It seems like since Black Panther has been in theaters, black people have been demonstrating EVEN more pride in our culture and community. And I couldn’t be happier! It is helping us get down and discover (or rediscover) our African roots and take it to a whole new level. I feel like a proud mother watching all these black-owned brands debut left and right, with our needs in mind.
So as I was doing my own online shopping, I came across a few black brands that were just amazing. I loved reading their stories of what led them to create products that they are so passionate about, not only from a personal level but also thinking about how to help our community. Within me grew a sense of connection seeing black men and women modeling clothing and accessories saying “Stay Woke”, “Melanin Proud”, and “Don’t Touch My Hair” (my personal fave).
These models were ME. All of us, standing firm in our identity and unapologetically making a strong statement. I was hooked! I wanted to buy EVERYTHING. They were culturally relevant, trendy, and the best part is, owned by US and FOR US.
(catch the links for these brands and more at the end of my post!)
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t shy away from other brands, but I believe that it is so important to invest back into our own community. Our own economy! We, even more than ever, have to keep supporting each other as we grow and succeed. I personally feel a sense of pride when I see a black woman out there DOING IT. My Instagram page is dedicated to showcasing that success any way I can and inspiring my followers to root for them as well and spread the word. I can’t say it enough…
WE HAVE TO STICK TOGETHER!
But of course, there is always a yin to the yang. In my excitement of discovering more and more black-owned brands, I came across some that seemed to represent us on the surface, but then were modeled by other races. But that’s not even what irritated me the most. These brands were strictly being worn by white men and women. Imagine a “Stay Nappy & Proud” t-shirt being advertised by a blonde-haired, blue-eyed white woman? ABSURD. I went from irritated to just plain pissed. And it was hard not to think that even the most uniquely black thing we have, our hair, was being exploited by white culture.
Isn’t the merchandise supposed to be for us, by us? To represent our contribution to fashion and culture? Let’s face it, we are an incredible force in fashion and setting the trends, whether it’s clothing, hairstyles, and even our body types. So it honestly makes me sick to see advertising like this, especially from a brand that claims to pride themselves in contributing and representing black pride.
So what are your thoughts? Am I alone in thinking this?
Share your thoughts and comments below!
Black-owned brands to look out for (and budget-friendly!)
For even more black-owned brands, get started here!