Note from BW of Brazil: This is really beginning to look exciting! Ever since the announcement of the Marcha das Mulheres Negras 2015 (Black Women’s March 2015) back in 2013, momentum, anticipation and participation has continued to grow! Black women from various cities and the nation’s capital continue to plan, pitch in, galvanize the troops and come together for what will surely be a powerful display of sisterhood and unity in the first ever march specifically for black women to be held in the nation’s capital during the annual Month of Black Consciousness.
Three previous articles on the March have been featured here on the blog as we continue to keep you updated on what will surely be an historic rally in the history of black Brazilian women and we will continue to keep the news coming as it is available! Numerous issues featured throughout the history of this blog have provided examples as to why such a march is necessary and BW of Brazil is happy to see this event slowly coming together! Let’s keep it moving for November 18th is right around the corner!
Marcha das Mulheres Negras 2015 – Contra o racismo e a violência e pelo bem viver (Griô Produções)
Black Women on the March – Axé Nkenda
by Adriana Baptista
NKENDA that in Kimbundu, means love, was the great Axé on the avenue with the participation of women of Rio de Janeiro, on the wing of the Marcha das Mulheres Negras 2015 (March of Black Women 2015)!
The Samba School Imperatriz Leopoldinense, through its theme “Axé Nkenda” by Cahê Rodrigues, brought to Avenida Marquês de Sapucaí (Avenue), various struggles against racism and for equality, honoring the great leader Nelson Mandela and other leaders of the Movimento Negro Brasileiro (Black Brazilian Movement) representing the continuation of Mandela’s the legacy. Jurema Werneck and Lucia Xavier, historical militants and leaders of CRIOLA NGO were also invited to represent us and, in principal, would be the highlights of a float with all the pomp and circumstance that they deserve. However, without declining the honorable invitation, they sensitized the Director of the Carnaval School, Wagner Tavares; President Luizinho Drumond and the Carnival organizer Cahê Rodrigues to create a wing with Black Women, representing a national movement against racism, violence and well being: A MARCHA DAS MULHERES NEGRAS 2015 (BLACK WOMEN’S MARCH 2015)!
The participation of THE BLACK WOMEN’S MARCH 2015 wing gained international visibility, being featured in news in the mainstream media, who could not hide their smiles, strength and ancestral energy present in those female and black bodies and who earned applause on the avenue, holding a banner which shows our commitment scheduled for November 18, 2015, in Brasília. “Yes, we march to demand an end to institutional, structural and patriarchal racism of this country, for equity of gender and race, to trumpet the pain of losing our children killed by targeted bullets of enforcement police and drug trafficking … yes, we march for the right to decent housing, the right to preservation of our memory, to reclaim the free worship of religions of African origin, the end of sexism and racism contained in the programming of the media … yes, we march! All of us, Black Women of Brazil, Latin America, Caribbean, USA, from different countries of the African diaspora, all AGAINST RACISM, VIOLENCE AND FOR WELL-BEING! “
And in revelry, without losing focus, brightness and beauty wasn’t lacking: from the beautiful turbans made by Arte Griôt, by the t-shirt with national visual identity of the March. We were all equal and different in the details! And there was a lot of “Axé NKenda” in the two days of the parade. It’s worth re-emphasizing the enthusiasm shown in the applause we received from the Passarela do Samba, whether from the stands or stalls and the cabins filled with white skinned or little slanted-eyed tourists!
The Imperatriz Leopoldinense Samba School, to whom we thank for the reception, the care and the opportunity also brought to the avenue our Caó – Carlos Alberto de Oliveira, Sandra Almada, Elisa Larkin Nascimento/IPEAFRO; Ivanir dos Santos and Jorge Damião, of CEAP; Elisa Lucinda, Lílian Valeska, a tribute to Ruth de Souza and Haroldo Costa and the stunning Rainha de Bateria (Queen of the Drumbeat), Cris Vianna, Adriana Lessa, Glória Maria, Antônio Pitanga, Isabel Filardis, Vinicius Romão… All descendants of Zumbi and Dandara, of Mandela and of Lélia Gonzalez!
Participating in the Wing of BLACK WOMEN’S MARCH 2015, from the Carnival of Imperatriz Leopoldinense: Ignez Teixeira, Jurema Werneck, Lúcia Xavier, Clátia Vieira, Dolores Lima, Rosália Lemos, Adriana Baptista, Avanir Carvalho, Naira Fernandes, Nilza Iraci, Regina Adami , Luciene Lacerda, Rosilene Torquato, Claudia Vittalino, Bia Onça, Maria Alice, Joselina da Silva, Sônia Beatriz, Dona Zica, Andrea Baptista, Ana Clara, Mira Floriano, Josina Cunha, Lenilda Campos, Ruth Pinheiro, Marcelle Esteves, Evelin Dias, Bia Leonel, Déborah Medeiros, Luciane Rocha, Andreia Lima, Tânia Mara, Regina Célia Oliveira, Aparecida Vicente dos Santos, Eliene Xavier .
The revelry is over but a luta continua (the struggle continues)! Unlike previous editions, our next meeting to mobilize the National March of Black Women 2015 will be on the 6th of March, from 2pm to 7pm, at Gare da Central do Brasil, in Rio de Janeiro. You can participate too!
