The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent
Note from BW of Brazil: You know, there is really no way to ignore the facts. Even as so many people prefer to pretend that the issue isn’t important, that it’s just a matter a taste, that it is actually the person raising the issue that is in fact the racist, many people are starting to sense that something strange is going on in Brazil. I noticed it years ago and in recent years, a number of non-Brazilian black people I know who now live in Brazil have also wondered, “What’s the deal?” Well, increasingly, there’s really no way to play stupid on the issue anymore as more and more black Brazilians themselves are starting to question the romantic choices of people in the community.
Two weeks ago, I asked a friend of mine who I’ve known for about eight years, about the issue. My friend, whom I shall refer to as “Luciana”, is a 40 year old black woman who was born and raised in the city of São Paulo. She is black, female and a very dark-skinned, a characteristic she inherited from her father. She bears a noticeable resemblance to famous singer Patti Labelle and is the only female and the youngest of four siblings. After having known her for so long, I felt comfortable enough to ask her about this topic. I introduced the question by telling the story of another friend who knew her and who had been in her home perhaps six times in the past four years. I will refer to the second friend as “Jimmie”.
About a month ago, “Jimmie” asked “Luciana’s” female cousin (“Amanda”) a question. “Jimmie” is Nigerian, dark-skinned, and has been living in São Paulo for at least 10 years. “Jimmie” has also had relationships with a number of Brazilian women, all black, since moving to Brazil. Two of those relationships, including the current one, produced children, both dark-skinned girls. “Jimmie” started the question by explaining that he didn’t want to offend “Amanda” with the question he wanted to ask; it was simply a curiosity. Having visited the large family of the two women several times, he had become familiar with the family to the point that he knew many of them by their first names. “Jimmie” wanted to know why it was that it seemed that so many of the black men in the family were married to white women. You see, “Amanda’s” mother and “Luciana’s” father, siblings, are both very dark-skinned, as were their other six brothers and sisters. But in several cases, the children of the parents of “Luciana”, “Amanda”, as well as those of other siblings of the parents, had married white people and produced very light-skinned offspring. To be sure, a few of these women weren’t actually white, but rather light-skinned people of mixed race, but in the eyes of a Nigerian, may have been considered white.
Hearing the story, “Luciana” chuckled and when I asked why she thought this was, she explained it this way. In her family, having relationships with white people was quite easy. In fact, she explained, the family of her mother was more mixed than that of her father’s side. Just for clarity, her mother lighter than her father, but still clearly a black woman, and, as I had also met several members of her mother’s family, I hadn’t really seen much of this mixture. Of her mother’s family that I had met (in the interior of Rio de Janeiro state), I would say that her family is lighter than her father’s family, but still clearly black people. Also for the sake of clarity, I would estimate that “Luciana’s” father has the skin complexion of futebol legend Pelé, while her mother’s complexion was perhaps similar to actress Sheron Menezzes. Again, both clearly black people.
“Luciana” went on to explain that she had always had difficulties in relationships with black men. “Black men don’t want to assume you (as a girlfriend) publicly, but make it clear that they want a sexual relationship,” she said. “Black men are like this. If you go to a club together, they’ll walk with you, maybe holding hands until you get to the entrance. Once you get in, he wants to then separate from you and spend the night with his friends and only return to you at the end of the night when the party is over.” “Luciana” also has a 12-year son from a relationship with a man of indigenous ancestry. The father of her son strikes a canny resemblance to the actor Mario Lopez, perhaps best known for his portrayal of the “Slater” character on the American teen TV series Saved By the Bell (presented as Uma Galera do Barulho in Brazil).
I then asked “Luciana” if she had a preference in men. I asked she preferred white men or another type. She responded that she didn’t like blonds, but that she liked darker white men. When I asked if she liked black men, she responded, “Not really, but I also don’t like blonds,” as if to somehow justify her preference. She went on to explain that she has always felt an attraction for darker men. But speaking of darker men, as I interpreted her words, she meant darker men who are closer to the European phenotype. Having traveled to Turkey and parts of Europe, she felt a natural attraction for Greek or Turkish men, a little darker in skin color than men of Western Europe, with dark hair.
What I gathered from “Luciana’s” comment that, in her family, it was easy to date white people, seemed to validate the idea that black men/black women relationships tend to be complex. This was also the message I got based on her experiences with black men, who she says don’t want to publicly assume a relationship with black women, a comment I’ve heard various black Brazilian women repeat over the years. Also noteworthy here is that “Luciana” openly professes a preference for darker men closer to the European phenotype. An important point as black men have rebutted claims that only black men are palmiteiros, meaning they prefer whites in relationships, when it is also true that many black women are also palmiteiros. We will further explore this in future posts but keep in mind that we’ve already seen numerous examples of the claim in previous posts (see here, here and here).
Returning to “Luciana”, she is also pursuing a degree in the Social Sciences so I asked her if she was familiar with the painting known as the “Redenção de Cam” (Redemption of Ham) which portrayed the Brazilian dream of the eventual disappearance of the black race through generations of relationships with white people.
