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

Brazil, Race

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

Costa Rica, Epsy Campbell

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”.

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