Buying Black Daily
There’s been a significant uptick in urging people to “Buy Black”, and “Support Black-owned Businesses”. Covid19 has exacerbated the need to support small businesses which have been devastated due to the global recession (call it what it is).
The day after Thanksgiving has been called Black Friday for years. Wooing Black consumers was the ONLY Black focus of Black Fridays, in actuality. Covid19 has altered the universe of Black Friday. Covid 19 has put businesses — especially minority owned businesses — in the deep red, unfortunately. One response to the pandemic, that is a good thing. is that curtailed the usual display of “expressions of gratitude” that the news typically reports —shoppers knocking down their fellow woman/man to get that discounted flat screen TV. I don’t miss seeing the must-have kids toy be ripped apart, in a surreal, rabid-looking, post-Thanksgiving dinner tug of war. That was NEVER good look for a society that was supposed to be “civil”.
Yes, Covid19 has restored some semblance of shopper decorum, even as people are still (unfortunately) partying & worshipping, as if the pandemic is over. We just need to eradicate the on-line scammers.
Let the Music Play
Christmas decorations were hung and carols got on playlists well before the turkey was carved this year. Did you notice that this Black Friday/shopping season has gotten a little Blacker, though? The big box retail dogs have deployed Black royalty to encourage us to shop with them. Surely, you’ve heard the ads with music of the Queen of Soul (Aretha) being used by Walmart & the Queen of Hip-Hop (Mary J. Blige) bars in the Target Christmas media onslaught. Those catchy tunes might subconsciously lure people into the stores or onto big store websites. Well played.
Buying Black should be part of your shopping equation, if we want to help stabilize our economies. Companies, like JPMorgan Chase, have launched Advancing Black Pathways and Advancing Black Entrepreneurs, which are explicit in their mission to support Black businesses & entrepreneurs. The Washington Football Team has launched the Black Engagement Network to encourage support for Black businesses in the Washington, DC region (aka, the DMV). Association for Enterprise Opportunities (AEO) is a dynamic national organization that supports entrepreneurship. Their Tapestry Project builds upon their commitment to network Black businesses and support organizations.
Philanthropy, too, is stepping into the business investment space, to tackle the wealth chasm. ABFE — A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities, is a 49-year old national network of individual donors, foundations and organizations committed supporting Black communities. They mobilized dozens of executives & organizations to deepen their funding strategies, to better support Black-led social change. The collective call to action, titled, We Must be in it for the Long Haul offers 10 strategies to mitigate anti-Black racism & racial injustice. This is one of the strategies:
ENGAGE BLACK BUSINESSES. Foundations and the public sector should actively engage Black businesses in investment management, banking, and other professional services to address the pandemic’s negative impact on Black earnings and wealth.
Buy Black Beyond Black Friday
Amazon’s retail dominance has grown exponentially as consumers opt for home delivery instead of masked shopping. But, we can look/shop a little smaller and still bring joy to the world.
The seasonal call to support Black businesses is especially critical, in this Covid-19 era. It’s estimated that 50% of Black businesses (vs 17% White businesses) are at risk of closing permanently, due to the dramatic slowdown of the economy. Many have already shuttered because the relief has dried up; if it was ever received in the first place. The virus-induced devastation of Black businesses prompts reflection of the man-made, racially motivated destruction of thriving Black businesses like the Greenwood District, of Tulsa, Oklahoma a century ago. We have recovered from crises before, we WILL do it again.
For us Buy Us
Millions are unemployed and seeking a next meal. Millions are blessed to have a paycheck during the pandemic, too. Our government is built to respond to times like these. We must remind them to do their job (202–224–3121). We, too, can help others get through these times, by using the resources we have been blessed with (our time, talent, treasure and/or testimony) to support others.
By supporting Black-owned businesses — beyond Black Friday & shop small Saturday — you are supporting families and communities. Here are some links (national, regional local) that can help you do your part to support our economies in these times. Some businesses will ship, but, if you are in the same or a nearby zip code, pay them a visit (mask on, of course):
Black Businesses thrive with word of mouth support, too. Who’s telling the story? You can help spread the good news about businesses you have supported. That media coverage is the testimony they need to thrive. Share where you are you shopping on your social media. Use your networks to help identify business/product you’re looking for and, maybe, someone can post a solution for you.
Move over Oprah, here’s some of my favorite businesses in the DMV and beyond:
Nablaa Brand Hand-crafted Home Furnishings & Jewelry
Freres Branchiaux (PRONOUNCED “FRAIR BRON-SHEE-OH”) means “Gill Brother”
Bayou Soap Co.
Shopping makes you hungry, too. Feed yo’self:
After all that eating and shopping, settle down and play a game:
WEAR A MASK…AND SHOP
Everybody can do something. Be grateful, AND get involved in our collective recovery. Share Black and small business information with friends. You voted in record numbers, now tell those elected officials to support our heroes, businesses, communities & households, by passing the HEROES ACT — 202–224–3121.
Give Back Too!
Now is not the time to slack up on supporting nonprofits. You’ve seen the record lines of people who needed support before Thanksgiving. That support is still needed, and will be needed for sometime. Yes, support Giving Tuesday — and Wednesday, and Thursday and Friday… I heard it through the Grapevine, that you should never stop giving.
Finally, express your feelings on social media with a Black App - EBROJI. We will get through this, together. Until then, WEAR A MASK 😷 — you can even buy it from a Black business!