Black Business In São Paulo
In 2013, I had the pleasure of living in São Paulo. I lived with a working-class, black Brazilian family in the South Zone of the city. Unlike most cities and towns in the states, Brazilians still frequent mom and pop shops in their local neighborhood; I noticed no matter where I was, most of the store owners were white or lighter skinned Brazilians. Despite what you may hear or think, Brazilians are very aware of who is black and who is white. The concept of a racial democracy is simply a myth. I was perturbed by this observation and asked a Brazilian friend about it.
My amigo agreed with me about the lack of black entrepreneurship in Brazil, but he informed me that there were more black Brazilian businesses than ever before. I was intrigued; he told me a bit about Feira Preta.
Feira Preta, or black fair, is a Black Expo held annually in São Paulo. Every December, Feira Preta showcases black Brazilian businesses that sell everything from hair products to toys to clothing. Black Brazilian entrepreneurs from all over the country travel to São Paulo to attend the event. If you want to know the hottest trends in black Brazilian culture, then this is the place you want to be at. There are also business workshops, seminars, cultural activities and musical performances.
Until recently, black Brazilians have been ignored in the economy. However, the rise of the Black middle-class and their spending power have forced companies to create more products that target their wants and needs. With the 2nd largest black population behind Nigeria, there is no doubt that black Brazilians are a market that should not be disregarded.
Check out this video of the Feira Preta 2014