Apollon was in for a surprise when "Star Wars" actor John Boyega, commented on his sweet post and wrote, "Yep! On film sets where we get cuts a lot, make-up artists have to paint it brown to get your picture ready."
For some, it might just be a mere bandage, but for one man it is a recognition for people of color and a sense of belongingness. This is the story of an African American man, Dr. Dominique Apollon whose simple act of just putting on a bandage has now gone viral. It has even prompted online conversations about race and representation, reports Independent.
It's taken me 45 trips around the sun, but for the first time in my life I know what it feels like to have a "band-aid" in my own skin tone. You can barely even spot it in the first image. For real I'm holding back tears. pic.twitter.com/GZR7hRBkJf— Dominique Apollon (@ApollonTweets) April 19, 2019
It all started when Apollon found a type of plaster made by TruColor, which also offers many products in different tones. He stumbled upon these bandages at a store that he claims was specifically designed "with someone who looks like [him] in mind."
Apollon is the vice president of research at Race Forward, a nonprofit that creates awareness for racial justice. He had bought these bandages at least five months ago and he was never too eager to try them on. However, on Friday, he received a cut on his finger and that's when he decided to put on one. But little did he know, this would change the way people perceived inclusiveness and race.
"You can barely even spot it in the first image," Apollon told CBS News Friday. "For real I'm holding back tears. This felt like belonging. Like feeling valued. Sadness for my younger self and millions of kids of color, esp black kids. Like a reminder of countless spaces where my skin is still not welcomed."
This is the first article I've seen where Johnson & Johnson have released a statement. Curious to hear about their testing of "variety" packs. If they can place Hulk, Iron-man and Thor in one pack, why not different skin tones? https://t.co/ry8P7XcPWZ via @nbcnews @RaceForward— Dominique Apollon (@ApollonTweets) April 26, 2019
"It's been heartwarming and humbling to recognize that this has helped give voice to the feeling of racial exclusion that so many people of color, not just in the United States, but around the world feel," Apollon said. "We can all work together to create a better society if we just start with calming our defensiveness when others express a feeling of exclusion, and then just listen."
100% correct. I have a lot of privileges. And I fully see why people of many races see this as ridiculous. To clarify, my (almost) tears were not about a bandage color. The bandage color was a symbol of a much broader anti-blackness and absence of belonging. Not just for me.— Dominique Apollon (@ApollonTweets) April 22, 2019
His post has now gone viral with 500,000 likes and shares on Twitter, thus emphasizing on the importance of race and color in everyday products. Apollon was also in for a surprise when "Star Wars" actor John Boyega, commented on his sweet post and wrote, "Yep! On film sets where we get cuts a lot, make-up artists have to paint it brown to get your picture ready."
Although Apollon is hopeful that there is a lot more to be done in order to ensure that the future generation lives in a 'truly inclusive society', a bandage is just a mere start to the process.
Yep! On film sets where we get cuts alot, make up artists have to paint it brown to get you picture ready.— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) April 20, 2019
"I'm hopeful that people of all colors, gender identities, sexual orientations, religions, classes, abilities, etc. will recognize that," he told CBS News. Following the viral reaction over his tweet, Apollon wrote: “I’m glad this thread has sparked some love, introspection, empathy, and conscious actions in others,” He also reminded that white supremacy can be defeated with a combined effort from “all levels of our societies”.
People on Twitter have resonated well with his post with some even suggesting that schools should keep a pack of such bandages. "Thank you for this. I work in a school and because of your tweet, I just purchased a pack of TruColor bandages to have on hand. It’s a small thing that might make a big difference to a child," a social media user said.