Necessary Clothing Manager Reportedly Didn't Hire This Black Teen Because She Was 'Too Dark'

(Photo: Rover/@i_am_rover)

Necessary Clothing Manager Reportedly Didn't Hire This Black Teen Because She Was 'Too Dark'

Now, she's speaking to BET exclusively.

Published October 19, 2018

Imagine being a young, beautiful and ambitious Black teenager on a mission to secure your own bag, only to be denied because you’re “too dark” — that’s exactly what 17-year-old Mali D’Janite said happened to her when she applied for a job at Necessary Clothing, located in the SoHo section of New York City.

ICYMI: The New York Post recently reported about Mali’s experience with colorism after the clothing store's manager, Samuel Osei, who is Black, allegedly denied her the job interview because of her rich melanin skin was “too dark.”

To give you insight, Mali is presently a student and in need of a job. With previous work experience in retail as a sales associate, she admits was drawn to one of her favorite stores.

“I’ve shopped at Necessary Clothing for years and have always loved their clothes,” Mali told BET exclusively. “I recently moved back to New York City after living in Phoenix with my mother for the last couple of years.”

Needless to say, she was in complete shock when she was told by the assistant manager, Natou Diallo, that the store manager said she was “too dark,” for the position.

“I was in shock and confused. I called my mother right away in tears. I’ve been discriminated against by Caucasians before, especially living in Phoenix and attending school with mostly Caucasians, but hearing it from a Black man, and an African at that, was horrific!”

The 30-year-old manager denied the report and stated to the New York Post, “She’s my sister, why should I do that?”

Feeling a bit disappointed after the incident, Mali knew that she could not let this happen to another person with beautiful brown melanin. The same day she filed a complaint with Necessary Clothing online.

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I Recently Just Moved Back To NYC To Begin My Dance Career But As I’m Still A Student, I Need To Work . I’ve Been Applying For Retail Jobs EveryWhere Because I’ve Got Great Retail Experience & Have Been Awarded For My Sales & Etc . I Finally Took Action To Go In Stores & Inquire About Employment . I Came Across Necessary Clothing, Where The Assistant Manager Was Instantly Eager To Give Me A Job, & Told Me To Come Back With A Resume & Speak Directly With The Store Manager . I Went Back The Next Day With A Resume, & I Spoke To The Manager Across The Street Whom Was A DarkSkin African Man . He Read Over My Resume Right In Front Of Me & Said We’re Not Hiring . Those Who Shop In Soho Know That Necessary Clothing’s Stores Are Directly Across The Street From One Another, I Walked Back Across The Street To Speak With The Assistant Manager & She Tells Me He Called Over To Tell Her I’m “ Too DarkSkin “ To Work There . I’m Not One To Put My Business Out There, But Colorism Is Real Especially Within Our Own People & It’s Hurtful . I Deal With Racism From Other Races, But To Hear That From A African Person Is Disgusting To Me . I’ve Never Been Insecure About My Skin Color . I Love My People & I Love EveryThing About Myself . This Isn’t A Call For Help, This Is A Call For Justice . @necessaryclothing I’ve Been Shopping At Your Store For Years & I Could Say You Really Lost A Customer Today . #ColorisimIn2018 #BoyCottNecessaryClothing #Discrimination

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Mali spoke with someone who promised to pass on the complaint to the owner of the brick and mortar store in New York. “I never heard from anyone,” she shares. “But the online store offered me a job at their LA location.”

While many may have seen this as a great opportunity, Mali has decided to stand her ground and politely declined the position. “I refuse to work for a racist brand.”

Mali praises her parents, Harry D’Janite and Niki Kuti, for her courage to speak out about the situation. “I just want my people to use their voice,” she shares. “Social media is a powerful tool in 2018, and we don’t have to tolerate racism nor it’s ugly child colorism. We can’t let companies get away with their racist hiring practices.”

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My Whole Heart ❤️🌹 #MommyLove

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The teenager finds herself extremely grateful for the amount of support that she has received from social media. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and mostly supportive. I’m thankful for the words of encouragement from everyone. It’s keeping me motivated to continue speaking out against this injustice.”

Kudos to you, Mali, for standing your ground in efforts to make sure it doesn’t’ happen to anyone else.

Sis is doing it for the culture! #BlackExcellence.

Written by Tweety Elitou

(Photo: Rover/@i_am_rover)


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