Supermarket accused of racism after associating black woman with broom

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Note from BW of Brazil: Sometimes, you really do have to wonder. How do these types of things come to fruition without somebody involved stopping and thinking, “Is it possible that this might offend someone?” Having seen these sort of depictions of black women coming out of Brazil, I sometimes wonder what the thought process behind these things are. My point is, let’s imagine that the person being this display wasn’t really, purposely trying to play off tried and true stereotypes that connects black women to domestic work or sexuality. In that case, the other question would be, advertising in Brazil continues to be dominated portrayals of white men and women in all sorts of settings, promoting all sorts of products, from toothpaste to cars, clothing to travel packages, what is the thought process that makes someone break the standard of whiteness in advertising and think, “Let’s use a black woman in this promotion” that promotes a sale of a tool use to clean floors? Although someone could in fact know the history of associating black women with household chores, I believe it’s probably more likely that the person behind this ad probably doesn’t actually know the long history of this stereotype, but because this connection has been so strongly rooted in Brazilian society, when he/she thought of who to depict in the promotion, the first thought was that of a black woman. Still racist, even though perhaps not intentional. If that were the case, it would still go to show that Brazil has a long ways to go to break this automatic thought pattern. 

Supermarket accused of racism after associating black woman with broom

By Larissa Freitas

Supermarket accused of racism after associating black woman with broom

A supermarket chain in the state of Paraná was accused of racism after an advertisement that associated a black woman with a broom. The image generated outrage among users and social movements. In the photo, made in a supermarket of the Condor Network, in Ponta Grossa (PR), appears the figure of a black woman, with cabelos crespos (curly/kinky hair) and dressed in red. In front of her, a pile of brooms of black bristles and a red cord.

The publication was made last Wednesday (13), in the personal profile of journalist Cíntia Velasco Capri, on Facebook. “My publication turned into a horror show,” the journalist said, erasing the post. In a repudiation note, the Movimento das Mulheres Negras de Ponta Grossa (Black Women’s Movement of Ponta Grossa) and Instituto Sorriso Negro do Campos Gerais (Moolaadé) criticized the ad and shows the reasons why it is considered racist.

“The representation of the black woman was constructed through the most repulsive stereotypes, which start from the sexualization of the body, coming to the (association of) hair with a ‘broom’, up through the place of service up to coming to the ‘nega maluca’ (crazy black woman stereotype). The note also says that the image should not be seen with “naturalness and appreciation”, but rather with “criticalness and empathy”.

“The image of the black man and the black woman has remained stereotyped and stigmatized since the nineteenth century in our society. Society cannot detach itself from the image of the black man/woman as servile, even after the black liberates him/herself.” The material also cites the research, conducted in 2011, which addresses the Representation of black men and women in advertising of store catalogs.

Research shows that black men and women appear in advertisements mainly in stereotyped roles as: manual laborer, artist, “mulata”, socially deprived, athlete, primitive, caricature and in campaigns of sexually transmitted diseases.

The Condor supermarket chain also made a statement, stating that it respected diversity and that advertising belonged to a third-party company.

Check out the full statement.

The Condor Super Center says that in these 45 years of history, it has always been dedicated to serving customers in the best way possible, always guided by ethics and respect for diversity. With regard to the merchandising done by an employee of a third party company, the network emphasizes that it removed the material promptly. We also talked to the professional, who apologized and made it clear that he would never do anything racist. Therefore, the network emphasizes that it does not accept any type of prejudice, that it will continue to work for diversity within its stores and that differences, whatever they may be, must be respected.

SourcePolêmica Paraíba

About Marques Travae 3237 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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