The months that would become years were filled with sadness and anger. But I had to decide, what’s worse lookin’ sad or angry? Sad or angry? Or like being shamed for my blackness, shamed for my blackness. I’d rather be angry.
Anger pushed me to seek happiness in any form.
The dance is weeks away. My mother and I sifted through racks of dresses, shelves of shoes, piles of jewelry and handbags.
Then the day arrived, and we made a beeline to the MAC in Macy’s. Some of the artists were already becoming close friends, but now I finally had the opportunity to sit in one of those chairs.
Mind you, the only other cream or liquid that touched my face was the goop from the beauty supply store or vaseline.
She not only painted my face but also talked me through what she was doing so I could recreate a look for myself. I left with my first little black bag.
MAC is the only product that touched my face. Anybody who knew me would ask me what foundation or lipstick I was wearing, and my answer always remained the same, “MAC.” To which they responded, of course.
There was nothing else in my makeup universe. I was a complete snob and brand loyal.
It wasn’t until my junior year did I begin exploring other territories.
The same news headline scrolls down my timeline:
X Company makes a racist ad. Employee of Y Company makes a racist comment to an employee. Black customers at Z Company experience discrimination.
I grew numb to these stories; I expected them.
My dollar, my black dollar turned over multiple times in communities that did not share the richness of my melanin. I keep funding the people and systems that sought/seek to degrade and eliminate my past, present, and future. I come back over and over again to companies who prove to me time and time again that they do not care about how they represent me, nor do they care to take the proper steps to change.
Why should I expect them to change, if I don’t make a change? What do they owe me?
So I write this as my final love letter to you, MAC and other white-owned companies.
I have worshipped and raised you on pedestals long enough.
Our abilities to build generational wealth have been torn away from us on numerous occasions. I cling on to the hope that this is the start of something permanent; something that cannot be destroyed and I will pile and build on that foundation.
Dear Black-owned companies,
This is my first love letter to you. There is a movement of black wealth development, our talents and gifts can be owned by us and now can touch people across the globe. I ask any business that I give my money to, promise me that you will reinvest in your business, reinvest in your dreams, reinvest in your family, but most importantly reinvest in your community. We cannot make the mistakes of leaving our neighborhoods in the same condition in which we went, give our people the knowledge and tools to build, show the real power of recycling our dollar.
As a customer, I promise to not expect perfection, slander you publicly, burden you with unfair expectations, and I promise to shine a light on you for every good experience.
Maybe you will see me again MAC, but for now, I bid you a final ado.
*I do not own the rights to the photo featured*