Not familiar with the painting, I showed her the 1895 work on my cell phone. “Luciana” didn’t believe my explanation of the photo, dismissing it as simply my “interpretation”. Several years ago, I showed this same painting to “Luciana’s” brother (“Jorge”) who is married to a very white woman. Also never having heard of the painting, at first, he also didn’t believe the interpretation of the piece of art. After showing him the painting on my computer, “Jorge” promptly lowered his head and covered his forehead in his clasped hands resting on his knees as the truth had apparently sunk in.
Yes, the cat is out of the bag. Some black Brazilians are beginning to learn and recognize their country’s planned agenda of disappearing the black race through miscegenation, but the question is, does it even matter? In my experiences in Brazil, lighter-skinned people of African descent far outnumber distinctly brown to dark skinned black people, so one must really wonder what the future holds for Brazil’s black population.
In the video above, social media personality AD Junior, speaking to journalist Kiratiana Freelon, actually goes into an explanation of the apparent Afro-Brazilian predilection for swirling and actually makes a reference to the painting. Interestingly, I know black Brazilians who KNOW the meaning of the painting but, even so, are STILL down with the swirl. And people wonder why I say the concept of “black money” cannot be taken seriously in Brazil without a serious conversation about widespread miscegenation and a constant eventual transfer of black wealth back to the white community.
We are palmiteiros. Now what?
By Cléo Goulart
In a totally alienated society like that of the twenty-first century, such “palmiteiragem” would be one of the most divisive issues among us, black males. What would be a palmiteiro be?
According to the sources themselves, a simple summary would be: homens negros que por escolha se relacionam com mulheres brancas (black men who by choice have relationships with white women) and may have the option of a biological relationship with mulheres negras (black women). To a certain extent, you might say, “Okay, but then you mean it’s wrong for a black man to relate to someone of a different color? And what about “love”, where is it?
To some degree, I asked myself these questions in my head. Until discovering that we black men really are palmiteiros. And we really are … But calm down, men, we did not come here to throw stones at ourselves. Let’s understand two concepts that made our head mass reflect on such taxations.
You, young black man can be a palmiteiro without even knowing it! Take a brief review of your previous relationships: How many meninas da sua cor (girls of your color) have you ever had a relationship with? If your answer is two, one or none, and if you don’t know why, welcome to the team of Palmiteiros Inconcientes (Inconcious Palmiteiros). Let me explain better …
Are we not guilty (or are we?), but in our society the media explores this concept of the homem negro com a mulher branca (black man with the white woman). I remember my hip-hop era. The black rappers, the vast majority in their relationships, the woman was tall, fair skin and blonde or black hair. But in the clips of greater sensual appeal, the patterns of women were reversed: mulheres negras de pele clara ou negras mesmo (black women with fair skin or just black). This makes us reflect a major problem that the media in all its commercial or entertaining spheres explores massively: the white woman would be the standard of the family relationship and the black woman would be the standard of the relationship just for sexual pleasure. Strange, isn’t it? But this is already an old problem, from the time of the so-called Brasil-Colonia (Colonial Brazil): there were places of criação de pretinhos (black-breeding), as if they were pigs reproducing in a separate place, and the black women remained there only reproducing. In addition, the children of the masters went through a process of “initiation” where the first sexual experience was with an (enslaved) black woman as if it were a process to becoming men. Do you see how the black woman’s sexuality as a “woman for sex” is very old?
The media, in order to “break the judgments of racism,” use black men with white women in their advertisements thinking that they can avoid the social chorus of “racist media”, but the palmitagem of the audio-visual field is automatically encouraged. Who has never seen an advertisement with a white woman with a black man playing a beautiful couple? Black women are unfortunately not part of the family standard imposed by Western society. Many black women today cry and suffer for being left out because of it. Palmitagem is a matter of racial terms.
But calm down, men! Otherwise we knew, we were Inconciente Palmiteiros. I even realized it in my full 23 years of life when I found myself in a relationship with my first light-skinned black woman and making a self-reflection that I never been with a black woman. And by great part because of media influence. But as the Messiah of the Jews said: “Your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more.”
There are, on the other hand, the Conscious Palmiteiros, those black men who know all this and yet privilege the lack of melanin in their affective and biological relations. Men who know the clamor of black women abandoned because of a highly doctrinal culture that interferes even in the choice of relationships. They make a point of reducing the people themselves. Of course, the cases of love, of being in love, of the emotions for another person. But it’s all a matter of consciousness that has to be on both sides. It’s like thinking: your mother and father both are aware that one is white and so has privileges and this is a clear fact. This reflects on the lives of black women, who by not being the “standard”, engage in abusive relationships.
I’m not here to judge you, young palmiteiro. But stop and reflect a little on this brief approach. Do you realize that it goes beyond attraction? Do you see that there is practically a conspiracy in favor of such an act? Can you see that because of this kind of choice we are making thousands of black women cry and get involved in highly abusive situations because of our consequence? We are palmiteiros…Now what?
Source: Melanina XY