Sarah Ohmer


In this article, I will focus on two influential writers from the south of Brazil, Cristiane Sobral who currently lives in Brasília, from Rio de Janeiro, and Conceição Evaristo who currently lives in Rio de Janeiro state, from Minas Gerais. I got to know them in São Paulo in 2015 at a public event: the “Afroétnica Flink! Sampa Festival of Black Thought, Literature and Culture.” I will include references to some of their younger contemporaries such as Raquel Almeida, Jenyffer Nascimento, and Elizandra Souza, all of whom reside in São Paulo, in order to illustrate the Black Brazilian women writers’ resistance in the face of silencing of their spiritual, political and literary movement. Witnessing the obstacles that the two authors faced at a public event that honored their foremother Carolina Maria de Jesus, a Black Brazilian Female writer, and seeing how Sobral and Evaristo overcame those challenges, helps to grasp the context in which their younger contemporaries Raquel Almeida, Jenyffer Nascimento, and Elizandra Souza, are coming of age as adult women writers. This article offers an auto-ethnographic rendering of the “Flink!Sampa” Festival, where the two prominent writers Cristiane Sobral and Conceição Evaristo were visibly marginalized, as well as a close reading of poetry by Raquel Almeida. A close reading of poetry by Raquel Almeida dedicates space to the stark reality of violence against Black women as it pervades the Brazilian life, and is an integral part of Black women’s poetry, calling out the violence that shapes the multi-layered oppression and silencing of Black women. Throughout the article I will point out the poetic, political, and spiritual prowess that inspires, guides, and gracefully dictates how to overcome institutional oppressions in Brazil and other parts of the world where women of African descent have to struggle to live, to make money, and to write.

Author Biography

Sarah Ohmer is Assistant Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies, African American Studies, Women's Studies at Lehman College and Women's Studies Quarterly journal board member. Her research focuses on the intersection of gender, race, class and trauma in Black Women’s Literature from Cuba, Brazil, US. She is a past recipient of Fulbright, CUNY Graduate Center for Politics, Culture and Place, FLAS, and internal fellowships at University of Pittsburgh, University of Indianapolis, and CUNY. Professor Ohmer has published articles in the Zora Neale Hurston Forum, Confluencia, and InterFACES all available for download on CUNY Academic Works. https://academicworks.cuny.edu/do/search/?q=author_lname%3A%22Ohmer%22%20author_fname%3A%22Sarah%22&start=0&context=5800691&facet