Note from BW of Brazil: There is a well-known saying that goes “a picture is worth a thousand words” or “uma imagem vale mais que mil palavras” as it is said in Portuguese. And within the context of black Brazilian women continuously made to feel invisible in a society that they have contributed so much to, the above photo really needs no words. From the daily invisibility on full display on TV news journals and magazine stands, to modeling runways to advertising layouts, the Brazil we see in the media is clearly not an accurate representation of Brazilian society. Perhaps groups who have never experienced this sort of enforced nonexistence can’t relate, but when one is part of a group made to seem invisible and he/she becomes conscious of it, there emerges a need to develop daily strategies of self-empowerment to deal with the fact. This fight, this push back, this demand to simply exist can be noted in the powerful words of numerous black Brazilian women today. We saw another example of this yesterday and we bring you yet another voice today.
It’s not our fault
By Camila Neves – Photos: Débora Nunes – Support: Casa Felix
When I look at black women I think of how hard it is to deal with racism/sexism, especially when you come to be conscious of it. As it can be lonely and distressing to relate oneself to all categories with others. I keep thinking of how strong and of how such warriors we are by deconstructing ourselves, all the third presents in our lives and still remain standing, fighting.
We need to have a very naturalized inner love to understand that the fault is not ours. Blackness, although minimized in our society, is a gift. We must be thankful for being who and how we are. When we naturalize this inner love we create a force that makes us much stronger and happier.
We must say to the world that we are silenced, we are minimized, but despite all this we are still beautiful, wonderful and intelligent; that they will not stop us and that it’s just the beginning of our empoderamento (empowerment)!
This essay depicts this silencing as well as the empowerment that comes with understanding the racist/sexist world. It is dedicated to black women. I say: we will not be silent and we will not stop showing our beauty, culture, knowledge and empowerment. They will have to accept us in resisting and creating our spaces. Us by us.