The racist face of Brazil’s miscegenation

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-07-10 16:33Z by Steven

The racist face of Brazil’s miscegenation

Black Women of Brazil: The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent
2013-05-22

Jarid Arraes
Cariri, Ceará, Brasil

The issue of miscegenation in Brazil is often oversimplified and romanticized. It is not uncommon to hear that Brazil is a mestiço (mixed race) and plural country and, consequently, all its inhabitants had their ethnicity inevitably mixed at some point in their ancestry. But under the axiom of a mixed country hides a violent and racist reality: the generalization of whiteness in a predominantly black country.

If all Brazilians are mixed and have black and Indian blood in their veins, why are many people reluctant to recognize their own ancestry?…

Read the entire article here.

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Neymar and the Disappearing Donkey

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-06-30 21:48Z by Steven

Neymar and the Disappearing Donkey

Africa is a Country
2014-06-17

Achal Prabhala
Bangalore, India

By the time you read this, it’s possible that every single person on the planet will know who Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior is…

…You could come to any number of conclusions from Neymar’s remarkable transformation. For instance, you could conclude that race doesn’t exist in Brazil, which is the favourite line of a specific tribe of Brazilians – impeccable liberals all, who just happen to be upper-class, white and at the top of the heap.

Or you could conclude that everyone in Brazil is indeed mixed – which is, incidentally, the second-favourite line of the selfsame tribe.

Or you could wonder what happened to this boy.

***

It’s too easy to condemn Neymar for pretending to be white: judging by the images, he is partly white. It’s silly to accuse him of denying his mixed-race ancestry, because the simplest search throws up hundreds of images of him as a child, none of which he seems to be ashamed of. There is this: when asked if he had ever been a victim of racism, he said, “Never. Neither inside nor outside the field. Because I’m not black right?”

Actually, the word he used was preto, which is significant, since, in Brazil, when used as a colour ascribed to people – rather than things, like rice or beans – it is the equivalent of the n-word; negro and negra being the acceptable ways of describing someone who is truly black. (And moreno or morena being standard descriptors for someone dark-skinned, as well as, occasionally, euphemisms for blackness). Technically speaking, however, his logic was faultless – and even kind of interestingly honest: the Neymar who made that statement was an unworldly eighteen-year-old who had never lived outside Brazil. And in Brazil, Neymar is not black…

Read the entire article here.

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Black Identity and Racism Collide in Brazil

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-06-18 08:13Z by Steven

Black Identity and Racism Collide in Brazil

The Root
2014-06-17

Dion Rabouin

The country’s complex history with race gains the spotlight as the World Cup attempts to address the recent wave of racist attacks against black players.

Before teams representing their countries from around the world arrived in Brazil, the country’s president, Dilma Rousseff, took the opportunity to label 2014 the “anti-racism World Cup.”

The declaration came after a wave of racist incidents in soccer around the world targeting black players, many of whom are Brazilian. While it’s a well-intentioned gesture and a particularly important one for a World Cup being hosted in the country that’s home to the largest population of people of African descent outside of Africa, Brazil has a complex past and present when it comes to race.

That complexity can perhaps best be illustrated by the fact that many black Brazilians don’t think of themselves as black. Brazilian soccer star Neymar is a great example. Asked during an interview in 2010 if he had ever experienced racism, his response was, “Never.” He added, “Not inside nor outside of the soccer field. Even more because I’m not black, right?”

This denial of blackness may seem confusing to many Americans, because despite his long, straightened and occasionally blond hair, Neymar is clearly black. (Take a look at a picture of young Neymar with his family.) But for Brazilians, being black is very different from what it is in the United States.

“The darker a person is in Brazil, the more racism she or he is going to suffer. Light-skinned black people don’t identify as black most of the time,” says Daniela Gomes, a black Brazilian activist who is currently pursuing a doctorate in African Diaspora studies at the University of Texas. “A lot of people choose to deny their blackness. They don’t believe they are black, but they suffer racism without knowing why.”

Gomes calls it a “brainwash” that Brazilians go through in a country that likes to hold itself up as a model for racial harmony. But she also points to differences in the histories of the United States and Brazil. “We never had segregation, we never had the one-drop rule, we never had those kinds of things that are so normal for an African American,” she said. “What happened in Brazil was the opposite.”

Integration and miscegenation were actually government policy in Brazil. Around the time that slaves were freed, in 1888, the government sought to whiten its population through the importation of European immigrants. This idea was made law by Decree 528 in 1890 and opened the country’s borders to foreign immigrants, except for those from Africa and Asia…

Read the entire article here.

