Black Faces in White Spaces: Black Women's YouTube Channels in Brazil as Fortalecimento

  • Alida Perrine The University of Texas at Austin
Keywords: racism, sexism, social media, representation, cultural resistance


A large and growing network of black women YouTubers in Brazil mobilize strategies of fortalecimento, a term used by some women to refer to how they prepare themselves to face the barriers created by the gendered racial hierarchy of Brazilian society. In this article, I examine these YouTube channels and the tactics black women use to increase their own visibility, to value black aesthetics, and to denounce racist and sexist acts or representations. Furthermore, I consider the importance of physical spaces, such as production studios, for YouTube success, and how black women negotiate material spaces as well as the video sharing platform to maximize their visibility and encroach on predominantly white spaces of cultural production. Using theories of intersectionality, representation, and subjecthood, I examine how these women use (virtual) communities to re-signify and pluralize black womanhood in Brazil.