Guess Who’s Behind Your Beauty Product

Revlon products have recently been in the news for their CEO allegedly making racial slurs against Blacks and Jews.  The comments were leaked by a Revlon employee and were followed by a social media surge that persuaded African American women to call for a boycott of Revlon products.

Déjà vu

This sounds like history repeating itself, back in 1986 Revlon division president Irving Bottner was quoted saying that in the next few years most black owned businesses would be owned by white companies.  The black business community was outraged which lead to a boycott of Revlon products.  Jesse Jackson and Operation Push were at the fore front of the boycott conducting mock funerals around the country for Revlon products.  Revlon worked to mend fences with the black community; but has anything changed?

The truth is not all but many black businesses have been sold. The most prominent one that comes to mind is BET (Black Entertainment Television) which was sold to Viacom back in 2000 for 2.3 billion dollars. This is not what Jesse Jackson would have wanted to happen back in 1986.  But, I am sure he would not argue that the goal of economic empowerment was reached with this deal.  Over the years we have seen some major staples in the black community being sold. After being forced to file bankruptcy, Inner City Broadcasting sold its extensive list of radio stations to various different entities. WBLS and WLIB in New York were sold to Emmis Communications for $131 Million. In the beauty industry Soft Sheen Carson was acquired by L’Oreal Products in 2000.  You may not recognize the name Soft Sheen Carson but you probably use some of their products; Optimum hair relaxer, Magic Shave and Dark and Lovely hair color.  L’Oreal has more recently purchased Carols Daughter another African

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