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In 1965, Ebony magazine published a 10-page spread about Brazil with the headline, “Does Amalgamation Work in Brazil: Absorbing Negro Through Interracial Marriage Is Their Answer to the Race Problem.” The top image in the article showed a black woman walking hand in hand down the street with a white man.
Black and mulatto men marry white women to improve social status.” Sadly, not much has changed in Brazil some five decades later.The 2010 census in Brazil showed that out of all the women over 50 who had never had a spouse, a majority of them were “pretas,” a term commonly used to refer to dark-skinned black women.It’s also obvious to all Brazilians that once black Brazilian men attain a certain social status, they choose white women as their life partners.Brazil’s most famous soccer player, Pelé, has been married three times, but never to a black woman.Nearly all of Brazil’s top male samba singers are married to white women.A study conducted of high-level black Brazilian businessmen in 2011 found that out of the 50 interviewed, 49 were married to white women (pdf).
“They Want Good Things” Black Brazilian actress Polly Marinho, 32, thinks this is a natural outcome in a country that values whiteness on television, in its magazines and in government.
“We are educated to think, like, that black is not beautiful. Black is not good,” said Marinho, who recently starred in a popular television show on Brazil’s largest television network. A Ferrari and a white, white, blue-eyed chick.” When Marinho lived in New York for two years, she was surprised to see well-off African-American men seriously dating black women because it just doesn’t happen in Brazil.
“Let’s take, for example, a very famous black soccer player. Although her acting career is booming in Brazil, she longs to return to New York for the plethora of acting opportunities and the black men.
“[Black American men] can [have sex] with the rich white girls,” Marinho said.
“But the girlfriend is black.” But even if successful Afro-Brazilian women and men wanted to date each other, it would be difficult.
The worlds they live in, study in and work in are not black.