PIVA, Caroline Tito Miranda. COSTA, Tânia Gomes Ferreira da. Female black representation and the legitimation of rights. Revista Científica Multidisciplinar Núcleo do Conhecimento. Year 05, Ed. 05, Vol. 10, pp. 63-74. May 2020. ISSN: 2448-0959, Access link: https://www.nucleodoconhecimento.com.br/education/black-female
This review article addresses the importance of female black representation in the spaces of power, in order to overcome the intersectionality of the axes of subordination that affect black women, through the awareness of their place of speech and the need for intercultural dialogue in the construction of new knowledge aimed at confronting structural racism, gender vulnerability and the implementation of public policies aimed at improving their quality of life. Its purpose is to analyze the historical and social context of the participation of black women in social movements, in search of the legitimation of rights with gender and race. To this end, we review the studies of Djamila Ribeiro (2017), Nilma Lino Gomes (2017), Vera Maria Candau (2013) and Antônio Flávio Moreira (2013) on the valorization of African and Afro-Brazilian history and culture to break with the silence imposed on black women, defining the place of speech in decision-making spaces and opportunizing intercultural dialogue for emancipation and institution of rights.
Keywords: Representation, feminism, social movement, rights, place of speech.
The study developed aims to address some reflections on black female representativeness, analyzing the mechanisms of social movements to legitimize speech spaces and face racism, aiming to overcome the stereotyped view in relation to gender and race inequalities.
Debate legitimization of rights in search of concrete actions to overcome invisibility about the intersectionality suffered by black women and how their consequences have been historically consolidated. Its proposition is to understand the consequences of the black feminist movement for the implementation of affirmative policies to overcome structural racism that persists in the social, political and economic sphere of the country.
The relevance in researching the demands for the recognition of the rights of black women is mainly due to the need to challenge hegemonic standards and make room for intercultural debate about the oppressive conjunctures that were built and consolidated in the construction of Brazilian history.
In this perspective, the corporeity of black women is thought of as a mechanism to strengthen the resistance movements and valorization of African and Afro-Brazilian culture, contributing to the identity recognition and occupation of their place of speech.
This paper analyzes the studies of Djamila Ribeiro (2017), Nilma Lino Gomes (2017), Vera Maria Candau (2013) and Antônio Flávio Moreira (2013) on the recognition of African and Afro-Brazilian culture, which encourage the occupation of power spaces by black women, enabling an intercultural dialogue to build new knowledge, breaking with the colonizing logic and establishing rights.
2. FEMALE BLACK REPRESENTATION AND THE LEGITIMACY OF HUMAN RIGHTS
The mobilization of Brazilian black women as an organization was initially linked to the feminist and black movement, at a time marked by the military dictatorship and struggle for the democratization of the country.
Black women sought a place of speech, to claim their rights and give voice to their needs. Marked by the exclusionary forces of racism and sexism, they were doubly subordinated to the social pyramid, being silenced and oppressed so that they did not believe in the power of their experiences and identities as a means of emancipation. According to Djamila Ribeiro:
It would be urgent to shift hegemonic thought and resignify identities, whether of race, gender, class, so that new places of speech could be constructed in order to enable voice and visibility to subjects who were considered implicit within this hegemonic standardization (RIBEIRO, 2017, p. 45).
The black and feminist movements represented a possible space for claiming and conquering rights historically denied. The intersection of the specific demands of black women, with the anti-sexist and anti-exist, was not an easy task. However, engagement in legitimate spaces of discussion and knowledge construction was vital for the emphasis on social vulnerability imposed on black women.
Based on this assumption, it was necessary to focus on the need to specify the demands of black women and occupy spaces of political representation. In 1985, black women held vacancies on the state and national council of women’s rights, a fact that generated research on racial and gender inequalities and consequently public policies aimed at combating domestic and sexual violence, which affects black women in greater numbers.
Thus, defining the place of speech of black women represents claiming the different points of analysis, seeking to understand where one speaks of to question the hierarchies. According to Candau:
In general, when intercultural dialogue is promoted, a liberal approach is adopted and interactions between different sociocultural groups are often focused in a superficial way, reducing to the visibility of some cultural expressions of these groups, without facing the theme of power relations that permeate intercultural relations, nor the deep matrices, mentalities, imaginaries, beliefs, configuring their specificity (CANDAU , 2013, p. 24–25).
