Note from BW of Brazil: With the recent celebration of the annual International Afro-Latin and Caribbean Women’s Day just passing a few days ago, today the blog rewinds the clock exactly one year to share two events that honored the various accomplishments of black Brazilian women. This award, like others that honor black women (see here, here and here) or black Brazilians in general (see here), seek to fill a gap that is left by a society that continuously promotes a white aesthetic standard. Both of these awards were scheduled to coincide with the International Afro-Latin and Caribbean Women’s Day and while they took place in 2012, it’s still fitting to flash back to these special award ceremonies to honor and recognize the inspiring accomplishments of these women.
Prêmio Luiza Mahin and Maria Felipa (Luiza Mahin and Maria Felipa Awards)*
The Secretaria de Promoção e Parceria (SMPP or Secretariat of Promotion and Partnership) promoted 2nd annual Prêmio Luiza Mahin (Luiza Mahin Award), in a session in 1º de Maio room of the Câmara Municipal of the city of São Paulo (southeast Brazil). It was a beautiful tribute to the International Black Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Day. In addition to a diploma, the eight women chosen (from nominations made by affiliates of the black social movement and black social networks) won a statuette designed by Mauricio Pestana, editor-in-chief of Raça Brasil magazine.
Religiosity: Mãe Silvia de Oxalá (1)
Art and Culture: Grupo A Quatro Vozes and Raquel Trindade (2)
Justice: Dr. Eunice Aparecida de Jesus Prudente (3)
Education: Dr. Maria Aparecida Bento (4)
Communication: Conceição Lourenço (5)
Honorable Mention: Urena Best and Mazly Blandón (representatives of Latin American youth)
The strength of black women
The Committee for the Defense of Women’s Rights of the Municipality of Salvador (state of Bahia, northeastern Brazil) held a special session with the handing out of the Prêmio Mulher Guerreira Maria Felipa 2012 (Maria Felipa Award Woman Warrior 2012) in celebration of the Municipal Day of the Black Woman (July 25) and also the International Afro-Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Day (created in 1992 during the First Meeting of Afro-Latin American and Afro-Caribbean Women in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic), an international landmark of struggle and resistance of black women.
The Maria Felipa ceremony exalted Afro culture in its various representations, with the presence of black women, mostly from Bahia, that performed their duties outside of Brazil, and other personalities. It also presented representatives prominent global activists such as as Mirtha Palácios, a Paraguayan senator and president of the Human Rights Commission of Mercosul.
Among the honorees – women of African descent who have excelled in the struggle for racial equality, were Ester Naek, the only black woman councilor of CRBE; Queila Rosa, president of ABRASA; Jurema Araújo, creator of the Pan Mundial Africano (Pan African World); Carla Bahia, only woman from the state of Bahia of CRBE, Mãe Angélica; Dr. Marilda Marcela, Civil Police chief; Iracema de Jesus Silva, Civil Police inspector, and Dr. Luislinda Valois, Brazil’s first black female judge, a federal judge today.
At the event was also discussed the topic Atuação do Conselho de Representante de Brasileiros no Exterior (CRBE or Performance of the Council of Representative of Brazilians Abroad) and the political party system, contextualizing the historical-political panorama that led to the creation of the Council, its activities abroad, the position of black women in power besides discussions of gender and race, especially internationally. Councilwoman Eron Vasconcelos, better known as Tia Eron – creator of the said act, was thrilled to be able to honor so many black women who have made a difference in Salvador, in Brazil and worldwide.
For Queila Rosa, “the time was for much reflection on the serious problems suffered by Brazilians abroad, and they receive little assistance, even accounting for the shipment of millions of dollars every year to the country.” Esther Naek, speaker of the night, gave an overview of the situation of the Brazilians in the world, about the performance of the Council of Representative of Brazilians Abroad (CRBE) and their difficult task as black women in at the head of this council.
The event was also the re-release of the book Mulheres do Tempo, Mulheres do Vento (Women’s Time, Women of Wind), with the exhibition of the plastic artist Beto Rasta and the musicial presentation of the band A Mulherada.
The event took place at 7pm, in a session as the Cosme de Farias da Câmara Municipal de Salvador (City Hall of Salvador).