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Japanese Brazilians celebrate mixed heritage

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive on 2014-06-18 07:43Z by Steven

Japanese Brazilians celebrate mixed heritage

Al Jazeera
2014-06-17

Jillian Kestler-D’Amour, Online Producer

Sao Paulo, Brazil – The room was a mixture of Brazilian green and yellow and Japanese red and white, as more than 200 members of the city’s large Japanese community turned out to watch the country of their ancestors take on Cote d’Ivoire in both teams’ World Cup opening match.

Chants of Japao! (Japan in Portuguese) rang out through the crowd, which was dominated by navy jerseys with the names Honda, Toshio, Takaya, Shiota, and Kagawa affixed to the back. The room erupted when Japanese star Keisuke Honda put the Samurai Blue ahead in the first half, but fans were ultimately stunned when Cote d’Ivoire scored twice in two minutes to win, 2-1.

“I feel very proud that Japan is in the World Cup and that we can host them here in Brazil,” said Analia Kita, before the game began. Wife of Kihatino Kita, the director of the Japanese-Brazilian Association that hosted the screening, Analia said she has tickets to cheer on Japan when the team takes on Switzerland next week in Natal.

“Between Japan and Brazil, it’s going to be very hard to choose [my favourite],” she said laughing. “But it’s going to have to be Brazil. I’m Brazilian.”…

…Dual identities

“We can characterise it as a mixture. We have 106 years of immigration and in this time, we have seen the mixture and integration of the Japanese culture in Brazil,” explained Celia Sakurai, a researcher on Japanese-Brazilian community and culture.

Born in Sao Paulo where she lives today, Sakurai told Al Jazeera that Japanese influence on Brazil’s culture can be viewed through the popularity of anime, Manga comics, and haikai (the Portuguese-language version of a haiku), the practise of judo and taeko (traditional Japanese drumming), and other arts…

Read the entire article here.

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World Cup Racism Undercuts Brazil ‘We Are Equal’ Campaign

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-06-09 20:59Z by Steven

World Cup Racism Undercuts Brazil ‘We Are Equal’ Campaign

Bloomberg News
2014-05-30

Tariq Panjq
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Anna Edgerton
Brasilia, Brazil

It was just a regular evening of monkey noises and racial slurs for Brazilian soccer referee Marcio Chagas. Then he left to go home.

As he entered the parking lot after overseeing the March 6 state championship game in Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil’s south, the black physical education teacher found his tormentors had vandalized his car and piled bananas on the windshield. One was inserted into the exhaust pipe.

“I felt offended, like I’d been the victim of violence,” Chagas, 37, said by telephone from his home in Porto Alegre. “It was a cowardly act because I couldn’t defend myself. The jeering is normal. This kind of action was new for me.”

Racism in soccer came to the fore over the past month when Brazilian defender Daniel Alves ate a banana thrown at him by a fan while playing for Barcelona in the Spanish league. While the incident caused an uproar back home in Brazil, the outpouring of support masked how far the World Cup host has to go to eliminate prejudice in the country with the largest black population in the world after Nigeria.

Acts of racism in soccer stadiums have tarnished the image of tolerance that the government is trying to portray, according to Jorge da Silva, a political science professor at the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro.

“Brazilians are used to saying that Brazil is a racial democracy: That’s just a myth,” da Silva said. “If you go to an elegant shopping center you won’t find black people there, not even working. If you board a plane in Brazil you will not see black people working, maybe one or two, let alone as passengers.”

Antiracism Message

In a country whose most famous person is black soccer icon Pelé, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is planning to use next month’s World Cup, played in 12 new and refurbished stadiums across the country, to promote the antiracism message. An advertisement currently on Brazilian television has the following tagline: “The cup of cups without racism.”

“Such a multicultural country, where all of the world’s races may be found, provides the possibility for interventions against racism and discrimination,” she said in January after meeting soccer governing body President Sepp Blatter.

Blatter said in an interview posted online by FIFA today that he will ask member associations to ratify tougher rules against racist behavior at a meeting in Sao Paulo on June 11.

In 2011 Brazil’s census showed for the first time its population was majority black and mixed race, with 51 percent declaring themselves as such…

…Determining who is black isn’t easy.

