Brazil / 2015
Written in Portuguese, this groundbreaking book's title translates to When I Discovered I Was Black. In a series of essays, Bianca Santana explores the racism faced by afro-brasileiras (black Brazilian women). Santana talks hair straightening, police brutality and the still-popular maid culture that afro-brasileiras endure today. In 2014, I spent 8 months in Brazil. I passed most of that time in Salvador—a city that's at least 80% black. I was extremely alarmed by their brutal police force. I was shocked by the "norm" of most white families having black maids and/or nannies. It was overall a very eye-opening experience. Chilling, even. If you care to learn more about these topics (as this book isn't in English), then I'd recommend visiting the Black Women of Brazil website. It's a site dedicated to the struggles of Black Brazilian women. Most articles are in English.