Black Women of Brazil

The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent

The Black Man is NOT my enemy: why feminism does not contemplate and not even meet the demands of mulheres negras (black women)

O Homem Preto NÃO é meu inimigo

Note from BW of Brazil: There has been a rising ideology among the black Brazilian women within activist circles in recent years….African Womanism. As more and more black women are coming to terms with origins, path and results of the feminist movement, and as more black people in general are beginning to the question the state of black men/black women relationships, African Womenism arrives with the understanding of the necessity of unity among black people, above all between black men and black women. Once one comes to terms with the history of feminism, one does have to come to the point when it is necessary ask whether this ideology helps to heal the wounds imposed on the black community or it simply adds to more conflict. The feminist ideology has given rise to a number of black women who have achieved prominence in the mainstream media in the past few years, but considering what the mainstream supports and finances, we must ask some very serious questions about on whose sides some of these risings stars stand and ultimately where their allegiances lie. The bottom line is the following: Do black feminists work toward the unity of black men and black women which Brazilian society has actively sought to destroy for nearly 500 years? Stay tuned for further developments. 

The Black Man is NOT my enemy

By Marinéa Coutinho

“Blessed love among us”

The first time I heard this phrase as a greeting from the irmãs mulheristas africanas (African womanist sisters), I felt embraced. And every time I hear it, it’s like it’s the first time. I strongly believe that only with the blessed love between us will the emancipation of the povo preto (black people) be possible, for AMOR PRETO CURA (BLACK LOVE CURES)!

“One cannot speak of emancipation of the Claudias without the emancipation of Amarildos.”

This phrase perfectly sums up why feminism does not contemplate and not even meet the demands of mulheres negras (black women). Claiming a movement that is not and has not been thought of for us and by us as black women is our biggest mistake, for it tears us apart, divides us and lets the greatest enemy of black people pass by, racism.

If this movement leaves the real motive behind the death of my sisters, behind the deaths of my people, every day – a black person killed every 23 minutes – it is not for me. If this same movement celebrates that the rates of femicide against white women have decreased and does not question why, against black women, they have increased absurdly, it is to rub in our face that if we were not together before when they wanted to work without even washing their own panties, so will it not be that we’ll be now, right?

Femicide statistics

And you may ask me: what about black feminism? It is still insufficient, to paint such a movement of blacks is not effective, as it is a theory based on branca (white), departing from the perspective of these women and does not break with the genre line. And this breakup is paramount. We are a people, o homem negro não é meu inimigo (the black man is not my enemy), he dies as much as I do – and even more in the hand of the state. I’m nothing without him. He is nothing without me. Whoever steps on the other, is treading on you. I am because he is, he is because I am. This is UBUNTU, which the West will never understand.


Femicide in Brazil: Brazil has a rate of femicide estimated at 4.8 per 100 thousand women. The fifth biggest in the world. In the last 10 years, the rate of homicide of black woman increased by 54%. The deaths of white women decreased by 9.8%

Black man statistics

African Womenism breaks with the gender line, we men and women are being killed by the same enemy. This does not mean that these black men don’t falter or reproduce machismo, they screw up and we are here to demand, grab hold of him, only at home, without this hypocrisy and Western hysteria. The black man is not my enemy. A mulher branca que não é minha irmã (The white woman who is not my sister), she is not with me at the time of “vamo ver” (let’s see), does not feel my pain, besides, she is as nociously racist as the homem branco (white man).


There is nothing more dangerous in Brazil that being a BLACK YOUTH. Of the 52,198 deaths by homicide in 2011 in the country, more than half were young people, 71.5% were black, 93% were men.

The black man and the black woman in Africa are complementary. Patriarchy is not ours, we come from matriarchal societies. And matriarchy is not synonymous with patriarchy with the woman in the center, quite the opposite. In patriarchy, man subdues and oppresses woman. In matriarchy, we recognize that we women are carriers of life, the world’s womb and the black man complements me. He understands that without me, lives are not generated. And I understand that without him, I do not create these lives. So this gender war makes no sense to us, as we struggle to ensure the resistance of vidas pretas (black lives).

White women have to fight against this patriarchy, for the right to work without first washing their own panties, but we black people do not have that luxury. We have a people, a nation to rebuild and this will only be possible with the union of men and women, practicing mutual care, adding strength to overcome racism.


Source: Medium Revista Òkòtó

3 comments on “The Black Man is NOT my enemy: why feminism does not contemplate and not even meet the demands of mulheres negras (black women)

  1. Charles Merriweather
    March 29, 2018

    great article! No we are not the enemy;but we could be a strong companion along side the black women.

  2. Mike
    March 31, 2018

    Marinea is right and i like her way of thinking. It also doesn’t help that the MEDIA plays a large part in promoting Black men as the enemy to Black women.I just wish more Black women had Marinea’s mentality instead of wanting to ally with White feminists.

  3. Al
    April 2, 2018

    African societies as matriarchal ???

    I guess she has never been to Africa nor knows any Africans……..

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This entry was posted on March 28, 2018 by in feminism, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , .
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