The female black struggle was marked by overcoming the invisibility of race-related issues in the feminist and gender movement in the black movement. This fact prompted black women to reflect on new epistemologies generated from their social place, valuing conceptions that converged specificities and aimed to guarantee rights with gender and race.
Several historical milestones have highlighted the achievement of black women as a non-profit organization, especially the world conferences, which enabled the training of leaders and receipts of financial investments to carry out social projects aimed at the formation and valorization of black women such as: Geledes, Criola, Casa de cultura da mulher negra, Mãe Andresa and Fala preta.
The black feminist movement contributed to the promotion of gender equality and the fight against discrimination against women, as it actively collaborated in the fight for the consolidation of rights through the creation of the Comprehensive Assistance Program for Women’s Health, creation of state and national women’s councils, implementation of police stations for women’s defense, guarantee of reproductive rights, launch of the feminist political platform for the defense of women’s rights, regularization of domestic work, conducting, by the Carlos Chagas Foundation, research on gender and race inequalities in education, in addition to the implementation of law 10.639/03 inserting the teaching of African History and Afro-Brazilian culture in basic education. According to Jurema Werneck:
In order to understand the breadth of the formulation embedded in the political-ideological response of black women, it is necessary to highlight the resource and valorization of different elements. Among them are: history, recovering and denouncing the violence of Eurocentric and patriarchal Western domination over time; tradition, understood as a living arena of disputes, in which updates and deletions of different elements of African origin have the purpose of enabling new identity arrangements appropriate to contexts and struggles; geography and territory, affirming, valuing and articulating the local and transnational perspective of identities, validating their diasporic aspect, which understands patriarchal racist domination as a common struggle of Afrodescendants in different continents; the perspective of struggle, choosing the confrontation with racist, heterosexist and Eurocentric violence as central; and, finally, the search for autonomy and capacity for action to change the living conditions of black women and the whole group (WERNECK, 2009, p. 114-115).
Thus, the black feminist movement has irrefutably marked the history of the country, as it fights against Eurocentric hegemony in the social, political, historical and cultural dimensions, demanding reparation actions aimed at improving the quality of life of black women, producing knowledge from different approaches, in the search for legitimacy of rights, towards the construction of a new society.
3. BLACK WOMEN AND REPRESENTATIVENESS
Understanding what is a place of speech and representativeness brings to the bulge of discussions of gender and race, the fact that discursive authorization has always been given to the individual who belongs to the dominant group and occupies spaces of power.
Analyzing how these narratives are constructed means denaturalizing exclusions and assuming a place of activism in the construction of history itself.
The end of colonial administrations unfortunately did not mean the end of colonization. Hierarchies continue to exist in today’s society, marked by the colonization of being, knowledge and power.
Thus, there is a process of exclusion of the subalternized peoples, being necessary to pluralize all voices, through the intense participation and resistance to the dehumanization imposed on these people.
In this context, the place of speech occupies a fundamental role, to the extent that it represents the social place of the individual, where he comes from and what his experiences are, defining whether his situation is of privilege or oppression. According to Djamila Ribeiro:
The social place does not determine a discursive awareness about this place. However, the place we occupy socially makes us have different experiences and other perspectives. The theory from the feminist point of view and place of speech makes us refute a universal view of women and blackness, and other identities (RIBEIRO, 2017, p.71).
It is necessary to pluralize all voices, through the occupation of these places by black women who experienced situations of oppression and subalternization. Representativeness is, therefore, taking the place of speech in the spaces of power.
The more people, with their specificities, occupy spaces of power, the more plural the narratives will be and the fairer the decisions. It is essential to question the formation of this society marked by hierarchization and that brings in its structure a universal vision.
The black women’s movement has emphasized the importance of the place of speech, because they suffer from the intersectionality of the axes of subordination and believe that it is based on their experiences and intercultural dialogue that public policies can be implemented, given the gender and race. According to Moreira and Câmara:
In the different groups there are many distinctions between its members. In the women’s, for example, there are white, black, married, single, divorced, mothers, residents of different cities, appreciative of various cultural manifestations, young, elderly. Finally, there are a range of identity aspects that distinguish them, as well as there are points that unite them and allow to establish links and share common values and purposes (MOREIRA; CHAMBER, 2013, p.45).
