The Black on Black Love Campaign (BOBL) was founded in January 1983 by Edward Gardner, former co-chair and founder of Soft Sheen Products. Inc., after a Black female employee was shot in a senseless and random act of violence perpetrated by a criminally motivated Black male. Always concerned with Black on Black violence Mr. Gardner knew he had to take a stand and work to make a difference.
Known for being a caring employer Mr. Gardner reasoned that as a resident of the inner city and as an entrepreneur whose business was in the heart of the urban area, it was vital that he address the pernicious problem of crime. It was clear that the community could no longer afford to regard such incidents as typical.
Gardner reacted to the incident by taking out several full-page ads in major media, appealing to the Black community to end Black on Black Crime and replace it with Black on Black Love.
Responses to those ads were overwhelming. The result of Gardner's action was the birth of a social movement that quickly spread from the grassroots level in the Black community into the boardrooms of some major corporations. Marketers of products to Black consumers quickly realized that the concept of Black on Black Love was an issue that was important to the socioeconomic health of the Black community. A trade association of minority manufacturers, the American Health & Beauty Aids Institute (ABBAI) became the campaign's national sponsor, and began spawning local chapters in other cities.
Always sensitive to the ever-changing dynamics that foster crime, BOBL has, over time, created adjunct programs that address theses evolving dimensions.
By capitalizing on their expertise at marketing to Black consumers, Soft Sheen and the other AHBAI member companies enabled BOBL to begin packaging and selling the concepts of Love, Respect, and Self-Discipline to the Black community under the umbrella of the Black on Black Love programs.
Collectively, the BOBL programs are designed to help break the cycles of crime in the Black community. Each program attempts to focus on the causes of crime, and offers positive alternatives to potential perpetrators of crime. The programs are administered in a spirit of sharing, caring and unparalleled commitment.