by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World
According to sales reports, black folks are not opposed to Hallmark’s Mahogany line of greeting cards especially made for African Americans. The ethnic designs have been something of a hit — enough to keep the line on the market. When it comes to their Father’s Day and Mother’s Day lines, however, reports say that people are having mixed feelings. “Happy Father’s Day, Mom” cards largely secluded to the Mahogany line are rubbing some people like Tonya Bryant the wrong way. Whereas Bryant has an appreciation for the cards because she gave both of her divorced parents Father’s Day greetings when she was growing up, it bothers her that Hallmark makes these cards primarily for the Mahogany line. Specifically, Bryant states:
“I don’t think that it’s appropriate for Hallmark to sell all of these cards under their Mahogany line because they are, in essence, saying that only black people live in single parent homes, which is the furthest thing from the truth….They are cheapening the great idea of celebrating single moms on Father’s Day by offering these products to mostly African-Americans. In this day and age, there are people from all walks of life that don’t have fathers in the homes, and I think that they should reconsider their marketing strategies and just offer them to people of all colors.”
In response to consumers like Bryant, Kristi Ernsting — a Hallmark spokesperson — says that cards like this are created due to consumer demand and are meant to celebrate single parents of all races. Ernsting states, “[Hallmark} also released one card that was specifically addressed to all mothers in our general Hallmark line. It is our goal to create cards for the wide range of people’s relationships so that everyone who seeks to connect in a positive way with others can find a card that will meet their needs.”
Ayvaunn Penn is a spoken word artist and an award winning writer completing her degree in English and philosophy. For more of her witty-word works click here. To have your original poetry featured by Ms. Penn on Your Black Poets, click here.