Getty Images

Brazilians Are Occupying White Spaces During 'Black Panther' Reign

Many have debated the claim that Black Panther is making any waves for its black audience, whether politically or socially. The argument is that a single film with a crew 90 percent black won’t change any conditions or necessarily mobilize a people. Many say the representation is still limited, which is true. Nevertheless, we would be remiss to dismiss the power behind strong and dignified black imagery.

Take Brazil for instance, where a myriad of protests have risen, proving that the movie is no ground for complacency. It lends, instead, to a global resurgence of black unity. The film is not an embodiment of general change, but of change we can start with.

After the release of the reasonably decorated film, black Brazilians have assembled, traveling hours outside of favelas or working-class neighborhoods to protest their exclusion from "elite" venues and defy their cloak of invisibility through participation in the rolezinho pretoi or “black stroll.”

On Monday (Feb. 19), the Coletivo Preto (Black Collective) and Grupo Emú began occupying predominately white spaces – such as malls where the upper-class visit – to continue their escape from the segregation and rampant impoverishment that surrounds them, though never stated overtly.

The group started at Shopping Leblon, one of Rio de Janeiro’s most luxurious malls. They simply came together and decided to see the movie — all black, all together. As a people, their presence posed a threat to the “safety” of shoppers and fellow movie-goers. The group dressed in traditional African garb, accompanied by accessories such as kofias, headwraps and the oft-threatening afro.

In addition to presence, the protests call for representation in media. A national cinema agency, Ancine found that only seven percent of professionals in the field of entertainment are black when the majority of Brazilians have African ancestry, The Intercept reports.

The protest is much larger than a response to Black Panther’s representation. It also stands as a response to the attempts to stop young black boys and men from visiting beaches in wealthy neighborhoods back in 2015, with earlier protests turned violent as motivators, too. The fear of the "invasion" has caused white elites and their businesses to close malls and call on law enforcement agents, who have resorted to breaking up the groups with tear gas and rubber bullets, according to The Intercept.

Organizers, however, will continue to work for their people, as no motion for civil rights has ever been easy. They’re pushing for blackness in film and elsewhere in media to become the norm.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Getty Images

Lizzo Will Appear In 'Hustlers' Alongside Cardi B And Jennifer Lopez

Lizzo continues to make waves as a musician, instrumentalist, body-positivity icon and booty-shaker extraordinaire. The artist– whose major-label debut Cuz I Love You is receiving praise from listeners and critics alike– will have a chance to put her twerking skills to the test.

According to reports, the Minnesota transplant is set to join the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B and Keke Palmer in the already-stacked lineup for the upcoming film, Hustlers. Deadline reports that this is Lizzo’s first live-action film, and her second film overall. She’ll be voicing a character in the upcoming animated musical film, Uglydolls.

Hustlers, which is set to be released by September 2019, is inspired by an article published in New York Magazine in 2016, which “follows a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.”

Additional actresses set to appear in the film include Fresh Off The Boat’s Constance Wu, Riverdale’s Lili Reinhart, Julia Stiles, Transparent’s Trace Lysette, Mercedes Ruehl, dancer Mette Towley and Orange Is The New Black’s Madeline Brewer.

Continue Reading

Lee Daniels Details 'Empire' Cast's Feelings About Jussie Smollett Case

The cast of Empire is currently in the process of healing in the aftermath of Jussie Smollet's hate crime scandal. In a new interview with Extra, series creator, Lee Daniels detailed how the actors and crew feel about Jussie and the whole debacle.

"The cast is upset," he admitted. "It is a sad time and we are slowly healing."

Daniels did not reveal whether the cast believes Smollett staged his alleged hate crime earlier this year, but he said that he will not judge him. "What I am learning right now is that I can’t judge," he explained. "That that judgment is for that man wearing that black coat with a gavel and God. I can only support him because he is like my son, he is my son, so I am with him. I can only support him and I can only give him compassion."

As previously reported, the actor, who stars as Jamal Lyon on the hit Fox drama, told Chicago police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack on Jan. 29. As the investigation continued, the attention turned to Smollett. He was arrested on Feb. 20, and indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct for making a false report and allegedly staging the incident. Those charges were subsequently dropped, but the city of Chicago is suing the actor for $130,000 for the time spent investigating the matter.

Check out Lee Daniels interview with Extra in the video above.

Continue Reading
Paras Griffin

Police Conducted Welfare Check On Wendy Williams Over Alleged Poisoning

Police reportedly conducted a wellness check on Wendy Williams at her New Jersey home earlier this year after an anonymous caller claimed the TV personality's husband, Kevin Winter was poisoning her, People reports.

The incident reportedly occurred during Williams' television hiatus in Jan. 2019. According to the police report obtained by People, police arrived at Williams' residence shortly after the call was made. Hunter reportedly answered the door, claiming his wife was recovering from an illness.

Authorities noted that Hunter was "hesitant" to let the police inside the house but eventually did. There, they found Williams in bed with a "blanket covering her from neck to toe." Williams told the cops she was recovering from a broken shoulder.

Williams reportedly "became tearful" when they asked if there was any truth to the poisoning allegation, but she ultimately denied that any wrongdoing was taking place. Police said Hunter "then responded saying something to the effect of there had never been any calls to his house regarding domestic violence."

While the couple might not have received calls to the house, there have been rumors of domestic abuse. Many assumed that was one of many reasons why Williams filed for divorce against Hunter earlier this month. Even so, the Williams maintained that she was leaving on good terms.

"I am going through a time of self-reflection and am trying to right some wrongs,” he said a recent episode of her self-titled show. "No matter what the outcome is or what the future holds, we are still The Hunter Family and I will continue to work with and fully support my wife in this business and through any and all obstacles she may face living her new life of sobriety, while I also work on mine."

Continue Reading

Top Stories