Web series Palavra Negra (Black Word) exalts Afro-Brazilian poetry



Note from BW of Brazil: As we’ve pointed out in past posts, the internet has opened numerous new possibilities for exposure for independent artists that the mainstream media doesn’t see fit to feature. Particularly those who don’t fit into a certain standard. You Tube in particular has provided an outlet that has given a platform and an opportunity to build and speak to an audience that simply didn’t exist even as late as the turn of the new century/millennium. And with the divulging of talent, an interesting product and appeal, there have been countless previous unknowns who have found  major success on the video broadcasting service that at times have led to recording contracts, appearances in the mainstream media and even followings that can rival minor stars who made it the more traditional way. 

For Afro-Brazilians, You Tube has allowed space for the exposure of black theater, black history and entertainment productions, mock product commercials, black hair and makeup specialists and profiles of professional black women. In other words, black Brazil has a lot to offer but due to the Eurocentrism of Brazil’s mainstream media, many talented people will never get their chance to shine. But these independent productions are warning the mainstream that if they continue to ignore talent that doesn’t fit within their biased parameters physical standards, they will begin to lose their audience as more and more people begin to look to alternative sources of media. The area of poetry is yet another genre in which black Brazilians have things to say for those who want to listen. Afro-Brazilian poetry has in fact existed for decades and one group in southeast Brazil is carrying the torch of the tradition and sharing their work for all to see. 

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Members of Palavra Negra

Web series Palavra Negra (Black Word) exalts Afro-Brazilian poetry

by Pedro Borges

“Nem só de poesia vive o poeta, há o fim do mês” (Not only on poetry does the poet live, there is the end of the month), as says one of the verses of the Solano Trindade poem. Not far away from this approach, Carolina Maria de Jesus in 1960 also reflected the hard reality of the working class, especially the trabalhador negro (black worker). “How the life of the worker is sacrificed/the salary goes up the ladder/ the prices go up the elevator.” In times of political and economic crisis currently in Brazil, how timeless these verses of great poets of Afro-Brazilian culture are and will be redeemed on the web-series Palavra Negra (Black Word), which went on the air today on its YouTube channel.


Created by the homonymous Collective Palavra Negra, from Vitória (capital city of the state of Espírito Santo), the web-series will bring together a group of film-poems of Afro-Brazilian authors and writers. Interpretations and recitations will the responsibility of nine young poets from the outskirts of Vitória, which in addition to reciting their own poems, will recite poetry from names such as Carolina Maria de Jesus, Abdias do Nascimento and Solano Trindade among others.

“Botaram no poste Chicotearam até a morte Mas não há quem se importe”/”Put them on the post, whipped them to death, but there was no one who cared” – Ríssiani Queiróz of Palavra Negra in “Poem with no title”

Capixaba (natives of the state of Espírito Santo) black poets of national prominence currently also had guaranteed space like the poets and actresses Elisa Lucinda and Suely Bispo, who currently plays the character Doninha in novela (soap opera) Velho Chico on the Globo TV network.

Palavra Negra #01: Poesia Sem Título (Poem with no title) – Ríssiani Queiróz

In addition to the appreciation of Afro-Brazilian literature, the web-series will address important issues such as racism and the mortality of black youth. “The young black of Espírito Santo is in a state of extreme vulnerability in which public policies for this population are not enough. The result could not be different without these high levels of violence,” says Adriano Monteiro, coordinator and member of the collective Palavra Negra collective.

Palavra Negra

According to Atlas da Violência 2016 (Atlas of Violence 2016), released in March this year by the Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (Ipea or Institute of Applied Economic Research) and the Fórum Brasileiro de Segurança Pública (FBSP or Brazilian Forum on Public Security), Espírito Santo recorded in 2014, 96.2 youth homicides per group of 100 thousand young people, rates much higher than the national average that year which was 61 deaths per 100,000.


Daiana Rocha, producer of the collective, highlights another important aspect of the project. Its relevance to the school environment, i.e., the contribution of the web-series as an educational tool, having in view the implementation of Law 10.639 which aims at the teaching of African and Afro-Brazilian culture in the public and private education networks. “We would like to see Afro-Brazilian authors being worked with more in schools. Unfortunately, we don’t see it and the Palavra Negra series can contribute to this,” affirms Daiana.

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Members of Palavra Negra (clockwise from top left) Jhon Conceito, Juplin Jones, Léia Rodrigues, Ronaldinho MC, Tamyres Batísta and Naíra Pinudo

To follow the series access the Facebook page here

Making of the web series Palavra Negra

Source: Alma Preta

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

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