Shopping while Black is a phenomenon that can only be explained by those of us who have to do it regularly. Sometimes those experiences turn into funny stories for us to share later. Yet, at other times, they end in humiliation and tears as Black people are unfairly targeted by store associates, managers, and security guards simply because of the color of their skin.
This was the case for a Black woman named Kimberly Houzah when she recently visited a Victoria’s Secret store at the Quintard Mall in Oxford, Alabama.
Houzah captured the altercation via Facebook as she explains that a person who she believed was a store manager asked her and one other Black woman to leave the store after a third Black woman, whom neither of them knew, was found shoplifting from the lingerie store.
As the video starts, you can hear someone saying, “I just need y’all to go” as the confrontation escalates between store staff and another Black woman who appears to be a shopper.
Houzah explains in the video that store staff assumed that the women were “affiliated” with one another because they were all Black. She holds back tears for most of the 11 minute long clip, breaking down at the end when she explains that she “will never step foot in that store again.”
In a post on Facebook, Victoria’s Secret posted and apology to Houzah after her video went viral stating:
“We take the experience of our customer at the Quintard Mall very seriously and have reached out to her directly to express our sincere apology. What happened at our store should not have happened and does not represent who we are or what we stand for. The store associate involved in this matter is no longer employed with the company. Victoria’s Secret is adamant that all customers regardless of race be treated with dignity and respect at all times.”
Photo via Facebook/Kimberly N. Houzah