Note from BW of Brazil: A racist statement made by a well-known television journalist became the subject of two recent posts here at BW of Brazil. But as November is the Month of Black Consciousness here in Brazil, several Twitter users such as Daniel Matos Vianna and Fotos de Fatos (photos of facts) took the opportunity to use Waack’s phrase, “É Coisa De Preto” (it’s a black thing) to give a history lesson using a number of prominent personalities, both Brazilian and international. Twitter users paid homage to numerous African-American icons such as Rosa Parks, Miles Davis, Muhammad Ali, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Shirley Chisholm, Josephine Baker, Toni Morrison, Harriet Tubman and many other internationally black figures. Below, we present 25 important people in Afro-Brazilian History! It’s ‘Novembro Negro’!
25 personalities to keep in mind when someone says, ‘It’s a black thing’
On Twitter, journalist William Waack’s racist statement was turned into an opportunity to celebrate black heroes and thus becoming a perfect vehicle with which to celebrate ‘Novembro Negro’ (Black November), the Month of Black Consciousness.
The hashtag # ÉCoisaDePreto was on Twitter’s most talked about subject list on Thursday the 9th. This is a response to the video in which William Waack shoots statements of a racist nature.
After the leak and repercussion of the video, TV Globo decided to remove the journalist until the situation is clarified. According to the broadcaster, Waack does not remember what he said, but apologizes “to those who felt outraged by the situation.”
On Twitter, people have converted the racist expression into an opportunity to bring up the biography of black personalities from Brazil and abroad. People who had to deal with the omnipresence of racism to become references in their areas of action.
From Hattie McDaniel (the first black woman to win an Oscar in 1940), through Toni Morrison (Nobel Prize for Literature) to Rosa Parks (a symbol of the black civil rights movement in the US), are dozens of names and life stories presented in the company of the hashtag # ÉCoisaDePreto.
Daniel Matos Vianna (Mochila de Criança @muringa77) is the author of a series of tweets that have repercussions in the social network. With a degree in history, he made a point of presenting names of black women who, he believes, suffer doubly in society.
“We live in an extremely sexist society with racism that is more and more externalized. Many people died for freedom and their names are not remembered for the most part,” he told HuffPost Brasil.
Vianna also points out that the black condition is absolutely relevant and needs to be discussed. “All the guys posting are showing humans fighting for the right to be human,” he says.
Aleijadinho was an important sculptor and carver of the Barroco Mineiro in the eighteenth century.
This is Luis Gama (son of Luisa Mahin, he was born free and made a slave at the age of 17, he became a rábula (a type of lawyer without law school) and defended the manumission of hundreds of enslaved blacks.
Elza da Conceição Soares, better known as Elza Soares, is a well-known Brazilian singer and songwriter. She was elected in 1999, by BBC Radio of London, as the Brazilian singer of the millennium.
Conceição Evaristo, writer, poet, novelist and essayist from the city of Belo Horizonte, one of the most important Brazilian writers of the present time.
Joaquim Benetido Barbosa Gomes is a jurist. He was minister of the STF (Supreme Court) between 2003 and 2014. He is currently a lawyer.
Eliane Dias, lived in the street, was a cleaning lady, nanny and today she is a lawyer, businesswoman, coordinator of SOS Racismo at ALESP #ecoisadepreto
Tim Maia is known as Brazil’s father of Soul music and is known for composing some of the greatest songs enjoyed by Brazilians of races.
It’s a Black Thing to found the Academia Brasileira de Letras (Brazilian Academy of Letters) and be an influential literary figure as much in Brazil as in the world such as poet, romancist, dramaturgist, journalist and literary critic Machado de Assis.
Being a musical genius like Pixinguinha is a Black Thing. Alfredo da Rocha Viana, Jr., better known as Pixinguinha was a composer, arranger, flautist and saxophonist born in Rio de Janeiro. Pixinguinha is considered one of the greatest Brazilian composers of popular music, particularly within the genre of music known as choro.
It’s a Black Thing to be the first Brazilian woman to be world Judo champion (Rafaela Silva)
Antônio Carlos Bernardes Gomes, better known as Mussum, actor, musician, songwriter and one of the funniest humorist that Brazil ever had.
Antonieta de Barros, journalist, first black women elected Deputy (Representative) in Brazil, for the state of Santa Catarina one of the innumerous inspirations of the black Brazilian Movement.
This is João Cândido, he was a sailor and leader of what became known as the Revolta against the Whip, rebelling against punishments of whipping applied by sailing officials to mostly black sailors.
This is Abdias do Nascimento, he was a scholar, professor, plastic artist, poet, dramaturgist and activist of the Movimento Negro in Brazil and in the world. He went into exile during the military dictatorship, and became the first black senator in Brazil.
This is José do Patrocínio, the son of a priest with an enslaved black woman and pharmacist by profession. He became one of the most important abolitionists of his time. He was the greatest abolitionist journalist and creator of the Black Guard.
This is Carolina Maria de Jesus. She was a Brazilian writer that published, among other titles, her book: Child of the Dark, 1960, in which she became internationally known.
This is Milton Santos, a Law school graduate, but that became the greatest Brazilian geographer. He worked with concepts of space and globalization. He earned the Vautrin Lud award in 1994.
This is Hilária Batista de Almeida, known as Tia Ciata. She was a Mãe de Santo n an era in which Candomble was prohibited, in addition to being an influential figure on the scene of the then recently born samba carioca (samba of Rio de Janeiro). Thanks to her actions, police repressions of samba decreased.
Milton Nascimento is a Brazilian singer and songwriter recognized worldwide as one of the most influential singers and composers of MPB. In 1998, he won the Grammy for Best World Music Album in 1997. He is Doctor Honoris Causa from Berklee College of Music, Boston.
This is Dr. André Pinto Rebouças, he was an important Brazilian abolitionist, engineer and inventor. One of the first to defend the existence of public schools in all Brazilian cities. The tunnel and avenue are named after him. Along with his brother Antônio, they were the first blacks to attend higher education in the country (19th century) and were authors of important projects in the area of Engineering.
Juliano Moreira, a doctor who died in 1932, left as his struggle for the approval of laws to assist the mentally ill and pioneered psychiatry in Brazil.
Tony Tornado, met Stokely Carmichael in 1971, took the stage when Elis Regina played “Black is Beautiful” and made the protest gesture of the Black Panthers. He came down handcuffed and 40,000 people in the Maracanã (stadium in Rio) booed the police.
Dandara was a great warrior in the fight for the freedom of the black people. Still in the seventeenth century, she participated in the (quilombo) Palmares struggles, earning a space of leadership. In an uncompromising way, she understood that freedom was non-negotiable.