Note from BW of Brazil: Maybe you’ve never heard of singer Elza Soares. If you live outside of Brazil and never listened to the music of other countries, it is very possible that you’ve ever heard of one of Brazil’s national treasures. The BBC surely knows who she is as the British media conglomerate who also dubbed her the “Brazilian Tina Turner” named Soares the “Singer of the Millenium” in the year 2000. But still today, at the age of 80, Soares, now performing in a wheelchair, still has something to say, especially on the topic of race. Her song, “A Carne”, which means “meat” or “flesh” became an oft-repeated phrase by Afro-Brazilians speaking on the way Brazilian society devalues black life. “The cheapest meat/flesh on the market is the black/dark meat” goes the main lyric. Very fitting, considering the genocidal numbers of black youth that are killed every year in Brazil.
Although the song is from 2002, Soares re-recorded a new video for the song and released just in time for this year’s Day of Black Consciousness, which is today, November 20th. Check out the video at the bottom of this article.
Elza Soares: “The racism nowadays still shocks me”
Courtesy of Diário Online
Elza Soares is a woman of fiber. With a history of fighting against prejudice, she has established herself as one of the greatest performers of world music. Now 80 years old, the singer is still thrilled to witness every minority achievement. The artist recognizes that there is still much to do for the dream of equal opportunities.
“I faced a lot of prejudice. I was the first black woman to sing in clubs where blacks did not have access, my singing helped me position myself and put me in a place where I could fight for equality,” she recalls.
The persistence of the singer, who was once a cleaning lady and maid, was the solution that led her to reaching the top of her career. “I can’t do anything but sing … I know how to cook, but I can’t take over the kitchen because of my spine problem … It’s on the stage that I’m happy,” she says.
Willingness to face challenges? “I have so much faith. When things are not the way I want them, I stop and I breathe and I think that everything passes. Good things happen, bad things, too,” she opines.
Elza recalls the various prejudices she has endured on her path, but she’s not bitter about her memories. “I am still shocked by the many cases of racism practiced today. This only reinforces that we still have a lot to fight for,” she emphasizes.
Elza Soares launches incredible clip of “A Carne” for the Day of Black Consciousness
By Felipe Dantas
Today, November 20, is the National Day of Black Consciousness. Elza Soares, one of the greatest voices in Brazil, came today to celebrate the date with a new clip of “A Carne,” a song that talks a lot about racism and came from her 2002 album Do Cóccix Até o Pescoço.
“A carne mais barata do mercado foi a carne negra (The cheapest meat on the market was the dark/black meat). It’s not the dark meat anymore. I’m black. My mother is black. My voice is black. Brazil is Black,” she said in a statement as she released the clip.
The video was made with the direction of the Coletivo MOOC; IT’S BEAUTIFUL AND IMPORTANT TOO!