with negação da mulher negra (denial of the black woman) – the essential problem of this whole conversation – by the root.

And for the success of this reflection in society, it is essential that black men contribute to this kind of self-reflection. And the most important thing: that the issue of palmitagem and structural racism are not only on the net. Daily life is still replete with situations of racism among us blacks.

Occasionally, for example, I hear children on my street when I’m in Magé reproducing the same ridicule of my time. How do we intervene? How do we act?

How do we talk to children and young people about the relationship of affection among blacks in a society that values, above all, feminine beauty as something white? How from early on do we stimulate questioning sexism that humiliates, objectifies and discards the black woman?

Dealing with palmitagem from its root is an emergency in everyday life. And black men isolate themselves from this fight as if it weren’t ours too. To do this, putting out your face to be slapped, assuming our own prejudices and listening (not just hearing) to the women is the first step.

Source:  Léo Custódio

Notes

1. We see here that from an early age, Léo already seemed to have developed a certain adherence to the racial hierarchy.
2. Fitting to remind readers that John Burdick also described a scenario in which black girls in Rio were often found at dances in the corners among themselves in his 1998 book Blessed Anastacia: Women, Race and Popular Christianity in Brazil.
3. Something that is not uncommon in Brazil as the oppressed often times oppress the only group that they feel they can oppress: their own group. See herehere, here or here.
4. An inexpensive chemical that straightens and dyes the hair. The base ingredients include pirogalic acid and mineral salts such as copper and iron.
5. Yet another example of how race is often associated with social status. The phrase “you have/don’t have the face of…” is quite commonly heard in Brazil when telling someone that they “look like a maid” or “don’t look like a judge”.
6. A common experience among a number of black women who have written about their difficulty in securing long-term relationships.
7. Fala Pretinho also expressed this idea in his article. See here.
8. Here, Léo admits to a type of behavior that black women have long complained about.
9. As one report demonstrated, “Black women marry less than white women and, when rich or highly educated, they tend not to marry. And when they do, they do so with partners of lesser social status, which can be white or black.”

13 comments on ““Palmitagem exists, I am an example”: Black man reflects on growing up in Rio & how the culture and racial hierarchy influences the adoration of white girls

  1. In brazil
    December 30, 2016

    And yet the majority of black Brazilian men are with black Brazilian women…your statistics you keep bringing out on that are skewed , I showed how that is from white racists in a comment on your last blog post…

    That black Brazilian women are put down in society is no doubt and urgently needs to be addressed in many areas, work force, media presence beauty standards etc.self esteem issues are valid , but, how this translates into putting down interracial unions is what is pathetic, since you don’t see that many actual afro descendants with white mates on the street. Each actual interracial union has to be taken on its own individual characteristics , it is as varied as each persons DNA .

    This Brazilian male was raised in a private school, not surprising there was viscous racial or other type bullying.And cliches, you are building an anti interracial agenda built in cliches…oh, for sure , you can find plenty of people who will pile on, but, as I mentioned , with on the street reality , long term relationships don’t play out as the cliche implies, just the opisite .

    Brazil is a country with a huge amount of cliches, if you lived here you would realize that, you can bring in people talking about the cliche until the cows come home, it still doesn’t play out in reality like that, besides the fact that an interracial union built on cliches and weak reasons , will crumble fast, so why the abnormal attention on interracial unions is bs on your big foot gringo part.

    The cry if huge amounts if lonely black women is pathetic , I assure you , there are huge amounts of lonely men of all colors , issues between men and women are much more pressing than these petty anti interracial union slamming..

    Talk about cliches , among white males , there are all these cliches about blondes ” blondes have more fun, gentlemen prefer blondes , dumb blondes ” etc . The dream of the USA white male was platinum blond with big breasts , all cliches , drilled home by Hollywood a d Playboy magazine , and , yet in real life , it doesn’t play out that way, even with dyed blond hair , more white men are with non blondes than blondes..

