A Nielsen report from February of this year has confirmed what Black consumers have already known: there is power in the Black dollar. And often times, Black female dollars fuel businesses owned by other races and ethnicities with respect to the beauty industry.
Although the above-mentioned statements are true, it is no secret that Black consumers are also subjected to humiliation, discrimination and even assault in these very businesses.
Last Friday night at the New Red Apple Nails on Nostrand Avenue in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, a Black family, comprised of a grandmother and her two daughters, were assaulted by the nail salon’s employees. It is reported that the family received manicures and pedicures and then one of the members had her eyebrows done. She wasn’t satisfied with her brows. The disgruntled customer refused to pay for that part of her service. The service allegedly cost $5.
A witness who filmed the melee and posted the video on Facebook, who corroborated that the fight was sparked by a bad eyebrow job stated: “So I’m at the nail salon and they f***ed up a [lady’s] eyebrow and she refused to pay then a fight broke outttt,” Mercy Maduka wrote, saying the employees hit the customers “like animals.”
Maduka also pleaded with Facebook users to take action on the post stating: “Share this cause the cops decided to arrest the Black people but not the Chinese people who ganged up on them.”
The video shows an employee with a blue broomstick hitting a woman until she leaves the store. The other employees grab objects from around the shop seemingly preparing to fight while other customers inside the salon yelled back and forth with them.
One of the patrons, Christina Thomas, 21, told police that Huiyue Zheng, 32, repeatedly hit her in the back with the broom, causing her to suffer a laceration to the neck, and substantial pain to the back. Zheng, 32, was subsequently arrested and charged with assault, menacing, harassment and weapon possession for the incident.
Thomas was also arrested and charged with assault, menacing, and harassment. Nail salon worker Li Lin claims that Thomas punched and slapped her in the face, and dragged her on the floor, although, the video doesn’t suggest that took place.
Word of the assault made its way through Brooklyn. A young Black activist, Jasmine Johnson, staged a protest on Sunday.
She detailed the story in an Instagram video: “We’re out here today because a grandmother came here with her two granddaughters to get their nails done. The granddaughter got her nails done, her feet done and her eyebrows done.
“She paid for the nails, she paid for the feet, her eyebrows were messed up, she didn’t want to pay for them…Because she did not want to pay the $5 for the messed up eyebrows, they attacked this grandmother and her two granddaughters with sticks, threw acetone on them, and then called the police on them.”
Johnson further elaborated, “We don’t need to protest, we need to financially castrate this business. They cannot survive and we cannot feed them.”
Since the fight, hundreds of negative reviews, often referencing the incident, have been left on the salon’s Yelp page. Many members of the community called for the shop to be closed and told residents to take their business elsewhere.