European settlers, mainly from Portugal, brought almost 5 million slaves to the country between 1502 and 1867, almost half of all Africans entering the new world and 10 times the number headed to the U.S. Interracial marriage was common and an official policy of “whitening” the population by inviting Europeans to the country until the middle 20th century has meant there are a more than 100 definitions of skin color, according to a government survey.

In a case at the University of Brasilia, identical twins in 2007 applied for entry as part of a quota system the institution has introduced. Only one was deemed black…

Read the entire article here.

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“When I discovered I was black”, by Bianca Santana

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-06-09 02:35Z by Steven

“When I discovered I was black”, by Bianca Santana

Black Women of Brazil
2013-02-22
Originally published on 2010-02-12 by Bianca Santana as “quando me descobri negra

Bianca Santana

I have been black for less than a year. Before, I was morena. My color was practically a prank of the sun. I was a morena for the Catholic school teachers, classmates – who maybe didn’t get as much sun – and for the family that never liked the subject. “But Grandma is not a descendant of slaves?”, I kept asking. “And of Indian and Portuguese as well,” was the most that they responded on the origins of my black grandmother. I even thought it was beautiful to be so Brazilian. Maybe because of this I would accept the end of the conversation…

Read the entire article here.

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687.8: The Apple Does NOT Fall FAR from the Tree: Offspring of Interracial Marriages in Brazil

Posted in Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Forthcoming Media, Live Events, Social Science on 2014-06-08 22:45Z by Steven

687.8: The Apple Does NOT Fall FAR from the Tree: Offspring of Interracial Marriages in Brazil

XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology: Facing an Unequal Word: Challenges for Global Sociology
International Sociological Association
Yokohama, Japan
2014-07-13 through 2014-07-19

Wednesday, 2014-07-16, 09:54 JST (Local Time)
Room: Booth 54

Kaizô Iwakami Beltrão
Ebape, FGV, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Sonoe Sugahara
Ence, IBGE, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Moema De Poli Teixeira
Ence, IBGE, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Starting from colonial times, Brazil has a long history of racial miscegenation. How do families structure themselves with respect to a concept of racial hierarchy? Several censuses and survey from the Brazilian Central Statistical Office (IBGE) incorporates some ethnic enumeration with information on race/skin color of the respondent, though mostly self-reported. Alternatives are: “White”, “Black”, “Asian”, “Mixed race” and “Native Brazilian”. Though it is possible that some subjectivity is inherent to the process, temporal consistency is observable, within a 5% error margin. Analyzing census data, one can perceive a time trend towards “whitening” of the population until 1991, with a slight reversal in 2000, resuming the “whitening” trend up to 2010 (the latest census). But how do offspring of interracial marriages self-report themselves? Among possible alternatives, is the race/skin color of the father or the mother the determinant factor? Is this choice affected by geographical region or social status? Is there a noticeable time trend in choices made?  The study analysis data from five Brazilian censuses, between 1960 and 2010, in order to identify patterns and trends among offspring of interracial marriages.

Among exogamic couples where one of the partners is “White”, this is the dominant race/skin color alternative for the offspring. When the mother is “White” the difference with respect to other alternatives is even wider, less so, when the father is “Asian”. The reported proportion of “White” children increases with socio-economic status. Among “Black”/”Mixed-race” couples, the preference is for reporting “Mixed-race” offspring, with a higher proportion of “Black” if the father is also “Black”.

For more information, click here.

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JS-44.12: A Global Look at Mixed Marriage

Posted in Africa, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, Forthcoming Media, Live Events, Oceania, Social Science, South Africa on 2014-06-08 22:21Z by Steven

JS-44.12: A Global Look at Mixed Marriage

XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology: Facing an Unequal Word: Challenges for Global Sociology
International Sociological Association
Yokohama, Japan
2014-07-13 through 2014-07-19

