Ghanaian Michael Brako, has carved his vision in Commerce, Capitalism and Culture
DID YOU KNOW…THE FIST AFRO COMB WAS NEVER MANUFACTURED OR COMMERCIALIZED BY BLACK PEOPLE?
COVID-19 hit, and creative designer Michael Brako met Cheryl Morrow.
This is a tale of a family from Ghana, migrating to America and ending up in the town of the man that carved and commercialized the 1964 Afro pic comb in North America, yes, the same town.
Tuskegee, Alabama, has produced Michael Brako, one Afro Comb carver, Tuscaloosa, Alabama Willie Morrow; different parts of the Stata, ironic right? “Afro comb carving is in the DNA of African descending people, Michael says.” Upon meeting Cheryl Morrow, the daughter of Willie Morrow did not make the connection. “We were put together for other reasons, by my brother Hubert, who resides in New York.” We were supposed to get connected for palm oil-based products, but of course, we started talking and one thing led to another and when Black folks get to talking, you know what happens say Cheryl.”
Within a month they had decided it was time for Black America to respond economically to our cultural epidemic. Cheryl spoke to Michael on how it was important for Black Americans to change our perspective regarding the wealth gap conversation. Afro Comb Economics is a new approach to how we talk about economics and commerce with each other. Michael responded by presenting a skill he had acquired in Ghana, West Africa. He mentioned that his passion was African comb making, and of course, Cheryl jumped all over it.
“Presenting me with Afro comb making was like music to my ears, says Cheryl Morrow.” Little did Michael know who he was sharing this with. Michael had no clue that, 56 years ago Cheryl’s father Willie Morrow carved 250,000 Afro wooden combs with his hand in 1964 after his client had given him an African comb from his travels to Ghana; also, what is so ironic is that when Michael’s family migrated from Ghana, they landed in the state of Alabama, the same state where Cheryl’s father Willie Morrow was born.
As the heir of her family’s companies, Cheryl goes on to say, “What I owe the Black Beauty Industry, is not about the money, possessions or position it rendered, it is the inheritance of the spirit of my people’s trust to give them quality products and their willingness to invest and bless me with their dollars. And for that blessing I travel obediently on the golden path of great footsteps; the Black Beauty industry, this is guaranteed success.
Michael Brako, a STEM advocate, takes the Ghana’s spiritual symbols, and places them on the utility patented teeth designed by Willie Morrow over 40 years; https://patents.google.com/patent/US4026307A/en a utility patented in which he was awarded for the exclusive texture of African descent.
MYCBO, My Comb Black Owned is very important to the wealth gap conversation says Cheryl. These highly-technical designs merge innovation, culture, spirituality, and history, then with a twist that allows the buyer to pick their preferred color; is truly amazing. Michael goes on to say, “Unfortunately our Afro comb history is misrepresented.” I want to bring back the art form of African Comb making and to completely bring home the Afro Comb market.”
This campaign is three-fold; 1. Correction of History 2. Pride in taking back our Black dollars from foreign manufacturers and 3. Education of Afro Comb art form. Michael ends with “This is a dream come true; our ancestors are proud and blessing us every day.”
The San Diego Monitor-News has been serving Black San Diego since 1986