The Affirmative Action of Black Emojis
Emojis are a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication. Emojis have changed the way we communicate; in fact, Emojis are used more often than hyphens on Twitter.
Of more than 800 Emojis, the only two resembling people of color are a guy who looks slightly Asian and another in a turban. Last year, 4,500 people signed a petition prompting developers to create Emojis just as diverse as the people who use them. In June, 250 new Emojis were introduced, but still, none reflecting people of color.
Oju Emoticon App
The first company to address this concern, Oju Africa released 15 black emojis that are only available for Android devices. It can be downloaded for free, but only works with other platforms such as WhatsApp, Twitter, Skype, and Facebook.
Launched by a former NASA employee, Katrina Parrott, this app is priced at $1.99 and is available on both Android and iOS devices. It not only offers Emojis of color, but also same sex and interracial couple emojis. The only problem is that you must first open the app, find the Emoji you want, highlight and copy it, and then paste it into your message.
While this app offers the most extensive set of diverse Emojis, it has no cross app compatibility, meaning that users can only send and receive these Emojis within the app. This app is free for Android users, but iOS users are charged $0.99. However, both platforms have to pay an additional $4 for the full suite of Emojis.