Creating A Business Venture Out Of Black Pride

March 15, 2011  |  

by R. Asmerom

In an age when talk of a “post-racial society” abounds, it is refreshing to see such a bold statement like “I Love Being Black” embraced by so many. The apparel line, which stamps that announcement of cultural pride on everything from t-shirts to wrist bracelets, recently claimed another big achievement: attaining over 4 million Facebook fans. That’s a big feat for a small company. And it speaks volumes about the unique cultural message framing the business.

Kumi Rauf started ILBB in 2003 when he was a student at University of California, Santa Barbara. He sees his company not just as a business but as a movement. Rauf elaborates on how and why he started his innovative company.

I’ve read about how you founded this line to counteract negativity related to Black self-esteem. Was this an issue that was on your mind from a young age or did something spark for you when you were in high school or college?

The images of how Black people are portrayed in mainstream media, and sometimes how we portray ourselves, has been a splinter in my mind since a young age. A young Malcolm X realized this, my Father realized this and I realized this. I’ve always wanted to change it, but felt a bit powerless. The recent advancements in communication and social media allow us to promote our message of positivity now instead of only the messages we are fed.

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  • thats deep, but reality is set in! I love being dark, blk, whatever!!

  • koffybrown

    I love being black. Wooooohoooooo!!

  • Juliemamgo

    I like this guys positive attitude its refreshing congrats to him on his success and good use of the power of the internets!!!

  • youngblack&gifted

    So little responses to such a positive brother and company?? The phrase is so simple but means so much, it carries the weight of past generations that fought and struggled for us. Black love and pride until I die, I love being black!

  • Ughh

    The Facebook page is very racist. Whoever runs it allows people to insult every other race with the exception of black. Blacks get to say what they want, whites get banned. I'm reporting the page, as are all of my friends.

  • if anything be noble

    I’m surprised he wasn’t asked the obvious: …”So how many times have you heard ‘well what if I wore a I Love Being White tshirt. But I couldn’t do that because I would be “racist.”‘

    • Brandon

      To me it wouldn't be racist. If you're proud to be white, show your pride, the same goes for spanish people, black people, etc. But there are some ignorant people that'll look at white people as being racist for saying white pride.

  • innovatoor09

    I love it! Keep doing what your doing, we need more positivity in our community.

  • Wendy

    I appreciate this brother and everything he is representing, we really do need to keep each other uplifted, may
    "GOD" add to your continued success………………………………….