Note from BW of Brazil: Several of our previous posts have been dedicated to the celebration of the International Afro-Latin American and Afro-Caribbean Women’s Day and for good reason. Black women of the region are increasingly making their demands heard and this is especially true in Brazil. In today’s post we feature stories and photos of events from the northeast and southeast, in the states of Maranhão and São Paulo, that give a glimpse of the vibe, feeling and energy that celebrations of this day provided.
‘More Culture and Tourism’ celebrates Day of Latin American and Caribbean Black Women
More culture, black women
On Saturday (25), the project ‘ Mais Cultura e Turismo’ (More Culture and Tourism) the passage of the International Day of Black Women Latin American and Caribbean was celebrated with special programming in Praça Nauro Machado, in capital city São Luís’s Historic Downtown. The evening began with the show by the Damas da Cultura Afro Maranhense who presented the audience with rhythms of Maranhão and the Caribbean. Then the steps of the square were transformed into a catwalk parade to receive the ‘Quatro dimensões de poder feminino negro: criação, realeza, transformação e magia’ (Four dimensions of black feminine power: creation, royalty, magic and transformation), which honored the black women who marked the history of Maranhão.
The evening began with a lively show from the Damas da Cultura Afro Maranhense. The public compound São Luís residents and tourists were taken by the rhythm of the songs performed by the singers.
Then the steps of the square were transformed into a catwalk to receive the show ‘Quatro dimensões de poder feminino negro: criação, realeza, transformação e magia’ (Four dimensions of black feminine power: creation, royalty, magic and transformation), showing the importance of black women in constructing a more conscious society.
Mais Cultura mulheres negras (More culture black women)
Beautiful and important stories of strength and vigor of women such as the black slave Catarina Mina, that became a tourist spot in the historic downtown of São Luís. She became famous for managing to buy her freedom and have her own business. Catarina, Maria Firmina dos Reis, an illegitimate mulata considered the first Brazilian novelist (XIX century) and many other ladies were remembered and honored in the parade.
For the Tourism Secretary of Maranhão, Delma Andrade, the date is a global recognition of the combative and essential lives of these warriors, essential to building a united, multiethnic and multicultural world.
Praça Nauro Machado (square), once again, was the stage of the appreciation of history, encouraging the preservation of traditions and meeting the cultural diversity of Maranhão’s people. Because of the homage of the date, the project carried out by the government of Maranhão on a period of vacation, worked with a special program.
A day, Saturday, was included, the most in the programming in historic downtown, which always takes place on Thursdays and Fridays. The expansion of the programming involved the parade that showed the beauty, attitude and awareness of Maranhão’s black women with an artistic intervention of the actress Tieta Macau. The direction and design were done by director of the Casa do Maranhão, Jô Brandão.
The purpose of the July 25 celebration is to expand and strengthen the state’s black women’s organizations, to construct strategies for the insertion of topics geared toward facing racism, discrimination, prejudice and other manifestations of racial and social inequalities. It’s a day to expand partnerships, provide visibility to the struggle, the actions, promotion, enhancement and debate about the identity of the black Brazilian woman.
Group holds first Marcha do Orgulho Crespo (curly/kinky hair pride march) on Avenida Paulista to show the beauty of black women.
On Sunday in São Paulo demonstrators took part in 1ª Marcha do Orgulho Crespo held on Avenida Paulista, near the wall of the São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP), up to Consolação street
The event was marked via Facebook to honor the Day of the Latin America and Caribbean Black Women, held yesterday, to end prejudice and show the beauty of black women.
“Wearing cabelo crespo (kinky/curly hair) is a political act. I wore straightened hair for seven years. We are tired of standards, the establishment of rules,” says Yasmin Porto, 22, who learned of the march by the event created on Facebook.
The idea of the act came from social networks. The Hip Hop collective Hot Pente and consultant of digital marketing Nanda Cury, owner of the blog Cabeludas (meaning hairy), which tells stories of women who have cabelo crespo, came together to organize the march.
“This act is about liberation and representativeness,” says the journalist Neomisia Silvestre, of Hot Pente. “It is important to show our hair, you can wear it naturally. There’s no need to be ashamed, using chemicals,” adds Thaiane Almeida, another participant of the collective.
Upon completion of the march, participants organized activities in the Casa Amarela. Braiding, turban, makeup and dancing workshops, graphite interventions and a photo exhibition followed a conversation circle on cabelo crespo and identity.
“I assumed my cabelo black power (natural black hair/afro) for the first time in 2009, before I (my hair) was tied down. It was liberating,” said Nanda Cury during the conversation circle. “We need to empower, give voice to women, especially black women.”