The representation of black women in decision-making spaces has been fundamental to the conquest of various rights. Among these women, the legacy of Brazilianwo men is evidenced, such as Leila Gonzalez (1935 –1994), the first black woman to be a member of the National Council for Women’s Rights; Tereza de Benguela, born in the eighteenth century, was leader of quilombo quariterê. Law No. 12,987 defined July 25, in Brazil, as the National Day of Tereza de Benguela and the Black Woman; Nilma Lino Gomes (1961), Brazilian pedagogue. She became the first black woman in Brazil to run a federal public university. Corroborating, the studies of Djamila Ribeiro point out:
Both Leila Gonzalez and Linda Alcoff, Spivak, among others, think about the need to break the dominant epistemology and to debate identities by thinking about the way in which the established power articulates these identities in order to oppress and rectify them. Thinking places of speech for these thinkers would be to destabilize and create fissures and tensions in order to bring out not only against discourse[…]s, but aim to think other possibilities of existences beyond those imposed by the dominant discursive regime (RIBEIRO, 2017, p. 91 – 92).
Thus, the representation of black women contributed decisively to a paradigm shift and construction of new knowledge, because assuming their narratives from their place of speech, they accepted their responsibilities in the difficult task of representing all black women in decision-making spaces and thus are certainly changing the course of history, as they collaborate to ensure the struggle for the fundamental rights of every citizen.
4. BLACK FEMALE CORPOREITY AS A FORM OF EMANCIPATION
The initiatives of women who challenged hegemonic standards, understanding that the conditions of black women left them in a distinct social position in a society centered on the mechanisms of the patriarchal system, demanded a debate about oppressive conjunctures and the conquest of full citizenship.
The inequalities that are reflected in various dimensions of society, such as racial and gender violence, have consolidated themselves on the black population in the historical process of the country, being studied more in depth through the feminist black movement.
Black women organized to demand equal rights and opportunities. Being black and women, they sought to empower themselves not to accept in a normal way the subordination and structural racism that were consolidated in the cultural, economic and political dimensions of the country, seeking to increasingly claim their place of speech, within this scenario.
Social and cultural movements strengthened by the conquest of public policies bring a positive statement, encouraging resistance to prejudice and discrimination. The valorization of black culture is now debated and questioned in the daily life of quilombola communities and predominantly black brotherhoods, contributing to the indentitarian formation of its members.
The black body comes to be perceived from another perspective, as a support to strengthen its identity. Body language, its forms of greetings, musical rhythms, religiosity, cultural and culinary values come to have social visibility and contribute to the black population assuming its place of belonging. According to Gomes:
In Brazil, the black body gains social visibility in the tension between adapting, revolting or overcoming the racist thought that takes it as erotic, exotic and violent. This overcoming occurs through the publication of the racial issue as a right, through practices, projects, political actions, collection of the State and the private world of the presence of the black population in the media, in higher education courses, in politics, in places of power and decision, in fashion, in art, among others. The denunciation of racism, its insertion as an inaffectionable and unprescriptive crime subject to the penalty of imprisonment guaranteed in the 1988 Constitution, the presence of blacks and blacks in the media, in the labor market and in universities are part of this scenario of struggles (GOMES, 2017, p.94).
In this context, educational institutions, which are responsible for organizing, transmitting and socializing cultural knowledge and values, occupy a privileged place of cultural exchange and experiences lived by different individuals, providing opportunities for the debate of confronting racism and overcoming the stereotyped view of African and Afro-Brazilian culture.
Educational institutions present themselves as one of the means of socialization of regulatory dialogues on the black body. The black movement, especially black women, has sought to overcome this dominant concept, encouraging artistic, poetic and political interventions through black youth. According to Gomes:
Education can develop a body pedagogy that highlights the richness of black culture inscribed in the body, body techniques, hairstyle styles and clothing, which are also transmitted orally. They are learnings from childhood and adolescence. The black body can be taken as a symbol of beauty, not inferiority. He can be seen as a warrior body, a beautiful active person present in the history of the negro of the diaspora, and not as a body of slave, servile, sick and chained (GOMES, 2003, p.6).
