Journalist Joyce Ribeiro will become the first black woman in 68 years of Brazilian television to mediate a presidential debate
By Marques Travae
Making reports such as the one you’re reading today always presents a sort of double-edge effect. It’s like, on the one hand, you want to present it as “progress” but then again, if it’s first time, after the genre made its debut in something like seven decades, is that really progress? I think Malcolm probably put this best back about 60 years ago. Putting a knife in my back and taking it out by six inches isn’t progress. But anyway, let’s give props to a woman who continues to deserve it for her professionalism.
It was recently announced that long-time journalist, Joyce Ribeiro, who has been featured in numerous past articles, has been chosen to mediate an important upcoming presidential debate. This would earn her the accolade of becoming the first black woman to do so in 68 years of Brazilian television.
The anchor of TV Cultura news, Ribiero has earned a number of such titles in her long career, including becoming the first black woman to host a daily news journal solo in prime time, and Ribeiro herself acknowledged this accomplishment in a recent interview:
“In 68 years of TV in Brazil, being the first black woman to occupy this position is a very great achievement,” she was quoted as saying. But even with such a career-defining moment, Joyce will certainly handle the role with her regular professionalism and class.
The debate, for one of the most important presidential elections in Brazil’s history, will be held on September 20th and will have a profound effect on the future of the country that has been in an economic tail spin in recent years after about a decade of unprecedented economic growth and world recognition coming the hosting of events such as the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
Ribeiro’s selection for the task brings yet another victory in the struggle of black Brazilian men and women for visibility in Brazil’s ultra-Eurocentric media. It also represents yet another victory for Ribeiro who was dismissed from her position as anchor at Brazil’s number two TV network, SBT-TV, over a year ago.
This is the second historic first in terms of seeing black faces in Brazil’s mainstream media in less than a month. On August 4th, we brought you the news that another network, RedeTV! would become the first Brazilian television network to present two black anchors, Luciana Camargo and Rodrigo Cabral , hosting a new program together in the history of Brazilian television. Again, we present this news as historic. But it again demonstrates Brazil’s decades long standard of a preference for white faces in a country that most would not define as white.
These are accomplishments for Joyce Ribeiro, Luciana Camargo and Rodrigo Cabral, but having to present the fact that it’s another black first in 2018 is shameful.