Photos of a practical joke with racist content generate controversy on the Internet

 Student leads a woman painted black in chains as historic slave figure Chica da Silva
A practical staged last Friday by students of the faculty of law at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Federal University of Minas Gerais or UFMG) is causing a stir on social networks. On Monday, images of the event, considered racist and sexist, were shared by web surfers, causing outrage among students of the institution.

In one photo, a woman, with her body painted black (1), appears handcuffed, holding a sign saying “freshman Chica da Silva” (2). In another, students – one with a mustache similar to that used by the German dictator Adolf Hilter – make Nazi salutes, around a student taped to a pillar.

black Brazilian women

A spokesperson for the UFMG confirmed that the images were made during a practical joke of law students on the 15th, and that the case is being investigated before an official position is released.

Among students of the institution, the comments about the pictures, released on a Facebook page, are of indignation. On Facebook, a page already bringing together students, faculty and staff of the institution for a meeting against joke. The event is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, at noon, at the Instituto de Ciências Biológicas (Institute of Biological Sciences) at UFMG.

The photos had repercussions on social networks, after being published by the profile “Dilma Bolada” on Twitter. In this account, the fake profile of President Dilma Rousseff criticized the joke: “We can’t tolerate in these days, racism in our country! Nothing that involved this can (be) considered a ‘joke’. Complete nonsense.”

Even on Twitter, comments on the joke are of repudiation. Here are some:

“@ Mariliagessa: A tear drop fell. I swear. What is UFMG gonna do about it?”

“@ Glaubermacario: These racist studentsof UFMG have to go to jail. For a few hours, of course, because after daddy goes there and gets them out.”

“@ Dbsdouglas Won’t UFMG  pass judgment on this joke? Certainty it will make an appeal for freedom of expression in the Federal Constitution.”


1. The usage of blackface in portraying persons of African descent in very common in the Brazilian entertainment industry. For recent and past examples, see here.

2. Chica da Silva, a former slave from Brazil’s colonial era is an historical figure as familiar in Brazilian culture as Kunta Kinte is in American culture. Through her relationship with a wealthy diamond miner, da Silva became a rich, elite black woman in an 18th century Brazil when slave master relationships were not publicly acknowledged. For more on Chica da Silva see here.

Source: Globo Extra

About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

1 Comment

  1. so true we need to get off our knees praying God said prayer without action is no prayer consequently we must organize on all continents, to end this, but however our first move is to STAND UP and say Jesus is Black if we do that we are free!

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