Note from BW of Brazil: It was the kiss that blew up in black Brazilian social media. Back in February, João Alves de Assis Silva, better known as simply Jô, a striker for the Corinthians futebol team in São Paulo, scored the winning goal against cross-town Palmeiras. He then climbed into the stands and planted a kiss on the lips of the woman who has remained at his side through thick and thin, his wife, Claudia Silva, a passista (Carnaval dancer) for the Rio-based Salgueiro samba school. So, what’s the big deal? He kissed his wife, I mean, isn’t that what husbands do?
Well, as has been pointed out in numerous previous posts here, it seems to be a rare thing to see a black man kissing his black wife in the public sphere. Many years ago, there was actually a campaign of the Movimento Negro entitled that challenged black men to “Beije sua preta em praça pública” (kiss your black woman in a public square).
It’s not a joke because, one, it seems that ALL of the prominent black futebol stars in Brazil are married to white women, and two, you rarely see black couples featured in the top-ranked Globo TV’s ever-popular novelas (soap operas). I wrote this in a previous post. Afro-Brazilians are vastly under-represented in these novelas, and when they are cast in one, rarely in roles as protagonists, they are almost ALWAYS cast opposite a white partner.
Don’t believe it? I must be exaggerating, right? Well, as I write this, Globo TV is preparing the new novela, O Outro Lado do Paraíso, featuring brown-skinned beauty Erika Januza playing opposite the very white-skinned actor, Caio Paduan. Curiously, part of the plot centers around the prejudice they face as an interracial couple. This actually could be an intriguing blog post. The number of interracial couples one sees in Brazilian novelas versus black couples. Without even doing the research, I would be willing to bet that 9 out of 10 couples that feature a black person in a Brazilian novela in a romantic setting, features the character/actor opposite a white partner. Any takers on this bet?
Anyway, as it turns out, more and more Afro-Brazilians are awaking to the lack of black couples, both on TV and in various cities across Brazil. So much so that a number of Facebook pages and communities are focused on bringing Afro-Brazilian together. Afro Dengo is just one that was featured on this blog some months back.
So why doesn’t Brazilian television show black couples? It’s actually quite simple. Brazil has long promoted the dream of its black population eventually disappearing through successive generations of mixture with white partners and it is quite common all over Brazil to see black families almost disappear into whiteness after a few generations. The comments of the mother of former Globeleza girl Nayara Justino, Nazaré Justino, speaks volumes on this topic. In The Guardian documentary about her daughter, who also married a white man, the elder Justino said, “In my family, in a few years, there will be no more black people, because they are marrying white people.” Simply put, if black Brazilians really believe in concepts such as “black money“, “black representation” or “black power”, they must understand that without “black couples/families”, none of the other ideals matter. In recent months, a number of people have been discussing this. Below I bring you comments on the topic by writer/producer Nina Silva as well as the social network page Afro Guerrilha.
“The kinky-curly heads are strengthening themselves. I make an issue of putting up my text. May black women and black men strengthen themselves.”
By Nina Silva
We continue to love each other. Yes. For it is the love between us and our community that makes us survivors, or rather living beings. The emancipation of the black man depends on the emancipation of the black woman, just as we cannot solve the demands of the black woman without putting the black man on the same level of priority. We cannot fragment. The genocide of the black population is daily and has lasted for centuries throughout Africa and Diasporas. Have you ever wondered how we were able to resist and keep ourselves connected? Yes, connected and I’m not talking about the internet. I speak of the connection between blacks who have never seen each other but in a foreign country can identify similarities in other blacks there: in the phenotype, in the walk, in the smile, in the celebrations and also in the pains.
This connection and resistance of the corpos pretos (black bodies) comes from LOVE that still lingers in our community: sweating for the sustenance of your family, working for the freedom of your peers, fighting for the lives of your allies and brothers, warring for their origins and ancestry. Only love strengthens and gives meaning by persevering and preserving. Don’t forget to love every preto e preta (black man and woman) of your community, we are UNITY. Complementary bodies and minds in the indulgence of maintenance and growth of this society. Somos um povo de raízes (we are a people of roots), without limitations of time or territories. We are heirs to bequeath. Let us learn from the moment of now but Sankofa is present and it is our ancestors who have drawn our steps… yes, our footsteps come from afar…but the walk will follow in firm and wide steps for greater horizons.
Pretas e Pretos estão se armando, Pretos e Pretas estão tramando, Pretas e Pretos estão se amando
(Black women and Black men are strengthening themselves. Black men and women are plotting, Black men and women are loving each other)
AMOR PRETO (BLACK LOVE) #9 | <3 Jô, a Corinthians striker, went to the Arena bleachers to kiss Claudinha do Salgueiro, after scoring a goal against Palmeiras on Wednesday (22). “She’s my wife and she’s always at my side, and the moment I went to warm myself up, she said I was going to score the goal, I dedicate this victory to her because she’s the one who accompanies me and is always with me.” Love your black woman! Love your black man!
AMOR PRETO #4 | black couple <3 Why does advertising, the LGBT and entertainment industry encourage interracial relationships? Why are two black men together rarely represented in expressions of affection, but always in scenes of violence? Black couples, black families, whatever their composition, are pillars that sustain the black community. It is our role to inspire a positive image of relationships between black people. We don’t talk about perfect relationships. We are talking about black love that strengthens and heals! Show affection for your black man, to your black woman <3
AMOR PRETO# 1 <3 How many happy and successful black couples do you in the media in general? Affectivity among black people, from deep friendship, strong family ties to loving relationship causes dread in racism. Because of this, it is so rare to see black couples in TV series and novelas (soap operas), for example. Supremacia branca (white supremacy) in Brazil, under the false idea of racial democracy, always bets that keeping blacks with whites made it easier to dominate them. And it really worked. It is enough to see that in any audiovisual production, the miscegenation and interracial love relationship is always praised. Take a century of this project into account and you will have black women and black men always trying to embranquecer suas vidas (whiten their lives) – in addition to their own body, also in the relationship with pessoas brancas (white people).
And if the image of two happy and loving black people breaks down various stereotypes imposed by racism on us, hiding scenes like this operates in our imaginary making us believe that having a relationship with a white person is better, after all, whites are synonymous with beauty, of success, acceptance…of normality. A black couple, for the racist media of Brazil, is not something normal. In an attempt to get our community to think more about it, reflect on their lives and their relationships, we will post pictures of black couples and families weekly. To recover the self-esteem that has been stolen from us to change affection between us and to cultivate stronger and healthy relationships between black women and black men, in the friendships, companionship or in family.
Source: The Picta/afroguerrilha