Sign: “My hair is kinky, it’s free and it’s good!: What’s bad is racism!
Following up on a story firstreported on this blog last month, various groups affiliated with theMovimento Negro (Brazil’s black civil rights organizations) held a protest anddemonstration in front of the Colégio Internacional Anhembi Morumbi in theBrooklin region of São Paulo in a show of solidarity with a black studentthat reported being intimidated and discriminated against because she chose towear her natural hair down. The act of discrimination that thestudent experienced must be taken in context of the way black hair texture isviewed in Brazil. Brazil imported more than 10 times more African slaves thanthe United States and today is said to have the largest population of blackpeople outside of Nigeria. Yet, historically, Brazilian society has deemed thehair texture of African descendants to be “bad (ruim)” while straightis considered “good (bom)”. Speaking directly to this historicassociation, groups carried banners that read:
“My hair is kinky, it’sfree, and it’s good: What’s bad is racism.”
MovimentoNegro protests in front of school accused of racism.
Activists of thevarious groups of the Movimento Negro including UNEafro, Levante Popular,Circulo Palmarino, Sarau da Brasa, Coletivo Feminista Yabá, Collective LawStudents of PUC-SP (university) and independents occupied the street in frontof the Colégio Internacional Anhembi Morumbi, in protest to allegations ofracism made by the intern Esther that had been coerced into straightening herhair in order to continue working at the institution.
In addition toexpressing their repudiation of the arrogant attitude of the college, that onone side vehemently denies racism and the other does not explain what happenedto the public, the movement demanded the implementation of Law 10639/03 whichestablished the promotion of Afro-Brazilian culture and history also in publicas well as private schools and demanded immediate reparation and compensationto the intern Ester Elisa da Silva Cesário.
Another protest wasscheduled for sometime in January, during the registration period of thecollege depending on how the case unfolds in court and how the college respondsthe accusations and demands of the movement.
Sign: “Racism is bad”
Unacceptable:Racism at the Colégio Internacional Anhembi Morumbi
UNEafroBrazil sympathizes with young victim of discrimination
The UNEafro Brazil has gone public to protestthe case of racial discrimination experienced by Esther Cesario Elisa da Silvaat her job where she works as an intern in the marketing department. Thestudent decided to appeal to the courtroom to denounce the racist practices ofwhich she was a victim.
We want to say to theyoung Esther, like most members of UNEafro, that we hear daily reports of blackwomen, black youth, parents, and many others that report racial discriminationas you suffered. We want you to know, Esther, that you are not alone! Our hairis not what is bad It is racism that is bad! The offense against you is anoffense against the entire black population. The fight against racism iseveryone’s fight! Express your indignation; let’s unite against any type ofoffense and discrimination!
Source: Black Women of Brazil
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