Social Inequality And Colorism Within The Afro-Brazilian Community

Social Inequality And Colorism Within The Afro-Brazilian Community

Starting in slavery, how does it still exist within black communities in Brazil?
878
views

Colorism, a discrimination based on skin complexion within one’s own race, has been evolving throughout the centuries. Slaves were chained, raped, murdered, sold, and put on ships. They then were sent to different regions including Brazil. Slaves were forced to labor in harsh conditions as well as on plantations. As a result, the spectrum of skin tones among slaves and others who were legally black expanded. Slave owners granted more privileges to the lighter skinned slaves. Slave owners compared the lighter slaves to the darker slaves; Slave owners saw lighter slaves as smarter and more capable because of their white ancestry. The work on the plantation was different based on skin complexion. Some slave owners allowed the lighter skinned slaves to partake in educational opportunities or training and occasionally granted them freedom.

As for darker skinned slaves, they worked under harsher conditions, suffered more beatings, and worked outside in the scorching heat. After slavery technically ended in America on December 6, 1865, when the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, slavery in Brazil continued. Brazil imported more slaves than any other country; African slaves were brought to Brazil as early as 1530, with abolition in 1888. African slaves were cheap for Brazil. As for America, institutional colorism became popular, but it was never recognized and labeled, “colorism” until late 2014.

I see it as problematic that Afro-Brazilians are treated differently based on skin complexion. In addition, the other problem is that colorism is both a symptom and system of oppression in accordance with white supremacy. It supports the white supremacy thesis considering like White people, lighter skinned Afro-Brazilians are praised, seen as more professional, are higher paid, and more easily obtain corporate jobs. In Brazil, race, skin color, hair texture, facial features, or body size and shape often lead to unmerited advantages, which connects to income inequality. As it relates, Darker skinned Brazilians are subjected to lower paying jobs in relation to this. In addition, other factors play a part in racial complexion segregation, such as education and political power.

In regards to education in Brazil, there is a great difference between the rate of equitable education for darker skinned Afro-Brazilians and lighter skinned ones, which hinders their ability to gain more lucrative employment. Within the Northeastern parts of Brazil, lighter skinned blacks benefit from high academic achievement, while darker skinned blacks face multiple limitations. Regarding political power, darker skinned Afro-Brazilians attempt to gain political mobility, but suffer from discrimination because of their less privileged economic and educational status. In keeping with the system of oppression, lighter skinned Afro-Brazilians and white people are the ones in political power. According to Minority Rights Group International, “Darker Afro-Brazilians are half of the population yet they’re only 20% of the economic GDP." Unemployment for darker skinned Afro-Brazilians is 50% higher than lighter skinned Afro-Brazilians.

Colorism is a significant phenomenon that takes place within all Black communities. For Afro-Brazilians specifically, colorism extends further and causes both internal and external conflicts. With slavery starting in the early 1530s, slaves in Brazil were cheap and the darker they were, the cheaper they were. Lighter slaves were the most expensive and treated with more respect because of they were suspected to have white ancestry. Colorism started during slavery, now we see how present it is in our black communities. As we are created equal, we must treat each other as such despite race, skin color, religion, and sexuality and break chains of social inequality for one another.

Cover Image Credit: Everyday Feminism

Popular Right Now

6 Things You Should Know About The Woman Who Can't Stand Modern Feminism

Yes, she wants to be heard too.

89085
views

2018 is sort of a trap for this woman. She believes in women with all of the fire inside of her, but it is hard for her to offer support when people are making fools of themselves and disguising it as feminism.

The fact of the matter is that women possess qualities that men don't and men possess qualities that women don't. That is natural. Plus, no one sees men parading the streets in penis costumes complaining that they don't get to carry their own fetus for nine months.

1. She really loves and values women.

She is incredibly proud to be a woman.

She knows the amount of power than a woman's presence alone can hold. She sees when a woman walks into a room and makes the whole place light up. She begs that you won't make her feel like a "lady hater" because she doesn't want to follow a trend that she doesn't agree with.

2. She wants equality, too

She has seen the fundamental issues in the corporate world, where women and men are not receiving equal pay.

She doesn't cheer on the businesses that don't see women and men as equivalents. But she does recognize that if she works her butt off, she can be as successful as she wants to.

3. She wears a bra.

While she knows the "I don't have to wear a bra for society" trend isn't a new one, but she doesn't quite get it. Like maybe she wants to wear a bra because it makes her feel better. Maybe she wears a bra because it is the normal things to do... And that's OK.

Maybe she wants to put wear a lacy bra and pretty makeup to feel girly on .a date night. She is confused by the women who claim to be "fighting for women," because sometimes they make her feel bad for expressing her ladyhood in a different way than them.

4. She hates creeps just as much as you do. .

Just because she isn't a feminist does not mean that she is cool with the gruesome reality that 1 in 5 women are sexually abused.

In fact, this makes her stomach turn inside out to think about. She knows and loves people who have been through such a tragedy and wants to put the terrible, creepy, sexually charged criminals behind bars just as bad as the next woman.

Remember that just because she isn't a feminist doesn't mean she thinks awful men can do whatever they want.

5. There is a reason she is ashamed of 2018's version of feminism.

She looks at women in history who have made a difference and is miserably blown away by modern feminism's performance.

Not only have women in the past won themselves the right to vote, but also the right to buy birth control and have credit cards in their names and EVEN saw marital rape become a criminal offense.

None of them dressed in vagina costumes to win anyone over though... Crazy, right?

6. She isn't going to dress in a lady parts costume to prove a point.

This leaves her speechless. It is like the women around her have absolutely lost their minds and their agendas, only lessening their own credibility.

"Mom, what are those ladies on TV dressed up as?"

"Ummm... it looks to me like they are pink taco's honey."

She loves who she is and she cherished what makes her different from the men around her. She doesn't want to compromise who she is as a woman just so she can be "equal with men."

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Understanding And Embracing The Prostitute Within

Are you someone who is unapologetically her best, authentic self, and who has the strength to both follow her own heart and to support others around her doing the same?

162
views

Ever responded to a stressful situation and wondered afterward why you reacted in the way you did? Maybe it's because of nurture: your age, faith, education background, or culture. Or maybe, it's because of an archetype deep within you—a universal way of being that stretches across all divides and affects every human.


BLINDSPOTS

Understanding what archetypes are and which ones are actively affecting you can open your eyes to what's unconsciously driving you. By knowing what you didn't know you didn't know, you can then become conscious about your choices and actions and—if you wish—choose a new way to be. So here's how to understand your inner Prostitute—and how to make her* work for you.

*I am female so I choose a feminine pronoun for the Prostitute. Replace with whatever you wish.


ARCHETYPES

According to Carl Jung, an archetype (a universal mental pattern) is a part of all humans' collective unconsciousness. The child archetype was first suggested by Carl Jung as a role (along with the other archetypes) that we all unconsciously play out in our lives. Caroline Myss, a New York Times bestselling author, has elaborated on Jung's theory, suggesting that the child is one of four survival archetypes that develop early on in all humans' lives: the child, the prostitute, the victim, and the saboteur. Each one of these is present to some extent in you and your decision-making.


OVERVIEW OF ARCHETYPES

Some of these words have fairly negative connotations, right? If someone called you a prostitute or a saboteur, you might take offense. Despite the connotative meanings of the word associated with each archetype, each archetype is neutral: they have both positive and negative sides. To best understand the Prostitute archetype, it will be helpful to have a brief understanding of the struggles associated with the other survival archetypes.

The Child includes the wounded child, orphan child, and eternal child, and causes you to stay stuck in childhood traumas, responding to events today based on defense mechanisms you created as a child. You may feel abandoned, engage in self-pity, or become very cynical.

The Victim tells you that you're never good enough or that it's never your fault—it blames you, controls you, and causes you to wait to be rescued.

The Saboteur tries to self-sabotage you and encourages you to undermine your own choices.


THE SHADOW SIDE OF THE PROSTITUTE

The Prostitute came into being as a way to help you survive and protect your inner self, strength, and integrity. This is her being: it's neutral. But like all archetypes, the Prostitute has a light side and a shadow side, and her shadow side is often destructive, selfish, and fearful.

Have you ever asked yourself how you can make that cute boy think you're more interesting or engaging than you actually are? Whether you should bother helping your classmate with the upcoming exam if there's nothing in it for you? How you can get your boss to respect you?

That was your inner Prostitute. She negotiates your power away to other people and compromises as a form of self-protection.

The Prostitute's shadow side engages in selling out yourself—your integrity, creativity, standards—either because of fear, or because of gain (particularly financial). It's not just about you compromising yourself though—the Prostitute will also encourage you to seduce or control others.

