A Head Wrap Becomes a Lightning Rod For Massive Debate on Cultural Appropriation in Brazil
Be it samba, capoeira, or staple foods like acarajé, most of the cultural expressions we think of as “authentically” Brazilian actually have their roots in West Africa; which makes sense given that nearly half the country’s population can trace their ancestry back to the region. Yet, with the much-touted effectiveness of Brazil’s “racial democracy,” we may be tempted to assume that these marvels of transatlantic cultural preservation are the popular patrimony of all Brazilians, regardless of race or origin.
But, of course, we would be wrong. Indeed, Brazil’s own complex legacy of racism and implicit color hierarchies have come to the fore over the last several years – inspired in part by movements like #BlackLivesMatter – and the latest battleground to emerge in the polemical debate over Brazilian identity is one of the most culturally charged symbols of negritud: the head wrap.
It all started earlier this month when a white Brazilian woman named Thane Cordeiro (who wears a “turbante” to cover her hair loss from chemotherapy) was purportedly harassed on a train by several black women who accused her of cultural appropriation. Cordeiro ultimately responded by posting a selfie on Facebook along with her recollection of the incident, topped of by a casual description of herself as a “black white woman.”
Full Story @ http://remezcla.com/culture/head-wrap-cultural-appropriation-brazil/
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