    This Brazilian guy had a privileged private school upbringing , indulged in private school bullying and cliches, readily admitted it didn’t play out in real life , yet the cliche is addressed as a reality, which it isn’t …

    Black self esteem issues from white racist bombardment , especialy tv, is real , should be addressed urgently. Parlaying that into a forum to bear down on interracial unions is pathetic , disgusting, shallow , and stupid…

    Novato gringo Bigfoot blog owner, you are like these cultural Marxists you mentioned , coming down , infiltrating into the racial dynamic down here , finding many issues people here agree with, but , then subtly spinning your agenda on things trying to manipulate people on things like anti interracial union agendas , based on diluting the race economic theories and hang ups about too much exposed skin and shaking hips of passistas, hiding behind some crazy weirdness I can’t figure out..but that joins black militant nationalism with militant castrating feminism attitudes about what women wear and fundamentalist religious uptightness about sexuality.

    • Realist
      December 30, 2016

      As Churchill once said “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”. You use the fact that the editor is North American to make it a purely national issue.What is no doubt true of Brazil is true of many countries in the Caribbean and the Americas. I have visited several and one sees the same pattern more or less. Look at the wives of so many black US athletes. Brazil is particularly obvious because of the simple fact that historically Blacks had less pride in themselves than anywhere else on the continent. Does anyone else want to challenge that? I once mentioned the “mulatto escape hatch” on this forum and was a bit surprised that the editor didn’t seem to get my point. Read Degler https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neither_Black_nor_White
      Abdias do Nascimento was not North American. Reading him after listening to a lecture by Gilberto Freire way back in the late sixties was an eye-opener. So don’t make this into “a black gringo” issue. You should be telling us what your black experience is, if you have any. Black people have to like themselves. Un point, c’est tout.

  2. in brazil
    December 31, 2016

    nobody is denying self esteem issues in black brazilians , the whitewash in the media is bracing and real…the constant hype from the media , telling black brazilians they are insignificant , less beautiful , creates plenty of inferiority feelings in some black brazilians . others see through the hype, like realising there is no santa claus after a while…

    what is bs, is black militant activist agendas , parlaying this into anti interracial agendas.many women having hair issues doesnt tranlate into wanting to have a white man. most black brazilian men are with black brazilian women …this is your reality. do you live in brazil? if black men or women were flocking to white people out of inferiorty issues, prince charming issues or whatever, you would see large amounts of afro descendents on the streets with white people…you just dont…the percentage is low enough to make it ridiculous to make it an issue.

    all the petty rationalisations about why black people could flock to white people, could be aplied to INTRA racial issues…you dont think the prince charming issue doesnt play out in just white people to white people, or black people to black people?

    yet, interracial unions have to suffer disgusting scrutinising from all sides , take that scrutinising and shove it…and the riducousness of reffering to artists and athletes..get off it, its really none of your business , what right do you or anyone else have scrutinising thier private lives and personal consenting adult choices?

    what you see in this post, from the brazilian guy, speaks more with the issues between men and women….this same drama plays out in all races, intra racialy .absolutly black women suffer extra regection in this society with these false beauty standards….addressing and finding ways to build self esteem in black women and black brazilian women has nothing to do with adult consenting dating and mating choices. if anything, constantly being told she is ugly or not worthy, a black woman should keep her options open on all fronts for the right man that can value her and treat her with the respect she deserves..

    the one dimensional fannonesque examples , always given in this black american activist version of what is wrong with interracial unions, is cookie cutter, psych out , psycho analisis by amateurs….

    there are huge complex dimensions…there are hiarcial regections in the circles some of these women grow up in, being told they are not worthy, but,i guarentee you, other black women in these hiarcies in the bowels of the neighborhoods they grow up in , are held up as the example, the cool ones, and that can include darker skin women also sometimes in the higher part of the hiarcy. the notion this only plays out one way is pure bs. the outcasts , no matter what shade or look, will leave the hiarcy and try to find other avenues that dont reject them…this sometimes for some black women means being open to white advances, of , making advances to white people.

