Thousands of Brazilians who won elections as Black candidates in 2020 previously ran for office as white by Andrew Janusz for the Conversation, 1/10/21
Photo Credit: Lula Marques/Agência PT
Some politicians who now identify as Afro‐ Brazilian reject the notion, claiming they are just finally acknowledging their Blackness. In a country where Blackness was historically stigmatized, Brazilians have been known to identify as members of lighter racial categories when possible. For example, Moema Gramacho, the mayor of the northeastern town of Lauro de Freitas, claimed she wanted to “recover (her) identity” by changing her race from mixed-race in 2016 to Black in 2020. “It was a matter of self-affirmation,” she told Folha de São Paulo newspaper.
Brazilians were outraged when they learned that so many veteran politicians had decided to identify as Black. Black voters are left questioning whether the lawmakers actually understand their experience as a marginalized majority ‐ and represent their needs in the halls of power.
Vice President of Costa Rica Invites Kamala Harris to Join in Supporting Human Rights by the Costa Rica News, 1/24/21
Photo Credit: Costa Rica News
Campbell points out in her letter to Harris that, for the first time in history, the continent has in them two black female vice presidents elected by popular vote. “As Vice President of the Republic of Costa Rica and as a black woman I have joined the celebration of Afro-descendant peoples and communities around the world, who appropriate this achievement as an example to advance on the path of equality,” said Campbell about Harris's election.
The Costa Rican vice president affirmed that the election of Harris means “a historic moment that opens the possibility for millions of girls and women to dream without limits and with the absolute certainty that they can go as far as they imagine.”
In the letter, Campbell explained that like Harris, she descends from “brave women and men who for centuries have clamored for the recognition of their rights, from immigrants who transformed obstacles into opportunities and whose work was and continues to be vital for development of our continent”.
Fab 5, Flourgon to Perform at Kamala Harris' Virtual Inauguration Party by Global Voices, 1/3/2021
He added that it was an incredible feeling to be considered and then “to be asked to perform for the soon-to-be vice-president of the US is a big thing and we look forward to it,” said Campbell.
The virtual inauguration party is planned for just a few days before the swearing‐in of US President-elect Joe Biden on January 20. The theme of Harris' inauguration party is “ Celebrating Caribbean American Kamala.”
Other representatives from the Caribbean include Barbados' soca star, Edwin Yearwood, Guyanese Menes De Griot, and Shanto and Vincentian Frankie McIntosh. Trina Parks, the first black woman in a James Bond movie, will co-host the event. She also has a Caribbean heritage as her mother is from Barbados, and her grandparents hail from Antigua.
You can catch the live stream from 7:00 pm on January 17 on the Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts of One Caribbean Television (OCTV).
What you need to know about the new COVID‐19 variants by David Kennedy for the Conversation, 1/17/21
The data suggests that both of these variants are more transmissible. Most of the data that’s available is for the U.K. variant in particular. It’s still not clear exactly how much more transmissible it is, but current estimates are that it’s somewhere between 30% and 80% more transmissible than the original strains that were out there. How did scientists arrive at those numbers? When spikes in cases in the U.K. raised concerns, they sequenced the virus from the cases during the spikes. They saw that there was this novel variant. They looked at the frequency of this variant farther back in time and saw that it was increasing in frequency over time. So it went from being very rare to very common. And based on the rate of increase, they estimate that it was around 70% or so more transmissible than the original virus.
The second way they determined it was more transmissible is through something called the “ secondary attack rate.” What they do is, if they know that somebody is infected, they can look and see how many of their contacts got infected. And so they can do that for people who are infected with the original strain of the virus, and they can do that for people who are infected with this novel variant. What they saw was that people who had this novel variant were more likely to infect their contacts, and that increase was about 30% to 40%. So that means that this novel variant is more likely to get passed on to other individuals.
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