Afro Washing-Up Sponges: Good clean fun or dirty racism? (POLL)

Are we going back to disparaging images selling products? Paladone, A company based in the UK recently introduced a new line of sponges that’s got critics hopping on their soap boxes. The company recently introduced “King of Disco” and “Diana Wash” Washing-Up Sponges, pads shaped like afros perched on top black male and female figures. The company’s spokesperson says the sponges are designed to make an everyday chore like washing up more fun.  But The Unite Against Fascism general secretary Weyman Bennett said, “This is not appropriate for the 21st century to show images like that. It reinforces negative stereotypes and ideas.” Bennett  also feels that it opens the door for people to produce racial stereotypes and that’s not something society wants to see. “We’ve worked very hard to make sure that doesn’t happen.” Bennett concludes.

I did a little investigating and  discovered Paladone offers a set of four brushes: “King of Disco”, “Diva” (replacing “Diana Wash”) “Punk” and “Groovy” who are white. Does the addition of white characters dispel the racism argument?

What do you think of the Paladone Washing-up Brushes? Take my poll.


  1. Edwina

    At first I was disturbed by them. But only at the idea of them falling into the wrong hands like the pair pictured above. I actually like them and seeing the white ‘counterparts’ does soften the blow. Some.

  2. eldhughes

    If you click on the word critics in my post, it will take you to an article that has an entirely different spin. It’s interesing how you can manipulate the truth to satisfy an agenda. I believe in knowing both sides of the story.

  3. skip bennett

    Sorry, but I’m not offended by these products. Wish I could come up with some clever product like this one day. Many of us wore afros a generation ago. I was proud of mine. Some people long for a full head of their own hair, nappy or no :-). Otherwise why would wigs (Hello Wendy!) and weaves (Hello Bey!) be so popular. For many purchases of store-bought hair competes not only for discretionary income but also many will restrict their purchases of basics, such as food, housing & transportation. Finally, I think that the images are spot on for Don C & D Ross, 2 world wide icons. Edye, thanks for this post. Hope U get a ton of comments. Loveya.

    • eldhughes

      Hi Skip, no need to be sorry at all. All comments are welcome. There are those who feel the same as you. That’s why I posted a poll. I’ll reveal the findings in a couple of days.

  4. Stephen Reginald

    If the images are stereotypical, they’re more stereotypical of the era. Everyone dressed like that (and white folks had afros too) once upon a time. Note: I’ve burned all pictures of me taken in the ’70s!

    • eldhughes

      Ha, Ha, to see you in an afro Steve, that would be a sight! No, it’s not so much the style and era, it’s using the comical black figure as a form of amusement to sell product. It’s making fun of our hair, insinuating it’s like Brillo Pads. My Afro was very soft btw. Depictions of blacks in folly and amusement has been part of American history for hundreds of years, not just in America but all over the world. I have a vast collection of African Americana in my home. The images are derogatory and demeaning. A few images have lingered, Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben and the Cream of Wheat dude. Those evolved to more “palatable” images, but most were horribly demeaning. There are many blacks today who don’t want to be the center of the joke anymore – especially as it pertains to our physical characteristics e.g. our, skin color, features and hair. One FB buddy said she was disturbed by a the photo of white hands washing dishes with the afro sponge. Now on the other hand, if a black person was scrubbing the dish there might be a different point of view. It’s kinda like black folks can make fun of black folks, but that’s forbidden territory for white folks. Some may differ from this thinking. But many do not. That’s why there’s such a big stink about it. I’ll post my poll findings in a couple of days. Good to hear from you!

  5. Pingback: Update on Afro Washing-Up Sponges: The poll results are in…and comments too. « Black Copy

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