That’s the big question. Is African Pride black-owned? The answer is more complicated than one might think.
In short, African Pride is operated by black people, mainly black women, but a black person does not own it.
African Pride has had a wild history of ownership, being founded by Brian K Marks in the 1980s.
He wanted to focus on tapping into the African haircare market, which had few competitors at the time. He was not black, but he was a haircare professional dedicated to selling hair care products that worked for black women.
He is also the founder of many other haircare brands like Dr. Miracles, All Ways Natural, Ginseng Miracles, and his latest venture, My Isreal’s Miracle.
He sold the African Pride to Revlon in 1998, where it came under the Strength of Nature brand, which owned several more African haircare brands.
Revlon then sold the Strength of Nature brand, which included African Pride, in 2016 to the Godrej Consumer Products, a large Indian conglomerate looking to expand their haircare products in Africa, the Caribbean, and North America.
That being said, diversity is essential to the Godrej Company, and they dedicated African Pride’s senior positions to black women.
So, while African Pride is not black-owned, it is black-operated and is staffed with 16,000 employees of African descent.
Black women, in particular, have run the company and are dedicated to testing their products to see what works and what doesn’t.
72% of Africa Pride employees are black, and black women, in particular, possess positions at every level of the company.
The Godrej Company’s diversity philosophy follows that the company providing the product must be run by the people who use the product, making them one of the most diverse companies in the world today.
At African Pride, this is no different, and black women are involved in the process the entire way.
From research and development to marketing and copywriting, to sales and distribution, and finally, the consumers themselves.
Black women essentially run African Pride, and they are the primary decision-makers for the company.
African Pride also reinvests in the community, and partners with several charity organizations, including Black Lives Matter, and give out scholarships to relieve student loan debt.
Their latest campaign focused on voter suppression, and they partnered with several organizations to help alleviate voter suppression in the US.
In an interview with KevOnStage Studios, a black-owned media company, Kendra Strong, Executive Vice President and Head of Marketing and Innovation, and Mauricion Collins, Head of Global Sales, talked about this issue:
It said that consumers have to buy with their conscience.
“I celebrate that choice,” Kendra said in response to a question asked about consumers’ choice between African Pride and a completely black-owned company.
“You got to do what feels good for you.” Said Mauricion.
The two women are on the board that runs African Pride, and each of them tests the hair products from research and development themselves.
Whatever consumers choose, they encourage consumers to buy products that work for them.
Their haircare collection Moisture Miracle was their first collection developed under the Godrej Company, and they tested all the products personally.
They went on to say they explicitly go out of their way to hire black women because nobody else had the experience of Type 4 extremely curly hair the way black women do.
However, you feel about African Pride. They are serious about hair care.
They have an entire section of their website dedicated to listing products by hair needs.
They also have a glossary and blog dedicated to discussing hair topics and teaching people about hair terms and needs.
Their passion for delivering quality products that work is second to none, and black women test every product in charge to make sure they work.
Most people want to know their favorite brand is run by black people who reinvest in the community, and African Pride fits that bill.
The main decision-makers are black women who love to give back to the community.
Another essential goal of theirs is to reduce the wage gap between black women of color and the rest of the world.
Kendra and Mauricion were both careful about negotiating their salaries so the women who come after them can get a fair salary and excellent benefits.
The diversity philosophy and hiring practices of Godrej directly influence the diverse people running their child companies and makes sure the people making and marketing the product are also the people consuming it.
African Pride is black-operated and has many amazing women behind making and marketing the product.
They give back to the community and partner with many different charities and programs to help reduce the wage gap, support Black Lives Matter and end voter suppression.
They have amazing hair care products made for and by black women and women of color.
That all being said, African Pride is not black-owned.
They’re owned by the Godrej Company, an Indian conglomerate with businesses all across Asia, Africa, and North America, and support diverse hiring practices across all of their child companies.
African Pride encourages consumers to buy conscientiously, whether that’s sticking exclusively to black-owned companies or buying brands that reinvest in the community or companies run primarily by the black community.
So however you choose to buy, buy products that work for you and make you feel good about your purchase, whether you’re spending $2, $20, or $50.
Is African Pride Black-Owned? Final Thoughts
African Pride may not be black-owned, but it is black-operated and gives back to the community, so keep that in mind the next time you go shopping for your haircare products.