    this is so much more about men and women issues than interracial unions. in reality , with issues between black men and women, white people are just a side show or diversion. the hurt between black women and men, and as a matter of fact, men and women period , starts young and just plays out over and over…

    interracial unions are easy soft targets to beat up on. to take the attention off the real issues….

    do you live in brazil ? i do, for thirty years. what is much more important to address , than anti interracial union agendas, is in brazil, men who get regected by women when they are in a relationship, and they kill them out of jealosy. this happens frequently, and , especialy to pardos , morenas and black women. what a waste , throwing around weak psycho analisis , as a matter of fact psycho analasis is not a hard science , and i dont trust it anyway, bit the anti interracial union black activists militant position , plays like they are the psycho analisis experts …

    what is much more important than making cookie cutter looks at how inferiority complexes lead to desires for white people, is , trying to form black economic coalitions and businesses

    much more important is bringing up black self esteem , with out throwing other black people under the bus for their personal dating and union choices

    gaining self esteem doesnt come from ranking on interracial unioms, it has little to do with it…

    much more important than anti interracial unions , is looking at domestic violence, and intra racial slaughter going on, trying to develope charactor and personal intergrity than blaming something all the time…its an insult to black people making them the victom and at the mercy of the white man, helpless to take responsibility for themselves making a better life…

    do you or the blog owner know anything about interracial relationships? have you ever been in an extended one? you really dont get that , these unions for the wrong reasons, will crumble fast. making a desicion to enter into an interracial relationship takes strength and self esteem if its going to last, because they have to run the guantlet from both sides, and exactly the disgusting scrutinising you see here…

    back off…back off the unnescasary scrutinising of interracial ralationships in brazil the usa and everywhere…ive had interracial relationships all my life, for decades, and ive put up with the most disgusting scrutinising and stares from black , white, asian, etc, and it can take a fast train to hades

    ive put up with it in brazil , from black and white , so i dont give any country or color a pass…

    im white by the way, and i dont care what you think about that…people think interracial unions will just cower away in the corner while being scrutinised and over analised. Anybody who thinks they are just going to roll over interracial relationships with some cockamany theories , made up on a back porch passing the corn whiskey back and forth, is going to have to go through me, and im a block of cement..

    people ranking against interracial unions are the same, black militant activism is the same as the kkk and race realists, you all deserve each other, go hold hands with them , you have many of the same notions, or can share new information with each other to bolster your continued bs

    • Realist
      December 31, 2016

      I am not Brazilian and I don’t live there. I am black and I am no militant anti-interracial activist. People have free choice in their relationships and there should be condemnation, stares in public, etc. as a result. I have experienced the latter too at various points. No one is claiming that spousal abuse murder-suicide etc. are not issues which demand immediate attention in all societies and among all ethnicities. That the vast majority of people marry people who look like them is not in dispute. However, when you have a situation where black men who are upwardly mobile socially whether as professionals or sportsmen, systematically marry white women, something is strange to say the least. Brazil or the US for that matter has no shortage of eligible black women. We don’t see the same pattern in other groups. Jews are concerned about “marrying out”. So are Lebanese in the Caribbean. (Who is Temer married to?) Brazil also has the strange situation where someone like Ronaldo or Neymar might declare/think themselves white (no Muhammad Ali s). There are levels of condescension (Tia Eron) which would be unheard of anywhere else. The Nayara Justino Globaleza affair shows how sick the situation is. Fanon is relevant not only in the emerging colonial world he described but doubly so in Brazil. You fail to mention Abdias do Nascimento. Was he crazy? You claim that the same drama mentioned by the Black Brazilian plays out in the other communities. No way. The others are not as reviled to the extent that Blacks are.

      We are all for economic consolidation etc. but it must be based on consciousness and pride. By and large that is lacking in the Black Brazilian community, not in others. The most influential must set the tone.

