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Black Guy in Orange Suit refers to an exploitable image macro of an African man in a fancy orange suit that was captioned in object-labeling memes starting in 2016. The photo originally comes from a documentary called, The Congolese Dandies, directed by Russia Today (RT) and released in late 2015. Many meme creators humorously referenced the man as an advanced video game skin or a representation of a stereotypical villain noting his juxtaposition with the surrounding environment in the image.
On November 13th, 2015, the Russian media company RT released a documentary titled, The Congo Dandies: Living in Poverty and Spending a Fortune to Look Like a Million Dollars, to its website. In the movie, RT traveled to Brazzaville, the Republic of Congo's capital, and met some Congo "dandies," a term for men who have a passion for high fashion. The men highlighted were reportedly willing to spend thousands of dollars on pairs of branded shoes and clothes while their means to acquire such amounts of cash was dubious. According to the documentary, at the cost of their loved ones, they paid to look perfect.
At one point in the movie, there is a man featured wearing a fancy orange suit, being one of the Congo dandies in a Brazzaville marketplace. The movie included multiple stills that featured him, like one of him walking forward down a street past a woman and her child (typically used in the meme format), as well as one where he is standing and talking with another dandie (both shown below).
Additionally, the full-length documentary was uploaded to YouTube by the channel Alan Pablo on December 31st, 2017. At the 4:25-minute mark in the movie, the man in the orange suit made his first appearance (shown below).
At first, memes using the image of the black man in an orange suit surfaced in Russia, given that the documentary was produced there. On June 7th, 2016, a meme creator posted the first known meme using the image within a Rulez imageboard. Translated to English, it roughly reads, "When you bought some top drip in your shithole of a town" (shown below).
Starting in 2019, the man in the orange suit started to be used en masse within memes. On May 25th, 2019, Imgur user SenkiAlfonz made a meme that used the image, receiving roughly 3,900 upvotes over the course of three years (shown below, left). The aforementioned meme made a joke about having to go back to a beginner stage to help a friend. On July 9th, 2019, Imgur user TheJewishVikingReturnsAgain captioned the photo with, "Anime Character: We need to find the villain, it could be anyone / Villain:" earning roughly 1,900 upvotes in three years (shown below, right).
Memes using the image trended going into the following years, mostly being shared on Reddit. Overall, memes that used the image centered on situations of being wealthy despite poor surroundings or circumstances.
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