Black Awareness: the diversity desired for Brazil and the World

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November is the Black Awareness month and the celebrations in this period reinforce even more the need for talking about racism. The history of anti-racism fight in Brazil and the worldwide are important so that everyone can understand the present and thus shape the future. After all, it is still very evident that racism is embedded in the social, political and economic structure of our society.

A frequent example of this in daily life is Structural Racism, a set of institutional, historical and cultural practices that puts an ethnic group in precarious conditions, reinforcing racial prejudice. Phrases and expressions embedded with racist tone are often used, and reinforce this prejudice, such as: things are black", “This will denigrate my image", “She has the color of sin", among others. One way to adopt anti-racist behavior is to realize that there are countless "masked" expressions that reflect racism and must be eliminated from our vocabulary.


“White envy"

"White envy" means that it is something good, attaching positivity to the white color. But, when we say this, the connection with “black" and negative behaviors is reinforced.  Just use: envy.

“Things are black".

This expression connects the word “black" as a uncomfortable, annoying, difficult or dangerous situation. Just say:  Things are though.

“She has the color of the sin".

Used inappropriately as a compliment, it is associated with the imaginary of the sensualized black woman. In a religion-based society, being a sinner is not positive, being a sinner is wrong, and having skin associated with sin means that she is bad. One more expression that produces the same association that black = negative.


Used to describe people who, for any negative reason, is excluded from certain groups, or even that a person is being hunted. Once again, the word “black" is used as something negative. Say: forbidden/restricted list.

“Black Market"

Widely used to refer to a underground, illegal buying and selling system. Use: illegal market.


The antiracist struggle is a daily struggle and the debate on the subject is important not only on the date of the Black Awareness (11/20), on the National Day to Combat Racial Discrimination (07/03) or on other commemorative dates, but at all times.

In this context, Neoenergia Group produced the podcast "The Diversity We Want" to promote reflection on racist discrimination and encourage behavior changes for a world with more respect and equality. Among the topics covered: structural racism, racist expressions and various biases that are still reproduced.

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