I haven’t really had the time to come on the blog to talk about the state of my people. I hate using the term, “Everything going on.” I’ve heard a lot of people refer to this very racially charged and pandemic time as “with everything going on.” There is something very specific going on, and it’s very specific to Black people. It’s not just that we are being openly and unjustly murdered in the streets, or found hanging from trees, or being told that we could be shot at when we are expressing the hurt and anger for our mistreatment. It’s a lot more than that. In fact, this illustration from Rich Villodas will show you that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
As a Black Content Creator, my eyes have been opened to the many injustices that have been occurring within the marketing industry. From the pay gap between White and Black content creators to agencies only providing a fraction of the opportunities to Black Content creators; compared to the opportunities provided to White Content Creators. I even had a candid conversation with a White Blogger, who has a smaller following than me and less engagement. We both did the same campaign but it turns out she had fewer deliverables and was paid 48% more money than I was…this after I received help from my manager to negotiate my worth. It’s disheartening because I truly believe that Black Content Creators have contributed so much to the world.
According to a Niesen Report on the Black Impact, “Black consumers and consumers of color alike are making considerable contributions to the overall market—in some cases representing more than 50% of the overall spending in key product categories.” Furthermore “Our research shows that Black consumer choices have a ‘cool factor’ that has created a halo effect, influencing not just consumers of color but the mainstream as well,” said Cheryl Grace, Senior Vice President of U.S. Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement, Nielsen. “These figures show that investment by multinational conglomerates in R&D to develop products and marketing that appeal to diverse consumers is, indeed, paying off handsomely.”
So in essence, we make things cool. But I think we already knew that. Why? Our culture has been ripped off in so many ways. Imagine growing up believing that Rock n’ Roll all started because of Elvis Pressley, only to find out the original King of Rock n’ Roll is Chuck Berry. Or Little Richie. Not to take away from Pressley’s contribution to the genre, but let’s call a spade a spade. This is just one example of many…but I wanted to share a personal one.
As a Black Content Creator, I typically pride myself on finding outfits and really making them my own. But every so often, I take a look at some of my style inspirations to find pieces that would leave me in wonder and awe! Some of my favorite fashion inspirations are Beauticurve, Monroe Steele, Essie Golden, Lisa a la Mode, Glamazon Diaries, and Kelly Augustine. Almost every time they post a new outfit or product recommendation, they are always close to selling out. Don’t believe me? Try buying something after they’ve posted it. It’s not easy. Funny thing is that I’ve heard women tell me that they thought a few brands that I’ve partnered with were BLACK OWNED because of the number of Black Content Creators who promoted their products.
For example, Kelly Augustine posted this amazing dress and I knew I had to have it. It was beautiful, colorful, and just a hidden gem. In fact, a couple of sizes are already waitlisted! Honestly, I’ve seen dresses similar to this one before, but seeing it on Kelly, the way she styled it, her natural hairstyle, earring choice, etc… it makes a difference.
Black Content Creators really are some of the most artistic and creative people on this earth…and I am not saying that because I am Black. When the most radiant models are brought up in conversations, instantly people think of Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks, and more. Beyonce is her own category. She isn’t considered an A-list celebrity, it’s pretty much honor if she shows.
This post isn’t to diminish the impact of White Content creators (so #AllLivesMatter, relax k thanks). It’s to help people understand that we are not warranted the treatment we are receiving. Overt or Covert. We are continuing to push the envelope every day and contribute to the beauty of this world! So an open letter to brands and just people in general, before you think we are overreacting or we are feeling entitled, there’s a whole system that is designed to keep Black people down– even though we tirelessly show up and inspire other. And to my people, do not sell yourself short! You are the special sauce! You are the essence. Keep with the fight!