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Hopefully, while reading the title no one snitched their teeth, rolled their eyes, or groaned loudly. In the recent year, certain people (mainly Black women) have been giving Richelieu and his company major side eye.  If not aware, Dennis is the CEO and founder of Sundial Brands, which is the leading skin care and hair care manufacturer of brands including Shea Moisture, Nubian Heritage, Nyakio, and MCJW Beauty.  He started the company in 1992 with his college roommate Nyema Tubman and his mom Mary Dennis (who is now the treasurer). Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should’ve known that Dennis and his company faced some backlash (which Sundial employees refer to as “Hate Gate”), in 2017 for a 30 second commercial that went viral. The video showed 3 White women with straight hair and one woman who looked as if she was bi-racial with loose curls, which ignited controversy for months from Black women. If I can be honest I remember seeing the video and scoffing because it came across as so fake and contrived.  It seemed like a punch in the face because we were used to seeing and knowing that Shea Moisture was geared for Black woman and our kinks, curls, fros, etc.  So tosee 3 White woman with straight hair talk about their hair woes, it was as if Shea Moisture was TRYING to purposely piss us off and lose our business all at the same time. But I digress, and I think Dennis has been forgiven, but there are still a couple of sour grapes out there.  Which takes me back to my previous article; should we stop supporting a Black owned business after ONE marketing faux pas?  Me personally, I will not stop buying their products, it’s always worked great on my hair, and the formula is constantly improving from what I’ve noticed.  I can tell that this man is not trying to remove Black women from their seat at the table, he is just trying to market to other markets and move us forward. Besides the amazing work he has done with Shea Moisture and his other brands, he most recently acquired Essence Magazine from Time Inc.  There were so many complaints, over the past couple of years, about how Essence was no longer Black owned, and BOOM, Dennis took us right back to where we needed and wanted to be. I think he and his brand are always going to face criticisms because they’re in the spotlight and the world is full of opinions/critics. However, if we look past that one faux pas, then we can start to understand how Black businesses want to grow and take us with them on their journey.  It’s 50/50, not only do they need our business and support, but we need them to WANT our support and represent us in a great light.]]>

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