Brazil is a country with the largest black population outside of the African continent. However it has often been the subject of dialogue regarding the strenuous challenges many of it’s black citizens face on a daily basis. When it comes to natural hair, the attitudes toward it are strained. Just this past week, we covered the backlash, talented Afro-Brazilian actress Taís Araújo received after revealing her natural hair.
Some of the comments she received included: “who posted the picture of this gorilla on Facebook?” “lend me your hair I wash dishes”.
Now the Afro-Brazilian community has decided to embark upon change with their first ever Natural Hair Empowerment March also known as “Marcha do Empoderamento Crespo.” The March took place last Saturday, November 7 in S lvador. This was exactly 41 years after the historic first march that marked the start of the Black Power movement in Ba’hia in 1974.
Organizers Lorena Lacerda, Andrea and Naiara Souza Gouveia say the idea from the march was launched from their Curled and Curled Facebook group and the need for such an event is clear:
“Women suffer from both sides. Racism and sexism. Therefore, we use the concept of empowerment. From the aesthetics, the woman empowers and empowers the community” [translated]
Another organizer, Naira Gomes also chimed in:
“So good to say, aesthetic for us is political. The hair is a symbol, a pretext to fight against racism.”