Controversial Shea Moisture: what this means for black owned business women

The Shea Moisture Controversy

If you are a natural haired enthusiast, or just really love hair products, then you know about Shea Moisture & Nubian Heritage, two very prominent Black-owned businesses. However, this black-owned business let down many Black women when On April 25, Shea Moisture released a commercial that had the natural hair movement shook:

Our question is- why was it so hard to catch this mistake? How did the Black women employees of the company feel when this commercial was published to the internet, for all of the Black Twitter to shame and shatter.

Our Favorite:

Shea Moisture's marketing strategy needs major improvement, and they know it. They were not afraid to publicly admit their culturally irresponsible ad with this PR:

The company shared one apologetic post on April 24, and the last apologetic post shown above. However, we couldn't help but notice that soon after, their social post engagements dropped by almost half on some promotional posts about that African Soap line, those Mongongo, and Hemp Seed oils, these Americanized West African skin-care products that made you feel grateful for investing in a Black-owned business.

Feelings From Some AMMOLETS

We had to watch this interview The Breakfast Club did with Shea Moisture CEO Rich Dennis, who makes an attempt to essentially address the Black community. At this point in the company's career, many Black consumers have lost trust in Shea Moisture's loyalty as a company. People feel betrayed by the image the products portray as useful for all hair types. The representation of the women in the ad emulate the microaggressive racist- "Black Lives Matter? No, All Lives Matter!" which sounds just like "Black Hair Matters? No, All Hair Matters!" Ultimately, the commercials, the company's positioning, the PR, and this interview below can be forgiven for perpetuating the muzzling of Black women's voices.

From a business perspective, Charlamagne asks a great question- why do "we feel like we have to make everybody comfortable, why can't we just be with each other?" We're echoing a similar question- why do Black businesses feel like we have to broaden our target market beyond Black consumers? We feel more often than not afraid that our competitors are the white owned companies that have illegally monopolized our markets, and have made research out of our consumer needs. Black-owned companies are often competing with white, Asian, or Latino companies to win loyal Black customers for their products. If you are a small business owner, you know how hard it is to gain trust, and penetrate the market as a reliable company, and loyal business to the Black community. Many non-Black owned companies have been successful at target marketing their campaigns towards the Black community. In all honesty, it's actually hard to find a really good "Black" commercial ad.

We found that this parody was pretty accurate:

What This Means For Black Business Women

While Rich Dennis was born from a Black woman, a Sierra Leonean Woman, we can no longer feel supporting this company. The power of self-respect, and self-value, is investing in little as possible that does not invest positivity, greatness, and power into you. Shea Moisture, while Dennis attempts to validate as an honest punishable mistake, is harmful perpetuates the consistent oppression of Black women, and especially dark-skinned, transgendered, and/or fat women.

In life, you should always know who really got your back. This is the same business, always know what company really got your back. Always know whose back you got as a company, in order to offer the best product. As Black women, and as Black entrepreneurs, we cannot support a company that is not loyal to our segment, and does not attempt to show the most love and respect for our hard earned investments.