Institutionalized Repression Of Black Male Identity In Brazil

Futebol player Vagner Love marries longtime girlfriend.

According to The Root, Brazilians believe that upon reaching a certain social status, black men will inevitably choose white women for their life partners. Brazil’s most famous soccer player, Pelé, has never in his three marriages wed a black woman. The majority of Brazil’s top male samba singers are married to white women. In 2011, a survey of high-level black Brazilian businessmen, 49 of the 50 interviewed were married to white women.

Black Brazilian actress Polly Marinho, who recently starred in a popular television show on Brazil’s largest network, is not surprised. Marinho says,“We are educated to think, like, that black is not beautiful. Black is a slave. Black is not good. Let’s take, for example, a very famous black soccer player. When they want money, they want good things. A beautiful house. A Ferrari and a white, white, blue-eyed chick."

Polly Marinho in "I Love Paraisópolis".

Priscila "Polly" Marinho in hit Brazil series "I Love Paraisópolis". (source)

The case of Humberto Baltar very unique; A 34-year-old college-educated black man who owns an English-language-instruction company. He earns a salary that keeps him established in the upper middle class and has chosen exclusively to date and marry black women. “This kind of life made me aware from childhood that something was different. I didn’t have the same treatment in the way they used to treat their  kids. These little things made me see that we are not seen equally by whites” Baltat told The Root.

Claudette Alves, a black professor based in Sao Paulo, found in her 2011 book Virou Regra: Becoming the Rule that marriage between black men and white women are no longer an exception: they’re becoming the rule. In her YouTube interview with famous Brazilian black actor Lazaro Ramos, Alves said that her research of 1435 interracial marriages in every social class in Sao Paolo reveals this preference across classes.

In depth interviews with 11 black women revealed their despair and frustration with this, while Alves had this to say of the men: “It’s a phenomenon that is in every level of Brazilian society. It’s a way that black men protect themselves. In history, and in their lives, they are pushed to deny their identity.” Still, Brazilian black women hope that someday their male counterparts will liberate themselves from this rule.

Read more about this story at The Root.

 

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