op-ed: são paulo’s natural hair march encourages black brazilians to be proud of themselves

August 3, 2016

São Paulo is going to receive its second Natural Hair Pride March (2° Marcha do Orgulho Crespo) next weekend (Aug 7th), in a moment of growing pride between black people for their aesthetics. The first march, happened in 2015, was very shocking for everyone, including for the black community, because it’s not so common to see black people growing their hair and showing pride for their blackness in Brazil. The event took place in Paulista Ave, the heart of the white economic power in Latin America.

By Robin Batista*, AFROPUNK contributor

“I’ll show my students that their teacher is a black woman who embraces her natural hair texture” – Maria do Carmo, teacher.

The shock caused by the first march made evident that the association of blackness to negative values is a social and political tool to maintain black people stuck in a certain position of depreciation and servitude to the imposed white patterns. The march was a combination of struggle, relief and healing. You could easily see people singing, marching, but also hugging each other and crying of happiness. That was the first time for a lot of those young people that they saw their equals being glad and proud of their blackness, and that became a first exemple for lots of them of how they could find beauty in their natural hair and skin.

Vídeo of the first natural Hair Pride March, in São Paulo:

Organized by the collective Hot Pente and the blog Das Cabeludas – Crespas e Cacheadas, this years meeting has a focus on the empowerment of black women, as tell us Neomisia Silvestre, Hot Pente member: “The march aims to enhance the black identity and ancestry, representativeness, self-esteem, free expression of the natural hair and the empowerment of black women in society in all its forms and spaces.”

São Paulo’s meeting event on Facebook


After being spread for lots of places in Brazil, the march gets to the US. Detroit’s Natural Hair Empowerment movement invites everybody to celebrate the natural roots of African/African Americans in the City of Detroit and Metro Detroit next August 20th. The march will take place at Kirby and 3rd Ave.

Detroit’s meeting event on Facebook

Photo: Larissa Isis and Jornalistas Livres

*Robin Batista is a Brazilian designer and AFROPUNK’s contributor. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram