Ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, I have decided to talk about Brazilians of African descent who have influenced their country in some way or fashion. I know this is rare, in a country where the plight of the Blacks is still very dire. Today, we will talk about Marina Silva.
If you were watching the Brazilian elections, you probably saw that it saw the election of the first woman president of Brazil Dilma Rousseff. Most importantly, the 2010 Brazilian presidential election not only saw a woman winning the election, but also a woman deciding the turn of the elections. I am talking about Marina Silva, a Black Brazilian from humble beginnings, who came from a family of rubber tappers, and only learned to read and write at the age of 16, and later became a senator, and then a minister in Brazil under President Lula. Hers is a story like none other! A beautiful story! A story of hardship and overcoming those hardships. Imagine that: a Black woman (in a country where Blacks almost have no say) who was once a maid, and lived by tapping rubber on plantations could become a senator, then a minister under president Lula, and then a presidential candidate, and more the balance maker of the 2010 Brazilian elections! Wow! Wow! Wow! Who said women had no voice? Who said Blacks had no say?
Marina Silva grew up in Rio Branco the western province of Acre in Brazil in the Amazon rainforest. Silva helped create Acre’s first workers’ union, and led demonstrations with Chico Mendes to warn against deforestation and the outplacement of forest communities from their traditional locations. She has become an activist, a senator and a minister, entirely dedicated to securing the largest and richest ecosystem on earth: the Amazon rainforest. Her efforts, courage, and achievements are without comparison.
Hers was the defining moment of the 2010 Brazilian elections! Enjoy Marina Silva TEDX’s speech titled “Everyone can do it!” and feel the need to rise and unleash your inner genius!