How long will black women be maids in your novelas (soap operas)? Why Brazil’s media needs more black writers and directors

Black Women of Brazil

capa Actresses Aline Dias (right) and Erika Januza portray a cleaning woman and a maid in Globo TV programs

Note from BW of Brazil: The more things change the more they stay the same. That’s my basic assessment of black characters on Brazilian TV series novelas (soap operas). Since the debut of this blog, we’ve kept an eye on the role of Afro-Brazilians in media as these images have such a powerful influence on the society. And in six years, we continue to see the same ole same old. The 2000 book and documentary A negação do Brasil – o negro na telenovela brasileira (Denying Brazil) by filmmaker Joel Zito Araújo continues to be the benchmark through which we analyze the long-time, tried and true stereotypes of black people on Brazilian airwaves. In recent years, we’ve seen a number of programs that were presented as supposed advances for black…

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I’m Not Surprised

Eve’s husband’s father racism.  Like I said, swirling is a risk especially for Black women, especially when one try to date/marry into families that are racist or blind to white privilege.

Rest in Power, Mrs. Recy Taylor

29Taylor-obit-2-master768She’s a fighter!  May she rest in power!

Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old African-American sharecropper, was walking home from church in Abbeville, Ala., on the night of Sept. 3, 1944, when she was abducted and raped by six white men.

The crime was extensively covered in the black press and an early catalyst for the civil rights movement. The N.A.A.C.P. sent a young activist from its Montgomery, Ala., chapter named Rosa Parks to investigate. African-Americans around the country demanded that the men be prosecuted.

But the attack, like many involving black victims during the Jim Crow era in the South, never went to trial. Two all-white, all-male grand juries refused to indict the men, even though one of them had confessed.

Decades passed before the case gained renewed attention, with the publication in 2010 of “At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance — a New History of the Civil Rights Movement From Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power,” by the historian Danielle L. McGuire. The book prompted an official apology in 2011 to Mrs. Taylor by the Alabama Legislature, which called the failure to prosecute her attackers “morally abhorrent and repugnant.”

The Royal Wedding Media Forgot


The Makonnen Royal Wedding

While all the hype being surrounded by the Meghan Markle/Prince Harry upcoming wedding, the Makonnen wedding was barely covered in media.  The Ethiopian prince, Joel Makonnen married  Ariana Austin on September 9th.   

Here’s the NYT article on the royal wedding:


A masculine status: The social obligation of the Brazilian man to show off a white wife with whom to start a family

It’s true in America as well. Same ideology, same racism.

Black Women of Brazil

A Obrigação Social do Homem Brasileiro de Ostentar um Esposa Branca

Note from BW of Brazil: In reality, this really isn’t too hard to pick up on. If one were to hang out with enough Brazilian men and pay close attention, you might note there seems to be a sort of unspoken agreement on the premium placed upon white women. You can see it in the reactions that men, specifically black men, have when the topic is a blond woman. I say specifically black men because it is expected that white men would have this adoration for the woman that looks like him and that can give him a child that looks like him. On the other hand, it’s almost embarrassing to see how many black men seem to slobber on themselves over white women and the manner in which it seems they will trample over black women to have access to a white woman. 

A few years back, I…

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Dating A Racist Who “Owns People” In Post-Racial America

Thank you Danielle. Just because those guys date/marry Black and mixed Black women doesn’t mean that they any less racist. Donald Sterling, Strom Thurmond, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Bilbo, Pat Dewine, Gabriel Aubry, Bill Maher, and Paul Ryan(let’s not leave him out) have said and done racist things while having relationships/raping Black women. That’s racialized sexism, people.



A while back when Halle Berry was fighting for custody of her daughter and accusing her ex of being a racist, I wrote a post for Loop21 about what it was like for one black woman to date a racist. I’d link to this story, but Loop21 took a turn for the non-existent, and so did their archives (but you can still take a peak at my old post via the Internet’s Wayback Machine). But I thought of this story as things unfolded with Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his mixed race mistress.

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Does black love exist?In Brazil, miscegenation and interracial love relationships are always praised; where does that leave black couples?

The same problems with depicting Black love in Brazil occurs in the U.S. as well. There’s a trend in placing Black women with nonblack, esp. White men in TV shows, movies, and ads such as the cell phone ad by Sprint. They do it to weakened Black identity.

Black Women of Brazil

3.2 Corinthians striker João Alves de Assis Silva, aka Jô, kisses his wife Claudinha after scoring a goal against rival Palmeiras back in February

Note from BW of Brazil: It was the kiss that blew up in black Brazilian social media. Back in February, João Alves de Assis Silva, better known as simply Jô, a striker for the Corinthians futebol team in São Paulo, scored the winning goal against cross-town Palmeiras. He then climbed into the stands and planted a kiss on the lips of the woman who has remained at his side through thick and thin, his wife, Claudia Silva, a passista (Carnaval dancer) for the Rio-based Salgueiro samba school. So, what’s the big deal? He kissed his wife, I mean, isn’t that what husbands do?

Beije sua preta em praça pública 1980s campaign, “Kiss your black woman in a public square”

Well, as has been pointed out in numerous previous posts here, it seems to be a…

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