This Brazilian Carnival Queen Was ‘De-Crowned’ For Being ‘Too Black’

Carnival is arguably the biggest event that takes place in Brazil. Every year people pour in from around the world to be a part of the colors, the costumes, the dancing, and the celebration. For Brazil it’s more than just a party, it’s a huge part of their culture.

What’s also a big part of Brazil’s culture is a deep struggle with colorism and racism among darker skinned Afro-Latinos in the country.

When Nayara Justino was named as the Globeleza carnival queen in 2013 people thought maybe it signaled a change in pace for race relations in Brazil. The Globeleza carnival queen is a coveted title in Brazil, that’s usually given to fair skinned women who would be considered Mulatto. Justino, however is visibly identified as Black.

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After making it to the top 10 finals, Justino competed for the title, and after a public vote on Brazil’s largest television network she was crowned as the carnival queen.

Less than a week after she was crowned, Justino began to receive massive amounts of threats through social media and the alike. People were claiming that she was too dark to have the title of carnival queen and were leaving comments like “this type of woman should be working for me in my kitchen.”

The racist comments weren’t just coming from White or light complexioned Brazilians, a majority of the racism  Justino was receiving were from Black and dark skinned Brazilians, condemning her skin color.

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Soon after all the backlash Globeleza told Justino that she would no longer be their carnival queen and gave no explanation. They then nominated a new fair skinned woman to replace Justino with no public vote.

The Gaurdian caught up with Justino, her boyfriend, and her family to find out more about what happened and what she’s doing now.

Check out the video below. 

Ariel Leconte

Ariel Leconte

Ariel is the Associate Editor of Jawbreaker and creator of Revolutionary In Pink Pumps blog. She is equally obsessed with social justice, lipstick, culture, and red wine.