Have you ever seen a friend stay in an abusive or neglectful relationship? Have you compromised your ideals at work in order to just keep your job? Have you put on a false front in order to impress your date? That's all the Prostitute at work. Negotiating away yourself in this way hurts your core and victimizes you.


COME BACK TO THE LIGHT

The flip side of the shadow self is seeing how the Prostitute can radically transform your life if you embrace this archetype and use it consciously and wisely.

In this way, the Prostitute creates and strengthens self-confidence and integrity. Have you ever met a man or woman who had the strength to leave behind toxic relationships? Who was able to freely express her wants and principles in a self-empowered way and know her own boundaries—but who also does not try to persuade other people to compromise their own selves? Who refused to manipulate others to gain their favor, admiration, or support, no matter how it might have helped him get what he wanted?

That's the Prostitute as she's meant to be manifested in a person: someone who knows how to protect and best use her energy and resources, who is unapologetically her best, authentic self, and who has the strength to both follow her own heart and to support others around her doing the same.


NOW WHAT?

How do we move away from the Prostitute's shadow side and live in her light side?


BECOMING AWARE

The first step to any sort of growth is awareness. If you're not aware of a problem, you won't know how to fix it—you won't even know there's a thing to be fixed. Begin noting when in your life you are trying to mitigate other people's impressions of you, or when you're trying to control someone else's actions or decisions. What are your standards? What standards are you willing to compromise on (with your time, your morals, or your body) in order to protect yourself or to get your own way? What are you willing to give up (in relationships, personal standards, job security) in order to be safe or not make waves? Note when you're breaking your integrity to achieve some end, the people in your life who use you and drain you, and when you're ignoring your gut.


WHAT'S THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN?

The next time you're on a date or with friends and start self-censoring to make yourself seem more appealing, reset. Take a deep breath, and just be yourself.

A coping mechanism that I find helpful is asking: what's the worst that can happen? Last week I was out on a date with this crazy cool person I really like and I started to talk about a subject I get really excited about and then hesitated, unsure if we were "there" yet in our relationship. Maybe this is too much, too soon?

Cue coping mechanism above: "What's the worst that can happen?" The worst that can happen, I thought, is that this person decides he doesn't like me and doesn't want to see me again. The Prostitute's response to that: well, if you being you makes him not want to see you again, then it's a good thing you figured that out sooner rather than later. And if he does want to see you again—then he wants to see someone who's genuinely, authentically you.


CHECK IN WITH YOUR GUT

The Prostitute is a gut-based archetype rather than a mind-based archetype. Writing ways to encourage someone to follow their intuition is a little like writing ways for someone to learn how to dance: you can give them tips about timing and write out the basic steps, but at some point, they just have to get in the ring and experience it.

So when you're making decisions, check in with your gut. If it's not hellyeah, then maybe it's a no. If I find myself making a pros and cons list about whether or not I want to hang out with someone or kiss someone, I know it's not a hellyeah for me. And that doesn't always mean it's bad, or that I shouldn't give it a shot—but it does mean to stay attuned to your body and heart, and don't override them or scorn them for being silly or irrational.


YOU CAN'T HEAL WITH THE SAME PEOPLE WHO HURT YOU

Toxic relationships with someone you love are probably the hardest to walk away from. Understand it doesn't need to be a judgment upon them; maybe they're not a bad person. Maybe it is just you. And that's okay. It's okay to make decisions that are just for you. This is your life. Ask yourself: if your best friend was in an identical situation, what advice would you give him?

You cannot heal in the same place, by the same people, who hurt you. If you're spending your finite and precious energy on people and tasks that just drain you, you're not using your energy as you best could: to fully empower your own self so you can go out and change your own corner of the world.


COURAGE

Your inner Prostitute can seduce you to lead a life out of fear—selling out to protect yourself, selfishly get what you want, and manipulate others. Or your inner Prostitute can be an empowering force in your life—filling you with courage and determination, respect and appreciation for both your own boundaries and the boundaries of others, and protecting you from being manipulated or controlled.

Standing up for yourself to others, and standing up to yourself when you are trying to manipulate someone else, will surely be difficult at times. By embracing the Prostitute archetype that resides in each of us, you will be able to become aware of her encouragements within you and implement her empowerment, strength, and willpower in your life.


GO FORTH

Related Content

Facebook Comments