Star of Netflix film Nappily Ever After, Sanaa Lathan, sends a special message to three black Brazilian women YouTubers after the ladies critiqued the film on their channels. Call it kinky/curly or crespo, the issues are the same
By Marques Travae
As of late, I know that much of the news being shared on this blog has been some pretty heavy stuff, mostly concerning the buildup to the October 28th presidential election. During the buildup to the first round of elections of October 7th and the run-off on October 28th, we saw a little bit of everything. We saw the eventual winner and now president-elect Jair Bolsonaro get stabbed (still wondering where the blood at), we saw massive protests against his candidacy, we saw violence play out as his supporters seemed to take a queue from his divisive, inflammatory rhetoric and begin assaulting people who proclaimed their support for the opposition or any policies associated with that party.
In reality, as I’ve already mentioned, we now know who the next president will be come January 1st, 2019 and I have to say, based on what we’ve seen, heard and read, I have to admit, I’m a little concerned about Brazil’s future. With that being said, sometimes it IS necessary to take a deep breath, take a step back, relax and move on to a lighter topic, which is what I decided to do with this post today.
I gotta admit, I delayed seriously devoting time to creating a post on this topic, one because I hadn’t even heard about the film discussed in this post. And two, I didn’t and still don’t know when and if I’ll have the time to sit down to devote 90-120 minutes to check it out. But you know what, it doesn’t matter.
I first became aware of the film Nappily Ever After, starring actress Sanaa Lathan through the site Mundo Negro. Over at MN, journalist Silvia Nascimento put up a brief post, not so much about the film itself, but something that Lathan did upon learning that some black women of Brazil had been discussing the film on their YouTube channels.
Well, that’s the perfect story! It has several elements featured regularly on this blog. It’s got black Brazilian women YouTubers who have been able to make a name for themselves on the online video platform, so important in an ultra-Eurocentric Brazilian media where it’s so rare to see black women discussing issues important to black women. It’s another situation in which black Brazilians are able to turn to American film or television to see stories that resonate with them when there are so few in Brazil’s media. And it’s another situation involving an African-American reaching out to her/his Afro-Brazilian counterparts (here, here, here).
I’m gonna try to make the time to watch this movie, but for now, the trailer was good enough. The film is about a black American woman’s journey from the sometimes oppressive world of wigs and weaves to the coming to the decision to make “the big chop” in order to come to fully appreciate her own beauty, another topic that so many black Brazilian women have discussed obviously amongst themselves but also publicly. Some of these journeys and challenges can found in some great texts on this very blog.
Considering how accepting, dealing with and coming to love “cabelo crespo” (curly/kinky hair) has been a major topic on so many channels of these women, it should come as no surprise that they shared their thoughts on the Nappily Ever After (released as Felicidade por um Fio for the Brazilian market) film on their channels. But perhaps what did come as quite a surprise was when the star of the film, Lathan herself, took out time from recording another film to send a personal message to three popular black Brazilian women YouTubers, Rayza Nicácio, Gabi de Oliveira of the De Pretas channel and Amanda Mendes of the Tô de Crespa channel.
In a section of a short message to the three YouTubers, Lathan said:
“It means so much to me that young brown girls all around the world are starting to love and accept their perfect beauty. Their nappy hair, their curly hair, whatever texture their hair is…” Lathan finished the message with the Brazilian ‘thank you’, ‘obrigada’ and said she wanted to come to Brazil one day and learn the language.
Well, wasn’t that sweet?!? With all of the bitter stuff you’ve been reading here on BW of B as of late, it’s nice to get something a little sweet…well, ain’t it?