If you happen to catch the latest Mastercard commercial with a nod to Marvel's Black Panther: Wakanda Forever be sure to pay close attention to the real superhero because she may look familiar.

Featured in the latest ad is Flint's own Egypt Otis, owner of Comma Bookstore & Social Hub. The new commercial spotlights her business through their Strivers Initiative. The Strivers Initiative is a consumer-facing platform, that elevates the visibility of Black female business owners overcoming obstacles to maintain and grow their businesses, as role models for the community and future generations. It launched in 2021 and includes a grant program in partnership with Fearless Fund, a VC fund built by women of color for women of color.

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 Mastercard announced its collaboration with Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, set to open in theaters November 11, to spotlight "Black excellence and the irrepressible strength of Black women – both on and off the screen". 

In the commercial, which was filmed at Comma in Flint, a young child is shown walking into the bookstore, and Otis standing there smiling at her. The narrator says “Superheroes are everywhere. In our movies, communities, and running our small businesses.” The young girl realizes through her imagination and interaction with Egypt that superheroes are all around us, igniting excitement for the film, her ambition for the future, and the belief that she herself has that same potential.

Otis has also recently appeared on The Jennifer Hudson Show as part of the Strivers Initiative and received $25,000 for her bookstore as part of the Mastercard Strivers Initiative. She finds the entire experience, especially the commercial depicting herself as a superhero incredible saying,

“To serve as the face of possibility for aspiring Black women and young girls makes me feel like a superhero of sorts – just for living my truth,” said Otis. “Mastercard’s Strivers Initiative has provided me the resources and platform to help my business thrive and further empower our community, which to me is truly priceless.”

You can visit Comma Bookstore & Social Hub, which is the only Black-woman-owned bookstore in Flint,  at 132 W. 2nd St. in downtown Flint.


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