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The 2020 news cycle highlighting the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks, paired with the systemic injustices that have plagued the Black community for decades, have Fortune 500 companies as well as household beauty and fashion brands showcasing their alliance to their African-American consumers. Companies have also finally begun to acknowledge the injustices surrounding police brutality in the Black community.
At the same time, Americans are still fighting COVID-19’s resurgence in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Florida, while unemployment across the country has declined to 11.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For Black Americans dealing with the impact on all fronts, the fight is threefold: racism, income equality, and police brutality. These additives only compound the financial woes in the Black community.
From posting a black square to donating to causes like Black Lives Matter, the Minnesota Freedom Fund, Black Visions Collective, and countless others, corporations are making a conscious effort to convey their support to consumers. It is also vital to pinpoint another alternative companies are taking to support the Black community and creatives: brand partnerships.
Companies are not only seeking counsel from Black agencies and employees to connect with their target demographic. They are collaborating with Black influencers to either drive growth to their bottom line or highlight diversity. For example, VH1’s Wild ’N Out comedienne and Instagram influencer Vena E., also known as YesIAmPrettyVee, launched a beauty and electronics line at CitiTrends. The line consists of headphones, speakers, makeup brushes, beauty blenders, and more—all at affordable costs.
While these partnerships may not solve the income inequality Black workers still face in corporate America, they illustrate how companies are creating lucrative initiatives with Black creatives. Not only do these partnerships showcase an allegiance to the Black community, they also help the brands retain Black dollars and customers.