Note from BBT: First off, let me acknowledge that I had never even heard of Carolinne Oliveira before I learned of her recent book release. But that’s no big deal because, as there are so many worlds spinning within our one world, we can’t be expected to have heard of everyone. There are things that children are gonna be into and like that many adults simply have no knowledge of. If your favorite sports are only basketball and football, including soccer, you may not be familiar with Ayrton Senna, the Brazilian Formula One race driver.
When I dove into understanding the situation of black Brazilians back in the year 2000, I didn’t really learn much about white Brazilians. Of course, just learning about Brazil, I am familiar with a lot of white Brazilians because some are só famous that it’s impossible not to at least know of them. But to this day, I could see a famous white Brazilian actress walking down the street being surrounded and asked for photos and autographs and I would probably have to ask who he or she was.
Now, before I get into today’s featured subject, Carolinne Oliveira, I must first explain and discuss the title of her book, Preta Patrícia. While Patrícia is obviously a woman’s name, in the Brazilian sense and the way it’s used in the title of the book, there is a different context. In the my first decade of learning about Brazilian culture, some of my first Brazilian friends would sometimes decribed certain people, usually white, as “patricinhas” or “mauricinhos”.
The terms are used to describe young people of upper or upper middle class status who are always seen in the finest, most expensive clothes, for which they love to attract attention for. People like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian come to mind when considering American “patricinhas”. But there’s always an issue with how this term should be translated for Americans or English speakers.
On the one hand, “patricinhas” can be called “rich girls”, or “uptown girls”. In some ways, they have something in common with the famous “valley girl” image, só much só that the 1995 film Clueless, which portrayed these types of young women, was translated as Patricinhas de Beverly Hills when it was released in Brazil. But then, how should this term be translated if speaking of a black woman from this background? I mean, in generally, most people don’t think of black women when they hear the term “valley girl”. Maybe the term “BAP”, meaning “Black American Princess” would fit well, with some like the Hillary Banks character from the Fresh Prince of Bel Aire sitcom perfectly representing this image. But then, in this case, I’m speaking of a black Brazilian woman which makles choosing the right term even more challenging. Maybe…BAP, Brazilian edition? Black Brazilian Princess? I don’t know, but you get the picture.
Anyway, the piece below discusses Oliveira’s book and why she wrote it. As black Brazilians have been so long ignored in the literary arena, I’m just happy to see more of them getting their works published. This book doesn’t sound like anything that will be debated in academic circles but then it doesn’t have to be. Afro-Brazilian life cannot be defined by any one reality, só I’m definitely open to understanding the world according to Carolinne Oliveira.
Carolinne Oliveira, releases “Preta Patrícia”, a book of empowerment
Courtesy of Rota Cult
Racism, sexism, self-esteem, lack of opportunities, class differences, sexualization of black women, stereotypes and the search for a place in the sun being black in Brazil, are some of the relatively controversial topics addressed in the book Preta Patrícia by Carolinne Oliveira, a native of the Rio Grande do Sul capital city of Porto Alegre, who besides being a writer is an actress and international model recognized for her work on female empowerment.
Regarding the definition that titled the book, Preta Patrícia, Carol explains that a “Preta Patrícia is nothing more than an insatiable woman, who is thirsty to be the best version of herself”. The author also comments on the term patricinha. “In Brazil, this term came to be popularized in the 90s and generally the term refers to women who lead a luxurious life, which is obviously not the reality of most black women”, says Carol.
Asked about what revolves around the term targeted toward black women, the author explains that being a Preta Patrícia (Black Patrícia) is not about being a woman born into a wealthy family, that is, someone’s heir, but rather, that women are occupying this status in life, conquered on their own merits.
Carolinne also tells how a black girl who was born in a lower middle class family, decided to fight against racial prejudice becoming a reference for rich black Brazilian women, living in 5 different countries, enjoying a life that most women only saw it in magazines.
Although Brazil’s population is 54% preto/pardo (black/brown), according to a study carried out in 2015 by IBGE, the reality is that blacks are far from occupying prominent roles in society, with blacks and the rich in this same study, occupying 17% of the wealth slice in the country.
“The book brings truths that everyone thinks, but nobody has the courage to say, because to admit the truth, often shameful in our country, is to face an entire system that was designed to shut you up. It takes courage and a little bit of madness, since I risk being misinterpreted by many people, but someone needs to take this initiative and raise that flag. It’s necessary!”, says Carol.
The writer also adds, “I want more black women to have access to valuable information and to change their minds, because that way, they can change the reality of their lives. The book has a direct and universal language. I want all classes to understand it clearly, you don’t need to have a doctorate to read my book,” she says.
In fact, the book’s release took place on November 20, the Day of Black Consciousness in the country. For the release of the book, due to the Coronavirus, there will be no face-to-face event and, for now, the book will be available only in the online version.
On the web, Carol promises to stir audiences with surprises on all her channels and special participation of influencers in live chats is planned, in addition to the release of a clip with images filmed during the photo essays carried out for this book in Europe and Brazil. “This project is more than a book, it is a philosophy of life. To pack all this empowerment, we will also have our own music!” she concludes.
Source: Rota Cult