“Black women don’t sell”: Black entrepreneurs share their experiences in a round table

Empreendedores contam suas experiências em mesa-redonda

Note from BW of Brazil: In my ongoing analysis of the situation of Afro-Brazilians, I can confirm that there are and have always been a number of excuses that people and businesses use to excuse their treatment of this parcel of the population. When the topic is media and advertising, for example, black activists have long challenged these industries in relation to the low numbers of blacks presented TV and film productions, magazine covers, commercials, and ad campaigns. When these industries are challenged, that’s when the excuses start. “White women won’t buy a product if the girl in the ad is black“, they say. If there aren’t enough whites in a movie, a film production is at risk of becoming a ghetto, they say. For these and other reasons, it’s a must that black Brazilians, both as entrepreneurs and consumers, must begin to support their own and understanding the power of their purchases. If both sides begin to respect each other there won’t be a necessity of always needing acceptance from certain sectors of society that don’t and will never accept the black presence on equal footing. We have been seeing this slow awakening in movements such as Black Money and the rising awareness of the black consumer. It’s not a solution that’s going to happen overnight, but it’s necessary to take this dialogue and information to everyday people and with the existence of video platforms such as YouTube and the spreading of information through social networks, seminars of experiences of black entrepreneurs such as the one below can continue this process of economic education and empowerment. 

Black entrepreneurs share their experiences in a round table

Courtesy of Correio 24 Horas

“Afroinovação” (Afro-innovation) event was held at Salvador, Bahia airport, last Monday (26)

When she was in the process of learning her craft, the makeup artist Maili Santos, creator of Studio Móvel, a makeup business for black women, found it difficult to find tutorials for dark-skinned women. When she came across a room full of models with white skin and light-colored eyes during a course, she heard from the teacher that “mulher preta não vende” (the black woman doesn’t sell). Outraged, she left the room determined to make up not the models, but her sisters. This was the first step for her business.

Just as the search for representation motivated Maili, there are other similar cases of success in Salvador. Entrepreneurs Najara Black of the N Black brand, Jacqueline Bastos of Abebê Cosmeticos Artesanais, and Cecília Cadile, one of the members of the Instituto Matamba, also saw entrepreneurship targeted at the African-descent public as an outlet for survival. They shared their experiences at the roundtable “Empreendedorismo Afro e Economia Criativa” (Afro-Entrepreneurship and Creative Economy) on Monday, November 26th during the “Afroinovação” (Afro-innovation) event, an initiative to stimulate new business and celebrate the month of mês da Consciência Negra (Month of Black Consciousness) at the airport in Salvador, Bahia.

It was precisely to give visibility to the creative production made by afrodescendentes (African descendants) that Correio (website/newspaper) has been putting on the black fashion event Afro Fashion Day for four years. The event had its 4th edition held on Saturday (24), at the Museu Du Ritmo. The initiative was presented by the chief editor of the vehicle, Linda Bezerra, who revealed that the event is based on pillars such as Legado Social, Representatividade e Expressão Regional.

“The economy of the future is one that is good for everyone: for those who are promoting, for those who are consuming and for those who are supporting”, said Bezerra, commenting on the contemporaneity of the event.

The roundtable also had the participation of the intellectual and university professor Hélio Santos, director of institutional relations of the Vale do Dendê, partner of the Salvador Airport during the event. He stressed the importance of supporting initiatives in the area. “I think the creative economy, which is what this city breathes, needs to be better engineered, in the sense if taking advantage of talents. Salvador is a talent exporter,” he said, noting that the majority of the population is black.

Awareness-raising

Afroinovação is part of a series of events promoted by the Salvador Airport in partnership with Vale do Dendê in commemoration of Mês da Consciência Negra. In addition to the roundtable, a talk-show on ethnic tourism also took place.

Still part of the celebrations, the exhibition “Adereços e Luxos do Axé” by the photographer Genilson Coutinho is on display at the airport. The show, which is in the check-in area and in front of domestic boarding, reveals the beauty, charm and syncretism that fascinate Bahians and tourists. Visitation is free.

Salvador Airport CEO Julio Ribas spoke about the importance of promoting debates on the ethnic-racial issue: “Like Martin Luther King, they are people who spread ideas and change the world.”

Source: Correio 24 Horas

About Marques Travae 2897 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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