Shine My Crown Read by Alexa
Black women of Brazil remain perplexed as to why the controversial annual Nega Maluca Carnaval is allowed to continue year after year despite its racist origins.
During the festival, thousands of whites don blackface, faux butts, and breasts to mimic the Black female body and bright red lipstick in what can only be described as an audacious display of white ignorance. A painful reminder of the daily oppression Blacks in Brazil face at the hands of their white oppressors.
In Portuguese, the Nega Maluca is a well-known stereotype of Black women. The literal translation means “crazy Black woman” or loud, quarrelsome Black woman…
To make matters worse, the Black Women of Brazil website says that the local government actually funds the festival:
‘Supported by the Angra dos Reis Tourism Foundation, the city’s management guaranteed financial support for 56 of the 72 blocos that performed during the Carnaval of 2020. Each of the blocos were given a grant of BRL$ 1.5 thousand to BRL$ 8 thousand to participate in the parades,” journalist Marques Travae writes.
Geledes says that the festival’s origins can be found in the 1950 Carnaval song composed by Evaldo Ruy and Fernando Lobo.
In the song, a guy is there playing pool with his friends when a Black woman jumps in front of him with a child, claiming that he fathered her child. The guy refuses to accept the child and repeatedly denies that the child is his.
Here are the lyrics to the song:
“Nega Maluca” (Evaldo Ruy and Fernando Lobo)
Tava jogando sinuca (I was playing pool)
Uma nega maluca, Me apareceu (A crazy black woman appeared in front of me)
Vinha com um filho no colo (She had a child in her arms)
“E dizia pro povo (And she said to the people)
Que o filho era meu, não senhor (That the child was mine, no sir)
Tome que o filho é seu, não senhor (Take him, the child is yours, no sir)
Pegue o que Deus lhe deu, não senhor (Get what God gave you, no sir)”
Year after year, Black women take to social media to condemn the antiquated parade. Still, their cries are merely dismissed, the local authorities opting for tourist dollars over the yearly degradation.
“Blacks are a majority in the Brazilian population and why only in Carnival do we remember these people? They are people who suffer, who have difficulty living in Brazilian society, suffer prejudice and this is not a tribute,” says Luiza Datas, a member of the Federal University of Minas Gerais branch of the Unified Black Movement.