They tried it.
They really tried it.
They tried it with crispy chicken wraps.
They tried it with high end ads.
They tried it with our hair care products (and in this case, we let them).
They KEEP trying to tap into our trillion-dollar spending power and they often use our own to do it.
Words like “inclusion” and “diversity” are problematic for SEVERAL REASONS. I am here to snatch WOKE cards and pray to Jesus (the one with feet like bronze and hair like wool) for my people who are unbothered with the latest slave catcher incident.
Because I felt compelled to share my thoughts on the Jeffree Star/Jackie Aina incident, it is more than necessary to come full circle now that the announcement has been made of the latter’s collab with a white-owned make up brand. Jackie Aina, for sho, is the latest modern-day slave catcher. Gathering up a portion of the black community's trillion-dollar spending power to prop up a white owned cosmetics company like the pied piper, leading our coins further and further away from our block.
Aina broke the news on her 30th birthday via Instagram:
it's my birthday!!! finally the big 3-0 is here and I can't think of a better day to announce the biggest project of my career to date. I've been keeping a little secret for the past few months 🙈 but it's FINALLY time to announce that this year I will be working with one of my favorite brands @toofaced to help expand their Born This Way foundation line and create darker AND deeper shades for all of you 💖 I'm so glad that all of the awareness we've created about INCLUSIVENESS is finally being heard and I get to curate these new shades from the FORMULA all the way to the shade names that will be available to all of you in the near future!!! This is literally one of my dreams! And it couldn't have happened without all of you ❤️ This is what happens when you stand your ground and believe in your message and keep your supporters number one at all costs. I'm so happy that Jerrod and Too Faced trust me with this initiative. best birthday EVAAAA 🙌🏾 time to CELEBRATE
I am going to drop 3 points for your to ponder and I shall bid you adieu.
1. Name calling is reckless….
Calling Jackie anything other than what her momma named her is not necessary and I did it anyway. “Slave catcher” may seem harsh, but we don’t live in rainbow colored, kumbaya times. We need to wake up. Don't cry, "Stay Woke" if you intend to remain asleep. African’s were brought here for economic reasons. Runaway slaves were a nuisance, inconvenient for the economic development of the Nation (not just the south).
Slavery can’t be reinstituted (with exception of the 13th Amendment, of course) and a new strategy was put into play. The propaganda machine will blame the poor for being poor, considerably more so if you are anything other than white, while at the very same time acknowledge that Black consumers lead trends and dictate pop culture.
To harness our people's ability to heavily impact trends, they will use our greatest influencers to market to us things they know we can’t afford but will buy anyway. See how that works? Calling “a thing a thing” (Black influencer = slave catcher for wypipo) is a hard pill to swallow, but ignoring actions and hard truths is not beneficial to our community.
(Skewering attitudes: a scene from Dear White People. Credit Roadside Attractions)
2. The dangers of carelessly throwing around words like INCLUSION and DIVERSITY
Why are we still begging for entrance into areas and arenas not designed for us? And why are we still defending “Black Spaces”? Some things are simply FOR US. Period. Exhibit A: Doo rags – for us. Lice – for wypipo. See what I did there?
Too Faced, like many other products were not invented with melanin in mind. And that is ok! We can make products for our skin types, our hair's curl pattern, our lifestyles - separate from white people. Obviously, it is ok to have Little Italy’s, Little China’s, Little Saigon’s, Little India’s, Little Manila’s but Black spaces and products made exclusively for the consumption of Black people seems to be a problem. Don’t get me wrong, we have our Horns of Africa, affluent and not so affluent Black communities. But you know like I know seeing 4 Asian kids in a 3 series BMW does not draw the same response as 4 black kids in a red jeep.
So why is it so aggravating to see POC have their own skin care, hair care, clothing, banks and lending institutions, magazines, TV networks, colleges and universities? Because if we were left to our own vices, we would be great. And no one wants to see us simply be great.
Words like “inclusion” and “diversity” are really nothing more than a sleight of hand trick to prevent good ol’ fashion uprising. It’s manipulative misdirection. On the surface, we see acceptance and a desire to cater to Black people. But what is happening right in front of us is the money that would genuinely set us free from oppression, money that could finance real change, money that could be set aside for wealth creation is being extracted for us. Sleight. Of. Hand.
The sum total of that $7.00 lip gloss, the $5.00 coffee, those $300 purses…. from businesses that are not black owned, touting INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY but lack black employees, lack black board members, and give back to zero black charities start to add up. So, on what level is the inclusion and diversity? It’s in monetary exchange - never social uplift.
3. Banking on Jackie Aina being the Black Chyna of Cosmetics
I could argue that given 1 million plus YouTube subscribers, Jackie is getting those YouTube checks and isn’t necessarily hurting for a startup funds to establish her own cosmetics line. So why not just do that?! Why in the ham sandwich didn’t she create a private label cosmetics line instead of allowing Too Faced to make a significant come up off of her dark skin, influence and YouTube following?
Reasonable deduction: Any good hustla knows you don’t invest with your own money. You don’t buy your first brick; you get it on consignment. You don’t quit your job until you have another waiting in the wings. You don’t start a hedge fund without eager investors.
This could be a game of chess or checkers. I pray to Black Jesus that she pulls a Black Chyna and turns the tables on them. My hope and prayer is Jackie Ania finesses the hell out of this opportunity only to turn around and either buy them out in a few years or become their greatest competition! I hope she gets the cell and home phone number of every chemist, the plug for manufacturing, the distribution connect. IF this is indeed the move, I will buy every lipstick, eyeliner, blush, eyeshadow, lip liner, highlighter, concealer and contour kit, in every shade from the Jackie Aina line. I would love to come back, write another blog post and say, “Jackie did it; she went from player in the league to owner of her own team and is giving both middle fingers to these ‘high-end brands who want to embrace darker skin’”.
Moral of the story: We need to stop letting these brands think they are doing us a favor by creating products for black people. The truth is, there was a market being over looked – THE DARK SKIN CONSUMER - and these make-up companies are NOT going to let that coin go unacquired.
Do not be deceived.
Do not be led astray.
Do not be confused.
This is not inclusion.
While we wait for Jackie Aina to pull her own sleight of hand trick and blow everyone's mind, on my previous post you will find Black Owned Beauty Brands to follow and few coupons to shop.