This long form commercial from 1969 was made for Libra Cosmetic and directed by Rolf W. Brandis and L. John Castelli. The film presents images of African American beauty that reflected the times and focused on black pride. Interestingly, Libra was a white run luxury cosmetics manufacturer that relied on African American salespeople. (Yet notably the narrator is clearly a white man.) At the time, specialized cosmetics for minorities represented a new and emerging market, and Libra hoped to capitalize on the emerging black middle and upper classes’ interest.
According to the book “Style and Status: Selling Beauty to African American Women, 1920-1975” by Susannah Walker, the film was likely influenced by the Black Power movement. Whether or not it succeeded for Libra is unclear, but the brand didn’t seem to survive the mid-1970s.
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