Note from BW of Brazil: Today’s feature is a follow-up to a story presented here a few days ago about a black elementary school student who used his coloring pencil to react to Brazil’s ultra white media representations. Although people who continue to be in denial will try to deflect the reality of racism and racial exclusion in Brazil by pointing to other countries, this elementary school student, like the college student featured yesterday, can see the obvious fallacy of diversity in Brazil; a point that has been consistently shown here at Black Women of Brazil. Although the student featured in this story is an exception, Brazil’s endless examples of black invisibility and lack of will to enforce existing laws to combat it often lead to fragmentation of identity and a rejection of their own physical characteristics, But again, this is most likely all part of the plan, isn’t it?
Student that colored illustrations of Turma da Mônica, in Nova Iguaçu (Rio de Janeiro), celebrates the repercussions of his attitude on the test
By Ligia Modena
The Turma da Mônica comic book characters on the cover of the test were only illustrative, at least for Cleidison de Sena Coutinho, 10. The 5th grade student at Escola Municipal Professora Irene da Silva Oliveira (school), in the Vila de Cava region of Nova Iguaçu (Rio de Janeiro) decided to color the illustration with a brown pencil to represent black people and saw his design win approval in social networks.
Still amazed at the dimensions that his posture has taken, the student said he was tired of only seeing white characters, and revealed that it was not the first time that he took this attitude.
“I’ve done it a few times, but never in school, much less on a test. But I’m tired of only seeing white characters. I am very proud to be black,” says Cleidison.
Yesterday, on the first day of class after the case caused repercussions, he was celebrated at school by classmates:
“I was very embarrassed. I’m still surprised. Everyone came to talk to me.”
For the teacher who shared the design, Joice Oliveira Nunes, Cleidison did nothing less than an artistic demonstration against the lack of representation of black children in the cartoons.
“We do have black characters, but very few,” Joice said.
His mother, Maria Inês de Seine, is proud of Cleidison’s posture, which was praised even by cartoonist Mauricio de Sousa, creator of the Turma do Mônica comic series.
“My children are all black and I’m happy about the attitude he had,” she analyzes.
The Municipal Secretary of Education, Maria Aparecida Marcondes, considered the attitude very positive and praised the student:
“We work with affirmative action to appreciate blacks. We organize work and fairs in schools about African culture.”
I commend this young man for fighting white racism. Blacks in Brazil should never accept second class citizenship!