Shopping. The favorite pastime of many of us. I know I enjoy a good stroll around the mall. The smell of new shoes, the feel of a new hand bag, the scent of my favorite fragrance, sigh…. (I digress)
So many thoughts run through my mind when I make any purchase, whether it be something to wear or something to eat. However, I can honestly say that I never question if my favorite products are “Black owned”- is the money I’m spending going back into my community or simply “Black endorsed” – catering to the Black consumer yet our community gains no return. In doing some research I was quite surprised at the number of “Black” products that aren’t owned by Blacks at all.
Black Entertainment Television! Black is in the name then certainly it’s black owned? No, no it’s not.The network was founded by an African American, Robert Johnson, in the 1980’s but in 2002, BET was sold to Viacom, which also owns MTV and VH1. Johnson became the first Black Billionaire with the sale.
Essence Magazine: The publication that was once the second largest black publication hasn’t been black owned since the remaining minority stake in Essence Communications Inc. was sold to Time Inc. in 2005. The corporation originally purchased 49 percent of the popular African American publication in 2000, leaving the style bible in the hands of a man more partial to Brooks Brothers than Carol’s Daughter.
Speaking of Carol’s Daughter, in 2014 the once African American owned company, founded by Lisa Price, was sold to L’Oreal. According to L’Oreal, Price will remain the creative visionary and spokesperson for the brand.
My whole life has been a LIE (insert shocked emoji face here)…
So, instead of just telling you what businesses are not Black owned, here are a few that ARE Black
Alikay Naturals, founded by Youtube Natural hair Guru, Rochelle Graham, The brand offers more than 60 products focusing on Natural Hair Care, Skin Care and Bath & Body and can be found in Sally’s beauty supply stores and some Target stores!
For your magazine subscription needs check out Black Enterprise Magazine which was founded by Earl G. Graves, Sr. and is still owned and controlled by the Graves Family.
And of course, we can’t forget the Queen of T.V. Ms. Oprah Winfrey and The OWN network! Black owned, great shows (have you seen “The Have’s and Have Not’s”).
It’s time to support Black Owned Business, not just business that cater to black people. So instead of just asking myself “do I look fat in this?” I will be more conscious about asking “Will my community benefit from me buying this, watching this, reading this?”
I would be misleading you were I to say that everything I purchase will be from Black owned businesses; Shoot, I can’t! There aren’t enough out there!!! Imma need more Black owned businesses available in my area!!! Whew…I’m back. Hee Hee, I make the decision to support Black business, to support my community and to “be the change I want to see”.
We will discuss that further.
Until next time.