Note from BW of Brazil: Today’s post touches on several topics that have been covered on this blog for the past week. Those posts include Ana Flávia Magalhães Pinto’s analysis of how/if black women can exist within a feminist movement dominated by middle class white women and the need to “blacken feminism”. The topic of that post considered the question of black feminism partially due to an incident that happened at the annual Marcha das Vadias (Slut Walk) in Brazil’s capital city. There were also two posts about the struggle to bring recognition and visibility to the history of Afro-Brazilians in the southern state of Paraná through the work of militant/professor Marcilene Garcia de Souza and a new exhibit in a museum. All of those posts act as a lead-in to a provocative new video created by four black women against racism in a call to other black women of the city of Curitiba (capital city of Paraná) to “blacken feminism.”
The video features the women holding up various signs with various racist comments written on them and their response to these daily acts of denigration and depreciation. Adding to the power of the video is the song “A Carne” by legendary Afro-Brazilian singer Elza Soares. The song is Soares’ critique of how blacks are discriminated against because, in the thoughts of many, blacks aren’t worth anything and are seen as only trash in the white world. But they continue to fight. Some of key lyrics in song are as follows: “A carne mais barata do mercado é a carne negra/The cheapest meat in the market is the black/dark meat, Ainda guardo o direito/I reserve the right, De algum antepassado da cor/of some ancestor of color, Brigar sutilmente por respeito/To fight subtly for respect, Brigar bravamente por respeito/To fight bravely for respect, Brigar por justiça e por respeito/To fight for justice and for respect”
See the video below. The text featured in the video is fully translated into English below the video.
A Carne Negra – Marcha das Vadias Curitiba: Manifesto das Mulheres Negras
(The Dark Meat – Slut Walk Curitiba: Black Women’s Manifesto)
0:00 – You stayed in the oven too long; you’re overcooked/burnt
0:06 – Do you think of this as funny?
0:26 – Hoodlum hair: Either you are in jail or you are armed
0:32 – Do you think of this as funny?
0:47 – Wow! What a monkey nose!
0:52 – Do you think of this as funny?
1:04 – “Raimundo”: Ugly face, nice ass
1:13 – Do you think of this as funny?
1:23 – Racism is not funny
1:35 – Let’s blacken feminism
1:47 – We are the resistance of the quilombo (1); we are the resistance of the terreiros (2); we are the resistance of folklore, of capoeira (3); we are our pride of being black that not even the “captain of the forest” (4), neither the lei de vadiagem (vagancy law) (5) managed to mitigate; we are the undesired that remain; we are the cotistas (6) that blacken UFPR (7); we are those that don’t accept racism; we are those that fight daily for real equality; we are those that beat the tambor (8); those that love their afro hair; we are those that worry about the criminalization of our parents, children and brothers and sisters
2:07 – We are the black skin that we love; we are those that fight for better work conditions; we are those that fight legal and safe abortion; those that demystify the sexual image that is attributed to us; we are those that demand policies of the promotion of equality; we are those that want to blacken feminism; we are BLACK WOMEN FEMINISTS
The Marcha das Vadias (Slut Walk) is composed of various causes, among them, the racial. You that believes that it’s necessary to blacken feminism, come march with us in Curitiba and desconstruct the idea that feminism of the white elite. Come to the street black woman!
2.24 – Sign: Vadia (slut) is whoever fights and doesn’t remain quiet
2.33 – Signs: “I am proud of my color, of my hair, of my nose, this is the way I am happy!’
2.48 – Sign: Marcha das Vadias (Slut Walk) Curitiba, July 13th
2:51 – Sign: 19 de Dezembro Square
1. A quilombo is a Brazilian hinterland settlement founded by people of African origin including the Quilombolas, or Maroons. Most of the inhabitants of quilombos (called quilombolas) were escaped slaves and, in some cases, later these escaped African slaves would help provide shelter and homes to other minorities of marginalised Portuguese, Brazilian aboriginals, Jews and Arabs, and/or other non-black, non-slave Brazilians who experienced oppression during colonization. However, the documentation on runaway slave communities typically uses the term mocambo to describe the settlements. Source
2. Temple where Afro-Brazilian religions such as candomblé is practiced. Source
3. Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music, and is sometimes referred to as a game. It was developed in Brazil mainly by African descendants with native Brazilian influences, probably beginning in the 16th century. It is known by quick and complex moves, using mainly power, speed, and leverage for leg sweeps. Source
4. Capitão do mato was in charge of recapturing runaway slaves during the slavery era in Brazil. Source
5. Lei de vandiagem: A law created in October 1890, two years after the abolition of slavery, that classified the public practice of the Afro-Brazilian martial art of capoeira as a crime. Source: Mulato, Ed. Restos. Biblioteca 24 Horas, 2009.
6. Students who enter Brazilian federal universities with the assistance of the system of quotas or affirmative action.
7. Universidade Federal do Paraná (Federal University of Paraná)
8. Percussive instrument typically used in the Afro-Brazilian religions such as Candomblé and Umbanda