Not only is the George Floyd killing and subsequent global solidarity protests his death sparked drawing newfound attention to systematic brutality in police forces across the United States, it is also causing a lot of businesses, organizations, insitutions and individuals to announce their commitment to dismantling racism and elevating and making a place at the table for black workers, entrepreneurs, creatives, bloggers and friends.
Since the Black Lives Matter movement has taken off, I’ve seen a lot of brands, media, PR companies, corporations, schools, insittions, research houses and more begin to purposefully reach out to black journalists and bloggers that pitched to them before, hire black companies, partner more with black startups, engage with HBCUs and in some cases just giving blacks money.
I believe part of the reason that these entities and people are being pro active is that they are being called out for hopping onto the Blackout Tuesday bandwagon of blacking out their social media profile pages for the day out of solidarity to the community that is asking for help while at the same time having a recent and traditional history of
- Not having any black people in leadership roles within their company
- Not hiring black people in any role
- Not making a concerted effort to recruit black people to speak at their conferences
- Actualy having a history of being hostile to black co-workers, staff, partners in the past and more.
We are witnessing the hypocrisy of putting on a good face for PR purposes, and presenting a false message. Now they have to honor their pledges, at least until the momentum passes and the general public isn’t watching their every move and seeing if they are putting action behind their words.
I am am noticing that black owned businesses owners are finding sales of their products going though the roof. I am a member of quite a few Facebook groups with black entrepreneuers and many are reporting that they are getting opportunties they’ve been denied before and that people who previously said no to a pitch are coming back to say yes.
Call it guilt for years and decades of neglect, marginalizing the black community, silencing or negligiently excluding black voices. Whatever. I’ll take it.
And because this is a hair braiding blog, I was quite excited to see Tiffani Nicole Hunt of Beauty Boss and Tiffani.net update a graphic of black-owned beauty companies that I’ve headed this blog post with because I want to be part of the movement to get people paid.
Traditionally, black pain, angst, culture and creativity have been coopted, commoditized and exploited by non-blacks, and I’ve seen it a lot in the flood of Black-centric t-shirts that have flooded my Facebook stream. I and others are calling them out and making sure all those who comment are aware that the companies targeting us are not black owned. We are experiencing an awakening and will no longer blindly accept being consumers of product manufacturers who not only have no interest in our personal growth, just our dollars, but who also rip off black creatives’ intellectual property and art when they sell t-shirt designs.
It happens in social media culture and more. You do not want to contribute to the dilution of black excellence, expertise and creativeness so I implore you to patronize these above businesses and support Black Businesses.
I will try to update this post with links to the brands in the header later. In the meantime, Stay WOKE!
Jeneba Jalloh Ghatt can be heard nightly at 8pm on DCRadio/WHUR 96.3HD4 on "Coming to America with Wayna and Friends. She is an editor at Techyaya.com, founder of the Digital Publiching Academy and JayJayGhatt.com where she teaches online creators how to navigate digital entrepreneurship and offers Do-It-For-You Blogging Service. She manages her lifestyle sites BellyitchBlog, Jenebaspeaks and JJBraids.com and is the founder of BlackWomenTech.com 200 Black Women in Tech On Twitter. Her biz podcast 10 Minute Podcast is available on iTunes and Player.fm. to Follow her on Twitter at @Jenebaspeaks. Buy her templates over at her legal and business templates on Etsy shop!