Company challenges golf's lack of diversity, commits to boost Black golfers

Are you sure you want to lead with that?

Olajuwon Ajanaku and Earl Cooper heard that comment more than once about the Eastside Golf logo. The former Morehouse golf teammates chose the dynamic depiction of a Black man swinging a golf club while wearing a gold chain, jeans and gray sweatshirt.

The connection between the logo and their message couldn’t be more clear. That’s what made some critics uneasy.

“I made it so the younger generation has representation of what’s possible,” Ajanaku said. “They’ve never seen a Black man or man of color swing a golf club but have a chain on and it looks fly. That’s something that’s never talked about because in the golf world. It’s either extreme: You’re either Tiger Woods … or you’re The Legend of Bagger Vance.”

Ajanaku, Eastside Golf’s founder, first dreamt up the logo in May 2019 as a personal logo for his golf bag, but Cooper, now co-founder, thought it had more potential. He encouraged Ajanaku to display it on a T-shirt. Ajanaku listened and took the T-shirt on a test run around Detroit where he worked as a sales manager in commercial finance. That afternoon dozens of strangers stopped him on the street and…

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