“The inspiration for Blacktag is to close the generational wealth gap for Black communities,” said Blacktag founders Akin Adebowale and Ousman Sahko.
It’s no surprise that iconic trends, past and present, have revolved around Black culture. From The Harlem Renaissance to the streetwear and hip-hop industry, Black culture continues to dominate across the globe.
But although Black ideas dominate mainstream media, the Black artists and creators responsible for these trends often lack a deserved financial gain.
What is Blacktag?
With the goal of creating opportunities for Black artists and creators, African immigrants, Akin Adebowale, 32, and Ousman Sahko, 28, founded Blacktag, a global platform for Black creators and content.
Set to launch in 2021, Blacktag will shift advertising dollars from brands into the pockets of Black creators. The multitiered platform will also connect these brands with artists and creators who are adept at building Black audiences — an often underrepresented group in marketing campaigns.
“Despite always being drivers of mainstream and pop culture, Black artists have not seen the financial return for their work. A dedicated platform like Blacktag, for these artists, will create economic opportunities for Black creators that haven’t existed before.”Blacktag founders, Akin Adebowale and Ousman Sahko
Meet Blacktag founders — Akin Adebowale and Ousman Sahko
Born in Nigeria, Adebowale moved to the U.S. at three-years-old and was raised in Georgia. He can be described as a “multiple-time entrepreneur,” with the goal of amplifying Black voices and creatives through his work.
After working with a creative agency, BASE Official, Adebowale went on to create OXOSI, a fashion and design marketplace geared towards Black designers. His inspiration: a passion for sourcing mainly from African countries.
Over the course of two years, he was able to achieve month-to-month-growth for his business, while using his tech background to propel him forward.
Before founding Blacktag, Sahko narrowly escaped tragedy in war-torn Sierra Leone during the “blood diamond” era. At eight-years-old Sahko was forced to flee his country and then settle with his family in the U.S.
Sahko worked as a director and photographer — holding positions with major companies such as Google and Spotify. Similar to Adebowale, Sahko was inspired to become an entrepreneur, first founding Lunchbox Studios, a lifestyle marketing collective.
His experience and passion for building creativity led him to collaborate with Adebowale and thus create support for Black artists worldwide.
Closing the wealth gap for Black creators
They hold partnerships with major artists, including Issa Rae and Common, all of whom will release original content through Blacktag Studio.
As for what’s next, Blacktag continues to add creators to its platform ahead of the launch. The hope is for its audience to find a true connection with what it is set to produce.
“We hope that Blacktag becomes a place for people of color who have ever unsuccessfully scrolled through traditional platforms looking for people who look like them and content that truly resonates with their experiences.”Akin Adebowale and Ousman Sahko