Monday
Sep152014

Black Women Make Shocking Discovery: Money to Be Made Meeting Each Other's Needs

I'm working on an Ebola fundraiser right now for the WAOD community, but I have a couple more questions to get answered, but until then, here is a post to hold you over.

In the same week that news outlets published reports that unemployment rates for Black women increased in that last two years while rates for every other group, Black went down, the New York Times published an article  about the growing number of Black women who are opening up beauty supply stores and launching their own natural hair care lines.

From MSNBC on the misery and woe:

Adult black females in August posted an unemployment rate of 10.6 percent, the same rate that group registered in August 2013 — while during that span unemployment rates decreased for black men, white men, white women, Latino men, Latino women, and adult Asian Americans, according to the latest federal labor figures.

Some economic experts — and some out-of-work black women — assert the numbers lead them to one uneasy conclusion: racial and gender hiring biases are blocking many adult females from regaining prerecession financial footholds. MSNBC

The NY Times story is more hopeful.

In South Florida, Ms. Graham-Campbell of Alikay Naturals recently made the biggest announcement of her career to her nearly 100,000 YouTube subscribers: Her line of organic hair creams, oils and conditioners for black women, products she had cooked up in her kitchen, was hitting the shelves of Target stores.

Ms. Graham-Campbell, 27, started her business with $100 as a college student, marketing her products on YouTube and selling them on Etsy. Now her videos can draw as many as 200,000 views from fans. “They want to know, who’s the face behind the brand?” she said. “Are you able to relate to my hair, are you able to relate to my struggles and to my journey of being natural?”

Most of all, she said, she loves hearing from women who notice her photo on Alikay bottles. They tell her that they tell their children: “Someone that looks like you makes that product.” NY Times

As someone with natural hair, I am one of the 200,000 who has watched her videos and I've tried her products as well. Good for her.

So what is our lesson today?

I took both articles as a sign that Black women need to focus as much on being entrepreneurial as they do on "moving up the career ladder" and getting a "safe job." No such thing. One of the largest markets we have is each other.