Black teens denounce racism and aggression in a shopping mall in Salvador, Brazil

Both 15, the case happened as they left the clothing store. According to their account, they were assaulted by two employees on the escalator


Two teenagers, both 15, claim to have suffered racism trying on clothes at a store located in the Shopping Barra mall, in Salvador*, Bahia in Brazil’s northeast on Friday (17). They say that they were beaten and charged with theft by two store employees. According to the youth, the staff approached the escalator at the exit of the store and searched the backpack of one of them in front of other people. Finding nothing in the bag, according to their denouncement, the officials attacked the two teenagers.


The first boy (above in blue background) remembered the incident this way: “I was going to another store and he came toward me said, ‘Come with me.’ I said, ‘Why? For what reason?’ He said, ‘You know very well what you did, we have the video there in the store'”. The second teen reported this: “He searched my backpack, looked, saw nothing. Then one of them became frustrated, started screaming expletives, lifted me up by the collar”, said the other teenager, both of whom preferred to hide their identities.

black women Brazil
Mônica Santana, mother of one of the boys, filed a complaint

The waitress, Mônica Santana, mother of one of the boys, filed a complaint in the mall’s customer care service department and also in the Delegation of Repression and Crimes against Children and Adolescents (Dercca). “He is being touted as an outcast in the mall, but he’s a person who studies and works. The other boy is trying out to be a soccer player and regardless, they are children and don’t need to go through this”, said the mother.

The store management informed her by telephone that it happened outside of the establishment and therefore the mall won’t comment on the matter. Officials from Shopping Barra have already said they regretted the incident and will investigate the case.

* – Before proceeding with the details of this incident, it is necessary to explain a little about the racial dynamics of Salvador, Bahia, located in Brazil’s northeast. According to statistics, the racial composition of the city is 76.5% Afro-Brazilian and 23.5% white. In the entire city of Salvador, the white population is the majority in only 9 of 88 Demographic Expansion Areas, with Barra, an upper-middle class neighborhood, being one of them. Persons who consider themselves to be white make up 71.7% of this neighborhood. Salvador, Bahia, is nicknamed the “Black Rome” because of its large black population and its strong connections to African culture. Because middle-upper class neighborhoods in Salvador are primarily white and its political structure dominated by white elites, Salvador is sometimes compared to Apartheid era South Africa where a small population of whites had higher quality of life standards and dominated the black majority. 


About Marques Travae 2898 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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