The struggle of the black community in Brazil for the emancipation of its body crosses the regulatory bias of a capitalist, racist and sexist society. This regulation takes place in harmony with the ideology of the biological race, masked in the myth of racial democracy. It gives new meaning to the system of conservative regulation is a political role of the black movement, which through affirmative actions, needs to seek alternatives to resignify and recode the political actions that strengthen the identity construction of the black people. In this regard GOMES says that:
It is possible to observe that young people and blacks who participate in affirmative action processes tend to establish a different relationship with their corporeity. There is, then, the production of other knowledge about the body, which is now shared with people from other ethnic-racial segments and to be noticed by families. In a way, there is an occupation of the black body in spaces that were not used to dealing with such corporeity before (GOMES, 2017, p.115).
In this perspective, the debate on black corporeity is fundamental to reeducate blacks in this contemporary process marked by tension regulation-social emancipation, seeking to redefine the actions developed in educational institutions that receive all bodies, each with its peculiarities, to outline other contours.
It is crucial to make room to discuss readings about the beauty of black women, what is their role in the Brazilian sociocultural context and how their figure is projected in the already occupied spaces.
To perceive the world is to learn and learn the world from the body, is to perceive the body. This implies the integration of social models. The discovery of the body is the formation of the body image go through social situations. It is in the interaction with other people in the social environment that the models are internalized, that is, in the experiences and experiences, which are non-transferable and subjective (FREITAS, 2008. p.323).
Therefore, resignifying and constructing positive representations of black women, their history, their culture, their corporeity and aesthetics, are fundamental actions to correct the inequalities built in the historical process of the country, providing opportunities and rights.
Understanding the importance of black female representativeness in decision-making spaces is fundamental for understanding the historical and social context that involves the female black struggle and what challenges are encountered for the legitimation of rights with gender and race.
In contemporary times, Djamila Ribeiro (2017) has emphasized the concept of place of speech, as being fundamental to break with the various axes of subordination imposed on black women. For the author, through the awareness of her place of speech, black women legitimize the occupation of power spaces, aiming at an intercultural exchange in the construction of new knowledge, which meet their specificities and experiences, rectifying their rights.
Moreira and Candau (2013) address the need for recognition of intercultural dialogue, to the extent that differences can be seen as opportunities for building a common project of society that meets different sociocultural identities.
Thus, the struggle of black women to occupy spaces of power and assume their particularities, from their place of speech, represented a great advance in the conquest of black feminist rights, such as the creation of the councils of the female condition, specialized police stations to care for women, regularization of domestic work, reproductive rights, in addition to the creation and financing of several projects aimed at the formation and care of black women.
Corroborating, Nilma Lino Gomes (2017) elucidates that the black body gains another look when it becomes considered a support to reinforce its identity. Body language valued as a symbol of beauty and representation contributes to the emancipation of black women and the search for their place of belonging.
Thus, deconstructing the processes of subalternization rooted by colonization requires black women to fight intersectionally against oppression and silence imposed until contemporaneity, so that they reverberate policies and actions in favor of quality of life and recognition of the legacy of these great women.
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 Master’s degree in Educational Sciences, Grendal University, Teixeira de Freitas-BA center. Specialist in Educational Management – Brazilian Baptist College (FBB). Specialist in Pedagogical Work Management – Vale do Cricaré University (UNIVC). Specialist in Clinical and Institutional Psychopedagogy – Faculdade do Sul da Bahia (FASB). Specialist in Public Policy Management in Gender and Race – Federal College of Bahia (UFBA). Graduated in Pedagogy – State University of Bahia (UNEB).
 Master’s degree in Educational Sciences, Grendal University, Teixeira de Freitas-BA center. Specialist in Public Policy Management in Gender and Race – Federal College of Bahia (UFBA). Specialist in Supervision, Coordination, Direction and School Pedagogue – Vale do Cricaré University (UNIVC). Specialist in Educational Guidance – Integrated Colleges of Jacarepaguá -(FIJ). Graduated in Pedagogy – University of the State of Bahia (UNEB). Graduated in History – Faculty of Sciences of Bahia- (FACIBA).
Sent: May, 2020.
Approved: May, 2020.