As we celebrate Black History Month, we want to take this opportunity to recognize and celebrate how Afro-Brazilians have played a major role in shaping the culture we love so much.
These contributions range from the creation of capoeira (a 16th century Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music) to the popularity of samba (a combination of Portuguese, Amerindians, and African music), and not to mention groundbreaking legends including Seu Jorge, Benedita da Silva, Nene, Zezé Motta — and so many others who have broken racial barriers.
Rio Carnival, one of the largest celebrations in the world also incorporates several Afro-Brasileiro cultural influences including dance, music, and of course, cuisine like feijoada (a black bean and pork stew) or vatapá (bread, shrimp, coconut milk, palm oil, and white rice).
According to a 2010 study, 7.6% of the Brazilian population (roughly 15 million people), identified as preto, meaning they have partial or full African heritage — while 43% (86 million) identified as pardo or multiracial. Currently, the largest percentage of Brazilians who identify as Black reside in Salvador, Bahia, followed by Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. However, Brazil isn’t without controversy, it was the last country to abolish the slave trade in 1888 according to CNN, and like the U.S., continues to struggle with issues around racial inequality and colorism.
As a brand founded on the principle of Body Joy, diversity and inclusivity are at the core of Sol de Janeiro. To us, Brazil is magic, and as one of the most diverse countries in the world, diversity is at the very essence of what is beautiful. Internally, in June 2020, we took a diversity pledge and wanted to keep our extended SOL family updated on our progress. As of December 2021, our full-time employee diversity profile is as follows:
Currently, 6% of our management team with direct reports and 7% of our executive leadership team are Black.
As a company, we recognize that we must do even more to ensure that Sol de Janeiro continues to bring all the voices of our community to the table — from Brazil and beyond.
Happy Black History Month SOL Family!
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