      • Realist
        December 31, 2016

        Correction: there should be NO condemnation…..

      • gatasnegrasbrasileiras
        December 31, 2016

        Thanks for your comments.

        I wanted to respond to a few things you wrote…

        “People have free choice in their relationships and there should be condemnation, stares in public, etc. as a result.”

        Of course this should be the case and I agree. I don’t know how some people come to this blog and and insist that there is some agenda to denigrate or threaten interracial couples. No article on this blog does so. If people read certain articles and decide to do a self-analysis about their identity, that is a good thing! We should all apply critical self-analysis of ourselves regardless of the issue. Self-criticism can often lead to self-improvement.

        “However, when you have a situation where black men who are upwardly mobile socially whether as professionals or sportsmen, systematically marry white women, something is strange to say the least”

        Which is EXACTLY the point! EVERYTHING under the sun is up for scrutiny and analysis, regardless of what it is. This pattern among black men and, quiet as it’s kept, also among black women, is something that has intrigued me for a number of years. How is it that people claim to care so much about racism and representation but they don’t see or want to question this aspect of race? Black unity, black power and black representation ALL begin with the most basic building block: black couples and black families. Now, if they have decided to genocide themselves that’s another thing. But you CANNOT spend so much time trying to push identity politics and unity and ignore this issue. Period!

        “You fail to mention Abdias do Nascimento. Was he crazy?”

        I don’t really understand what you mean here. What do you mean when you ask “was he crazy?”

  3. Realist
    December 31, 2016

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdias_do_Nascimento I was replying to “In Brazil” who was implying that we “black gringos” don’t have the right to talk about the race situation in Brazil over our corn whisky drinking. Well Nascimento was BRAZILIAN and “In Brasil” doesn’t address the thoughts of this son of the soil who talked of the genocide of black people there. This was the first major response by a major black Brazilian figure to Gilberto Freyre’s ideas about a racial democracy in Brazil. It was an eye opener for me. The first time I crossed the border from Guyana to Brazil a lowly (white) shopkeeper made it clear to me that Brazil could NEVER have a black president and Blacks knew their place. Black senators were possible. That was almost 50 years ago. Nothing much has changed. Correct me if I am wrong but aren’t there just 2 black senators? Let “In Brasil” address the research of Florestan Fernandes, Cardoso (FHC) and others. By the way, no corn whisky for me. I prefer cachaca.

    • gatasnegrasbrasileiras
      December 31, 2016

      Thanks for clarifying.

      I agree with everything you wrote. Nascimento was the Afro-Brazilian activist that first alerted me of the situation in Brazil. I was fortunate to meet him in 2003 in Rio!

      The whole point of this blog is to show that Brazilians themselves are discussing these issues. I, of course, offer my own analysis, but some of the issues being brought up by Afro-Brazilians nowadays were not being talked about on a widespread level before the rise of the internet. I, personally, am happy to see such activism! Without these voices, this blog wouldn’t exist. As I wrote in my bio, the objective was to give black Brazilians the opportunity to get their thoughts on racial issues to an English-speaking audience. It seems that some people don’t know that.

      By the way, I’m assuming in your comment you meant to write “Black senators weren’t possible.” And it’s true, lack of political representation is demonstrated in a number of posts on this blog….

      The things posted on this blog are simply things that have been discussed for some time now. They’re only reaching more people now because of the internet.

      Thanks for your comment!

    • Realist
      December 31, 2016

      I forgot to thank the editor of BWofB for the fantastic job he has undertaken in bringing to the English speaking world the realities of Brazil, citing Brazilian sources. For years, I tried to follow black issues in Brazil but could hardly find relevant sites. The world now has a better idea of what is happening. The few black brazilian students abroad that I met tended to steer clear of the subject. They didn’t want to appear anti-Brazilian in the eyes of others. Let them come out of the closet and speak freely now. Good start, Leo Custodio.

