A common saying yes, but there is so much truth to it. Effectively, power comes with wealth and the richest in our society have key influence over the way the world is run. For the first time in history, it seems, we have reached a point where that power is being challenged.
In a recent 2-part live stream, Where Do We Go From Here hosted by Oprah Winfrey, Hannah Jones commented that Black wealth has been “stagnant for 70 years” even though the number of Black people going into further education is increasing. Why is this the case? Simply put, Black people are less likely to get hired for jobs even when they are qualified and Black brands and businesses find it more difficult to start up and succeed in their chosen markets. A glaring and potentially surprising example of this is the black hair product market.
If you’re part of the natural hair community, you’ll likely have that Creme of Nature Honey Deep Conditioner and potentially the Cantu Leave-In Conditioning Cream sitting on a shelf somewhere. Maybe if you’re one of the ‘O.G’s’ you have the reliable Doo Grow Oil bottle right in the back somewhere.
I hate to break it to you but, whilst catering almost exclusively to Black women, these businesses are not Black-owned. Popular and well-known companies like Carols Daughter, Shea Moisture, Cantu, Dark & Lovely are not owned by black-people. I repeat. They are NOT owned by Black people.
Whilst you gather yourself let us ponder this, the fact that some of the most popular “Black hair” brands aren’t owned by the very people they are marketed toward could go toward helping explain, in part, why Black wealth is surprisingly low. In a relatively small area, like Black hair care, we are still supporting white-owned brands. Yes, sometimes, without knowing it. But it is a fact.
Of course it doesn’t end with hair: your favourite seasoning (Dunns River) or snack (Indomie)
Point made! Let’s get back to our crowns, if we all make the small change to Black-owned products; they stand a chance at competing against the larger brands.
Here are a few:
The buck doesn’t stop with hair care. If you take a second to look into skincare, clothing, accessories & jewellery, food & drink, even coffee; you will find so many small Black-owned businesses. Do your Googles, make the change. Your small switch can and will make a difference to them and the factors surrounding Black wealth.