The self-sufficiency exhibited in “Black Panther’s” Wakanda has inspired thousands of Afro-Brazilians to look to their own for economic and entrepreneurial support.
As a nation of over 100 million Black and brown people, Brazil stands as one of the top five international markets for the blockbuster film, which has already raked in almost $1 billion worldwide, according to Quartz Africa. Cue the birth of the “Black money” movement.
Afro-Brazilians have organized all–Black screenings of the film in cities nationwide, such as a group in São Paulo whose private showing featured marketing for Black-owned businesses rather than previews for upcoming films. Meanwhile, in Rio de Janiero, Black Brazilians held what is called “rolezinhos” at shopping malls usually reserved for the white elite as a way to protest racial exclusion.
The film’s success has since sparked a movement representing the idea that Afro-Brazilians can use their funds to support Black businesses, an idea that’s gaining steam and has even crossed into the mainstream media.
“For us, the success of ‘Black Panther’ was a grand example of how much we have to consume and it also showed the potential of how we can consume products that are related to our representation, products that will respect our culture,” Rodrigo França, an actor who organized the all-Black viewing in Rio, told Quartz Africa. “If we stop buying from racist companies and companies that do not engage in diversity, those companies will not survive.”
The idea of Afro Brazilians pooling their money to support something that’s Black or Black-owned isn’t as common but the tides are changing.
” … We don’t have this culture for money to leave black hands and go directly into another black person’s hands,” França added. “Due to the myth of the racial democracy, some Black people think it doesn’t matter if they support Black products.”
Black Brazilians hold both economic and entrepreneurial potential, as Black folks comprise the majority of business owners in Brazil. Most are one-person businesses, however, as Black people have historically been shut out from building wealth via large-scale entrepreneurship simply because they lack the capital and access to funds to do so, Quartz Africa reported. The Black money movement is now hoping to change that.
“The entrance of a film like Black Panther created a positive space where people could start to think positively about Black money,” said Daise Rosas Natividade, founder of Black Pages Brazil. Thanks to the film, she said, a conversation about Black money and economic power are now at the forefront.