Presiding over the ceremony
Councilwoman Eron Vasconcelos of Salvador, Bahia – Chairman of the Committee for the Defense of Women’s Rights
Councilor Eron Vasconcelos – Chairman of the Committee for the Defense of Women’ Rights
Senator Mirtha Palácios – President of the Human Rights Commission of MERCOSUL
Ester Sanches Naek – Councilor of CRBE – Council of Representative of Brazilians Abroad
Honored with “Prêmio Mulher Guerreira Maria Felipa 2012 (Maria Felipa Woman Warrior 2012)”:
Ester Sanches Naek (USA) – Councilor of CRBE – Council of Representative of Brazilians Abroad
Queila Rosa (Austria) – Founder and President of ABRASA – Afro-Brazilian Association of Dance, Culture and Art.
Jurema Araújo (France) – Idealizer the Pan Mundial Africano (Pan African World)
Carla Bahia (Argentina) – Councilor of CRDE of South America
Angélica Ferreira – Yalorichá – Mãe Angélica
Dr. Marilda Marcela da Luz – Civil Police Chief
Dr. Iracema de Jesus Silva – Civil Police Inspector
Vera Lacerda – President and creator of the Bloco Afro and Banda Araketu.
Wanda Chase – Journalist of Bahia TV, reporter for the Programa Rede Bahia Revista (Bahia Network Magazine Program).
Honored with Distinguished Women Award (Award from the First Social Forum of Brazilian Immigrant Women in Power which took place in the US in March 2012)
Luislinda Valois – Chief Judge, considered the first black judge in Brazil
Rilza Valentine – Mayor of São Francisco do Conde, Bahia
Marilene Sguarizi – Councilor CRBE of South America
Monica Kalile – Founder of the bloco A Mulherada and President of the Mulherada Institute
Marluce Barbosa – Commercial Manager of Record TV Bahia
Negra Jhô – Afro Hair Designer and Stylist
Presentation – Banda A Mulherada
Plastic Artist Exposition – Beto Rasta
Exposição Joel Modas (Pelourinho) – Clothes made from 100% recyclable material
Re-release of the book Mulheres do Tempo, Mulheres do Vento (Women’s Time, Women of Wind). Performance of the A Mulherada Institute
Statement of Professor Sandra Mamede
Source: Raça Brasil, Tia Eron
* – In 1823, Maria Felipa led the resistance of dozens of men, women and Indians in strategic escapes through the woods during the burning of 42 Portuguese warships Portuguese docked at Convento Beach in Itaparica, Bahia. Together with other personalities like Zeferina and Luiza Mahim, she fought and resisted the barriers of prejudice, actively participating in the construction of the history of Salvador. Nevertheless, these black heroes do not appear in Brazilian history books.
Luísa Mahin was born on the coast of Africa, in the early nineteenth century, Luisa Mahin was brought to Brazil as a slave. Belonging to the Mahi tribe of the Nago nation, Luisa was involved in the articulation of all slave uprisings and revolts that shook the former province of Bahia in the early decades of the nineteenth century. A quituteira (sweets maker) by profession, your cooking boards were distributed with messages in Arabic, through the boys who allegedly picked up her delicacies. Thus, was involved in the famous Revolta dos Malês (1835) and Sabinada (1837-1838) revolts. If the uprising of the Malês had been victorious, Luísa would have been recognized as Queen of Bahia. As a black African, she always refused baptism and Christian doctrine, and one of her natural sons, Luis Gama (1830-1882), became a poet and a leading abolitionist. After being discovered, Luísa was persecuted until she fled to Rio de Janeiro, where she was found, arrested and possibly deported to Angola, however there is no documentation that proves this information.
1. Mãe Silvia de Oxalá of Axé Ilé Oba, the first terreiro to be recognized as a cultural landmark in the city of São Paulo
2. Writer, plastic artist, choreographer and folklorist. She is the daughter of legendary Afro-Brazilian poet Solano Trindade
3. The first woman to assume the post of Secretaria da Justiça e da Defesa da Cidadania do Estado de São Paulo (Secretary of Justice and Defense of Citizenship of the State of São Paulo).
4. The Executive Director of CEERT (Centro de Estudos de Relações de Trabalho e Desigualdade or the Center of Studies of Relations of Work and Inequality). She has written countless articles and books focusing on racial relations, whiteness, democracy, citizenship and territory. She is the first black visiting professor at Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) at the University of Texas at Austin.
5. Journalist, former editor of Raça Brasil, the only magazine dedicated to the Afro-Brazilian community, and former director journalism of TV da Gente, the now defunct television channel that debuted in 2004 also targeted at the Afro-Brazilian population. She is also author of the 2006 book, Racismo – A verdade dói of Editora Terceiro Nome.