  4. Realist
    December 31, 2016

    Actually the shopkeeper did say that black senators were possible and at the time I presumed there were some. That was as high as he could imagine any black getting.

  5. in brazil
    December 31, 2016

    where did i ever say there was no racism in brazil ? that there werent self esteem issues with black brazilians ?

    i know who nascimento is, does he say things about interracial unions ? in fact, he said socialism is the only way, which in brazil means the red flags and i disagree with that in a big way. im sure i would agree with many things he sais about racism in brazil..but, i dont have to agree with just everything he sais, for sure about socialism/ marxism, which i despise

    blog owner, you cant deny you are ranking on interracial unions and have an article like this and have a picture like you do at the top…have you internalised the black activist militant position on interracial unions so much you arnt even aware you are leading with it?

    you are cherry picking what you want off the blogsphere/internet , to fit your agenda..which by the way, i agree with 90 percent of what you put up, but, your 10 percent i disagree with is serious and damaging…

    lets get this straight, brazil has plenty of anti interracial attitudes from all sides…thirty years ago i got dirty stares from various black peolple in salvador for an interracial union..for sure from whites also…that you can find black brazilians ready to condemn interracial union is no surprise to me, and that doesnt make it any more right…

    blog owner, there is nothing wrong with self reflection, you are in denial if you think that is all you are pedling, and if anything is up for scrutiny and condemnation, then you and your veiws are too…and just know, i get stares and there will be pushback, volitalble and urgent confrontation

    realist, your cookie cutter look at actors and athaletes is laughable, you all remember pele but forget garrinca with elza soares, among ronaldos wives was one that was light skinned like him, i wonder if you really look into all the futebol players lives, which is none of our business anyway, you would find plenty of black players with black wives…

    you may not think you are espousing black activist militant views, but, that is what much you are saying is coming from…fannon? he analyisis one light skinned black woman and concludes she is damaged for her desire for white men and that becomes the template for the black militant activist dogma on interracial unions…what bs, i dont trust psycho analasis as far as i can throw a bus, and that is when its official, amateur psycho analasis which you find in abundance in these kind of anti interracial union discusions is rampant and idiotic….talk about a white western invention, psycho analasis , feminist anti nudity and communism plus world wars one and two are brought to you from those white people

    yeah, self esteem is the goal, do you have any idea how to really generate real afro diasporic self esteem? these theories about anti interracial unions only throw many many incredable black people under the bus.

    what kind of activism or diologue is that? that is putting yourself out on a dried rotten limb , and, excluding so many people when you badly need people to make any real differance out here

    no gringos ( and im one too), you dont get to come down to brazil , superimpose your blueprint with anti interracial union attitudes, hang ups about exposed skin and shaking hips in passistas, cherry pick the blog / internet posts you find that feature brazians uptight about interracial unions also, and think that is just hunky dory..

    self esteem issues dont translate into interracial unions , there are huge complex factors that lead people into interracial unions, and , it is against the grain, and will have people exactly like you scrutinising and critisizing celebrities you dont know at all , with petty judgements from the outside….even brazilians critisizing these people dont know them and it is none of their business what consenting adult choices they make , including if ronaldo hooks up with a transgender…its just none of your business .

    lets also get this straight, im not telling anyone, especialy black people you ought to get into an interracial union. as a matter of fact, if anyone has any doubts about it, and feels some of the things you all feel, i dont reccomend it. i love black on black unions and that doesnt cancel out interracial unions..

    just back off the scrutinising, scrutinise yourself…if you dont want to date a white person , by all means dont, but, what other people want to do as consenting adults is none of your business…there are so many more important issues to address than interracial unions, or exposed skin and hip shaking in passistas.

  6. in brazil
    December 31, 2016

    and blog owner, like i said ,i agree with ninety percent of the posts you put up, but, just look at your notes in the post before this, you bring up race, when race clearly has nothing to do with it…two posts in a row revealing your gringo outsider agenda…i mean who are you trying to fool?…the post after this one is great…keep up that good work

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