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Brazilian boy reinvents classic French tale "The Little Prince"

Levi Asaf, the main actor playing in "The Little Prince" production in Brazil   -  
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Brazil

A ground-breaking new stage production of French author Antoine de Saint-Exupery's "The Little Prince" features a boy with an afro.

The musical, which opened in September in Sao Paulo, is the first production of "The Little Prince" in Brazil to cast a black actor in the title role.

"I find it super cool [to be a black actor playing the Little Prince] because I am representing black people. I've heard the sad story of black people who used to be enslaved, and that made me sad. But now, people must respect my crown!", beamed Levi Asaf, main actor playing in "The Little Prince".

The main character in "The Little Prince" has golden hair; for members of the audience, seeing a black actor playing the main role in a classic play is very important.

"If you watch old movies, or even more recent ones, you'll see that there are not many black people in them, maybe just one or two. Now, for a nine year-old boy to play the leading part of such a classic tale… It's very important, you know?", said student Alex Imoto Mendes.

"I think that many children identified themselves [with Levi's Little Prince portrayal, Ed.], I saw a lot of kids with sparkles in their eyes, and that's very important, because it's something we didn't have a while ago, when I was a child", admitted procurement manager, Naira Ribeiro.

The actor's career started in 2018 when he was six years-old. Since then he has done modelling, some commercials and a Netflix film. But even at this young age, racism remains a challenge.

"[About having experienced racism, Ed.] At my school they used to say that my hair was messy, steel wool, but I didn't care. Now, look where I'm at with that messy hair", said the actor. 

Brazil, a country of 215 million people, abolished slavery in 1888, the last country in the Americas to do so.

More than half of the population is black or mixed-race.

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