Note from BW of Brazil: Journalism continues to be an area where Afro-Brazilians are vastly under-represented. Brazilian TV’s penchant for airing mostly journalists who physically fit the European standard has been observed by many Brazilians as well as foreigners visiting the country (see here and here). This is perhaps one of the main reasons why Globo TV’s first Jornal Nacional weather girl, Maria Júlia Coutinho, was the target of such blatant racism several months back. While there are still few prominent black journalists on the air, those who are there are highly respected for their competence and professionalism. Today, we present to you Karine Alves, a woman who has made a name for herself in the world of sports journalism.
Sports host saw racial prejudice while dating and wants to be a reference on TV
By Leandro Carneiro
Cabelo crespo (curly/kinky hair) and accepting herself naturally. That’s how Karine Alves broke barriers and has now become the only black female host on cable TV sports stations. Born in Rio Grande do Sul, she commands the Melhor do Fox Sports (Best of Fox Sports) program and believes that journalism has to show the more variations of racial mixtures in the country. “I think we need to have more diversity, blond, redhead, brunette, black. For me the TV, besides informing, has to educate and to play a social role,” she told UOL Esporte.
The host vibrates every time she sees black journalists and anchors on TV. She says she’s never suffered prejudice on racial issues in the workplace. But in her personal life, she experienced some delicate situations, including from the family of a former boyfriend. Nothing that leaves wounds and sorrows in the focused journalist. Despite the bad situations, Karine speaks calmly on the subject.
“I went through different situations. As a child in a nursery, I realized that classmates didn’t accept my color, broke my things, jacket, lunch box. They always said, ‘Let’s ruin the black girl’s coat’. I didn’t understand, didn’t pay it any mind. One day, my mother gave me a new lunchbox, and in five minutes they destroyed it. I spent the afternoon crying, my mother noticed and talked to the teacher and realized that they didn’t accept me because of my color. She talked to me and said she was going to change my school because of the teasing due to the color of my skin,” she said.
“Then, it was when I had a boyfriend. When the family discovered that we were dating, we told them, wow, my life became hell. I didn’t understand why they didn’t accept me until it was verbalized, ‘she is black and doesn’t serve for entering the family.’ For two years it was like this. I forgave them and talk to them today, time went on, today I’ve already adjusted, but then I didn’t because I was black,” remembers Karina.
Today, with a well-established career, Karine wants to be just what she didn’t have when she was younger: a black reference on television without straightened hair. “When I tried to be a journalist, I always sought references in television, but the only one I had was the daring reporter Glória Maria. But I didn’t recognize myself in her, I looked at her hair and saw straightened hair, I saw myself only in the question of how she managed to get there. Today, every time I see a person, not just for being black, but in this condition in which many do not reach, I vibrate yes, I vibrate seeing this,” she says making a question accepting herself naturally.
“They always saw me like that, a person who accepts her cabelo crespo, accepts herself naturally. In general journalism on TV, you don’t find many black women as anchors, who assume themselves as they are, the hair, roots. I think the hair speaks volumes, I always maintained this posture. I am this person, I have this hair, this body. If you want me, it’s like that and I’ve always been very respected. At Fox, that deals the image, we always had a cool consensus, they never asked me to change my hair,” she said.
Before being a host of Fox Sports, the place in which she serves as journalist, Karine had a passage through the state’s affiliate of Globo. Her start on TV was influenced by her passion for music.
“Before, I sang a lot, I performed in graduations and weddings. My first boss said he was enchanted by my voice, from there, music drove me to the career,” she added.
Source: UOL Esporte vê TV