Black women: sisterhood and struggle
By Tatiana Oliveira
“March 8 is what is it? It’s International Women’s Day!” This war cry I learned at 9 years old – in 1988 – I still shudder when I remember that day. And also the whole Avenida Paulista was taken by thousands of women singing the song “Maria, Maria” (by Milton Nascimento and Fernando Brant). The next day told with great pride the reason for my absence to my fourth grade teacher. At that time, my mother – Sandra Regina – was a militant of ARMMA: Associação Regional de Mulheres Margarida Alves (Margarida Alves Regional Association of Women), in the city of Santos. I still have the memory of those times in that we survived many financial difficulties. I remember the smell of coffee and taste of tea with crackers in the kitchen of Gemma Rebello’s house, and hugs from our companions that strengthened us. The term used to translate that feeling of welcome from feminist women is: ‘sororidade’ (sisterhood).
“Sorority is an ethical, political and practical dimension, of contemporary feminism. It’s a subjective experience among women in the search of positive and healthy relationships, in the construction of existential alliances and politics with other women, to contribute to the social elimination of all forms of oppression and for mutual support to achieve the vital empowerment of every woman. Sisterhood is the critical awareness of misogyny and is both a personal and collective effort to destroy the mentality and the misogynistic culture, while transforming the relations of solidarity among women.” (RÍOS, Maiara Moreira, Y LOS Marcela Lagarde. Sororidad In: GAMBA, Susana Beatriz Diccionario de estúdios de género y feminismos. Buenos Aires: 2009.) Last Saturday – March 7 – I participated in..”Roda de Conversa: de Preta pra Preta”, promoted by the Núcleo Impulsor do estado de SP da Marcha das Mulheres Negras 2015. The event, held at the Sindicato dos Advogados, was attended by about 50 women and was marked by ‘sisterhood’, the need for us to talk and share our sorrows, our struggles and also our achievements.
We discuss the significance of March 8 and the importance of the black women’s movement constructed by the struggle of those who suffer doubly by sexist and racist oppression. In addition to the articulation for the construction of the Marcha das Mulheres Negras 2015 – Contra o Machismo, a violência e pelo bem-viver (March of Black Women 2015 – Against Sexism, Violence and Well-Being)! to be held on 18 November. The meeting lasted for nearly four hours and ended with a workshop in which we customized t-shirts and posters for the next day, the Marcha do Dia Internacional da Mulher (International Women’s Day March)!
The journalist Luka Franca was one of the conductors of this Roda de Conversa, for her, “The activity was super positive, we are going re-take very important spaces of dialogue that long ago we could not establish among many black women with different political positions and willing to talk about our reality. I hope we can touch more spaces as well, because we need them, they are fundamental to welcome comrades who started this fight today and those already in it for a long time.”
Luka says that dialogue among black women is important because: “We need to recognize ourselves, whether in the movimento feminista (feminist movement), or in the Movimento Negro (black movement) it’s always very difficult to arrange space in order to effectively present what our agenda and demands are. It helps as much in policy formation process as strengthening to deal with other militant spaces or of everyday life.”
International Women’s Day March
“March against racism I will. March against violence. Marching for well-being, for well-being, for well-being!”Chorus of the song “Negras em marcha” (Black women on the march) by Luana Hansen, available here. The International Women’s Day March (8 March) brought together about four thousand people on the Avenida Paulista. The demonstration went down Rua Augusta (street), going downtown, to the Praça Roosevelt (Roosevelt Square).
Participating in the march were women of all colors and ages, from different collectives, political parties and social movements. In an act against: sexism, violence, criminality and illegality of abortion; women fighting for effective equity and for the equality of rights guaranteed by law that don’t occur in practice. “Look, the act of this year’s March 8 was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. We managed to come out on the streets in unity, with an important representation of non-white feminist directions in coordinating various tasks of the act. We gave a message, the message that the group of feminists will not give space to the right (wing) of massacring us and taking from us the few rights we still have and are not even guaranteed for all,” said Luka.
The journalist also talked about the three moments that touched her during the March: “The first was when comrade Amanda Palha of the Ana Montenegro Collective spoke at the opening act. It was the first time a transvestite spoke at a March 8 and I find this remarkable. The other two moments were lead by people who have been building the mobilization of the 18th of November. Juliana Gonçalves made a wonderful speech by the Núcleo Impulsor da Marcha, of São Paulo, at the opening of the event and at the end Luana Hansen singing the song she made in ‘mulheragem’ for the March of Black Women, all these moments for me were the response of what is possible to change the logics that are present in the feminist movement and makes it more diverse! “
In car audio, a track honored Lurdinha Rodrigues, Rosangela Rigo and Célia Scanfell, historical activists of the feminist movement who died in an accident on 02.14.2015. The closure of the March included performances by the singers Luana Hansen, MC Soffia and Sharylaine.
Tatiana Oliveira is a journalist and broadcaster, Master of Science from the School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities of USP. A member of the Comissão Política do Coletivo Quilombação (Political Committee of the Quilombação Collective) and participates in São Paulo’s organizing core for the March of Black Women 2015.