Wednesday, 2014-07-16, 18:00 JST (Local Time)
Room: 315

Erica Chito Childs, Sociology
Hunter College, City University of New York

Mapping attitudes toward intermarriage—who is and who is not an acceptable mate—offers an incisive means through which imaginings of belonging—race, ethnicity, nationhood, citizenship and culture—can be critically evaluated.  In particular, social constructions of race and difference involve discussions of purity, race identity and taboos against interracial sex and marriage. Drawing from qualitative interviews and ethnographic research in six countries on attitudes toward intermarriage, this paper explores these issues of intermarriage in a global context.  Through a comparison of qualitative data I collected in Australia, Brazil, Ecuador, Portugal, South Africa and the United States, I offer a theoretical framework and provide an empirical basis, to understand the concept of intermarriage and what it tells us about racial boundaries in a global context. For example, in the United States, the issue of intermarriage is discussed as interracial with less attention paid to inter-religious or inter-ethnic, to the point that those concepts are rarely used.  Similarly in South Africa, despite the end of apartheid decades ago, marriage across racial categories is still highly problematized and uncommon.  Yet globally there is less consensus of what constitutes intermarriage—sometimes intercultural, interethnic, or any number of words with localized meanings.  In South America and Australia, the debate seems to revolve more around indigenous status, citizenship and national identity such as who is Australian or who is Ecuadoran?  As indigenous populations rally for rights and representation how does this change the discourse on what intermarriage mean?  Looking globally, what differences matter? What boundaries are most salient in determining the attitudes of different groups toward intermarriage?  How are various communities responding to intermarriage, particularly if there are a growing number of “mixed” families? This research on attitudes toward intermarriage adds to our understanding of constructions of race, racism and racialized, gendered and sexualized beliefs and practices globally.

For more information, click here.

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The Color Of Health: Skin Color, Ethnoracial Classification, And Discrimination In The Health Of Latin Americans

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Mexico, Social Science on 2014-06-02 19:00Z by Steven

The Color Of Health: Skin Color, Ethnoracial Classification, And Discrimination In The Health Of Latin Americans

Social Science & Medicine
Available online: 2014-06-01
DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.05.054

Krista M. Perreira, Professor of Public Policy and Associate Dean Office for Undergraduate Research
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Edward E. Telles, Professor of Sociology
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

Highlights

  • Uses newly collected data on 4921 adults from Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, and Peru
  • Examines multiple measures of race/ethnicity and their associations with health
  • Finds significant skin-color gradients in self-reported health.
  • Finds significant skin-color gradients in class-based discrimination and low SES.
  • SES and class-based discrimination largely account for disparities in health by skin color.

Latin America is one of the most ethnoracially heterogeneous regions of the world. Despite this, health disparities research in Latin America tends to focus on gender, class and regional health differences while downplaying ethnoracial differences. Few scholars have conducted studies of ethnoracial identification and health disparities in Latin America. Research that examines multiple measures of ethnoracial identification is rarer still. Official data on race/ethnicity in Latin America are based on self-identification which can differ from interviewer-ascribed or phenotypic classification based on skin color. We use data from Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, and Peru to examine associations of interviewer-ascribed skin color, interviewer-ascribed race/ethnicity, and self-reported race/ethnicity with self-rated health among Latin American adults (ages 18-65). We also examine associations of observer-ascribed skin color with three additional correlates of health – skin color discrimination, class discrimination, and socio-economic status. We find a significant gradient in self-rated health by skin color. Those with darker skin colors report poorer health. Darker skin color influences self-rated health primarily by increasing exposure to class discrimination and low socio-economic status.

Read or purchase the article here.

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But your hair is so beautiful…

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive on 2014-05-22 00:19Z by Steven

But your hair is so beautiful…

Black Woman of Brazil
2014-05-08

Stephanie Paes (orginally published on 2013-06-12 as “Mas seu cabelo é tão bonito…” in Falando sem permissão)

I know that it is. And only I understand the time I needed to take account of this (1).

My hair is crespo (curly/kinky). It has gone through several phases (natural and later chemical changes), but it never stopped being crespo. When I was a kid it had little curls and was huge, until the sad night in which my mother, tired after a day of work and not managing to detangle my ends, silently took scissors and cut my curls without telling me. After that my hair started to change, I don’t know if it was because of cutting it or because hormonal influences, but it never ceased to be what it is: Crespo

…What I hear now, with one or another variation is the following sentence: “Your hair is so beautiful! It’s a little cacheadinho (curly), not those ugly naps.”

What is the problem with this sentence?

  1. Slandering a phenotypic characteristic of my race, you are slandering me. It doesn’t matter if you think that because my hair has a looser curl that it automatically ceases to be crespo. In fact, even if my hair was naturally straight, I don’t cease being black, and you would still be slandering me.
  2. By exalting a feature that makes clear my miscegenation (racial mixture) and not allowing the black phenotype to be manifested completely, you are valuing my embranquecimento (white attributes). I’m not saying it’s bad to have a non-black feature, I’m saying that when you use it to say that my hair is better than another more genuinely kinky, you’re being racist…

Read the entire article here.

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