One of my very first posts to KarmaJonezKnows was a post in which I expressed my frustration about the lack of Black emojis. I just couldn’t believe that with all of the advancements in technology, that no one had thought to add Black emojis to the keyboards. Actually, something tells me that the powers that be probably HAD thought about it at some point, and simply didn’t care enough to put their thoughts into action.
Today, I am super proud to introduce to you fellow Howard alumni and creators of WeMojis, Mr. Trey and Don Brown. These young men are the masterminds behind this wonderful venture, and they are excited to share. I had the opportunity to sit down with Trey and pick his brain. Here’s what he had to say:
- Who is behind the Black Emojis?
There are four brains behind the Wemojis concept.
Myself (Ewart Brown III Founder and CEO of Prolithia Technologies) Priscilla Brown (Legal) Donovan Brown (Marketing Manager) and Marcus Huddlestone (Senior Technical Officer)
- What prompted the creation of the Black Emojis?
The idea for WeMojis came about simply through an observation that I had while sitting down with my brother, also head of marketing for WeMojis, that there were no black Emojis in the original set. Emojis are basically icons that are meant to express ones views through picture form on electronic devices. We knew that not only did we need to create black emojis but emojis that would reflect all aspects of the black experience. This is how WeMojis was born.
- Why do you think Black Emojis don’t already exist?
The market share for people of color has not had the chance to mature within the tech industry. There are impressive numbers for sustainable market share but it’s sometimes hard to get people to understand this fact. Every major market product aimed at the African American demographic has had this uphill battle. (Think Dark and Lovely or Ciroc)
- What has been your response from people that you’ve shared this concept with?
Overwhelmingly supportive comments. A lot of people have been wanting this kind of application for a long time. The trick was to keep the DNA of regular emojis alive with infusing culture relating to the black experience. We HAD to be on the keyboard to make this thing work the way we wanted. We have a WeMojis Lite on the app store that allow users to post to instagram but since it was an outside app not on the keyboard people overwhelmingly suggested we make the jump. When IOS8 came out that allowed us to make that final step onto the keyboard where people can do what they have always wanted to which is to text with the images. Not just basic black emoticons. That’s not what people were looking for.
- What do you hope to see happen with the creation of these emojis?
Through the creation of black emojis I hope to see an increase in community pride. The hip hop community and black culture has proven to be influential in regards to popular culture throughout time. Particularly for this generation, I believe it is important that a black owned company spearhead this influence technologically. The success of Wemojis would hopefully empower everyone involved including the users, inspire more black entrepreneurs and provide representation for our youth.
- What are your top 3 favorite Black emojis?
The Black Jesus, Soul “Sistah”, and a tie between the Detroit Skyline Emoji and the Bermudian Flag emojis.
- How can people get Black emojis? Can they download them?
They can get the fully functional Droid and Apple versions coming this March. We have a Wemojis Lite for apple users you can download if you want to post images to Instagram or other social media.
- Why is this so important to you/Why are Black emojis important in general?
This application is important to me because of its ability to make history. To be part of that is an honor. I have invested 2 years of development; sacrificed capital; and put time into this idea, needless to say it is very dear to me. It is also important that our success transcends monetary reciprocity, for the very reasons I stated previously.
For more info, visit Wemojis
Check out some of the Emojis below!