She’s not a “morena”, no! Why you shouldn’t be afraid of calling a black person black

marlon urban project 1132x751
marlon urban project 1132x751
Marlon Laurencio/Urban Project

Note from BW of Brazil: I know many of you may have read the title of today’s post and thought, “Why is that necessary to even say? Why wouldn’t you call a black person black?” Well, perhaps you are new to this blog and unaware of the significance of black Brazilians accepting and demanding that people refer to them as negros and negras. For decades, centuries, in fact, the society has taught its citizens that calling someone or referring to someone as negro/negra, or preto/preta, both meaning black, is a dreadful thing. We’ve dealt with this topic in numerous previous posts featuring black people who for many years rejected the classification themselves (preferring terms such as morena or mulata) before going through a process of “becoming black”. Claiming the right to be black is a big deal in a country that would prefer that black people disappear. Which is why we must continue to say it loud…

morena não. negra!
“Morena, NO. Negra!”

She’s not a “morena”, no! Why you shouldn’t be afraid of calling a black person black

By Duda Buchmann

A famous makeup artist in Brazil recently caused controversy. She made up a black girl and, while showing her work on her social networks, said that – because of the skin tone of the girl – calling her a morena was better, after all, ela não era “tão negra” assim (she was not “so black”)

BÉÉÉ (horn sound)! Wrong!

Probably this professional is not aware of the cause or didn’t want to “offend” the girl/model.

The biggest tip is: não tenham medo de chamar uma pessoa negra de negra (don’t be afraid to call a black person black)! This does not offend – or should not offend (of course the connotation influences, but it is not in that merit that I want to get into).

For a long time, the mulher negra (black woman) was put aside and this only made the women renounce their own color. We are in a moment in which the black woman has begun to be heard, begun to become a character in search of a protagonism and has representations increasingly stronger. Gradually more women are “enegrecendo” (blacking) on the whole and taking pride in their color. Don’t take this pleasure and force from us.

Taís e Carol – Foto - Juliana Coutinho, divulgação
Taís and Carol – Photo: Juliana Coutinho, divulgation

In the land of Elza Soares, Karol Conka, Taís Araújo, MC Soffia, Miss Brasil Raíssa Santana, among many other wonderful ones, we should not be ashamed of what we are.

The whole issue reaches our self-esteem and it is that that makes us strong enough to seek our rights on a daily basis.

Duda Buchmann
Duda Buchmann

Por favor, nos chamem de negras (Please call us black). This is empowerment, it is representativeness, it is a struggle that we are winning. The more adept the cause, the more spaces can be occupied.

Source: Revista Donna

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


  1. I am a black and finally proud black American. Tell any racist, I am God’s handiwork. You don’t like my blackness, tell God He’s wrong.

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