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Consuming the Culture Part Deux

In the U.S., August has been designated as National Black Business Month. 2020 has been a mixed year for many small businesses as it began with an increase in new business before social unrest and COVID-19 set in.

Many businesses in the U.S. have had to shift their models, or even worse, shutter their doors. This revelation is even worse for Black-owned establishments and businesses as they are twice as likely to close permanently compared to their White counterparts.

So to offset the imbalance, I decided to highlight some well-known and up-and-coming Black-owned businesses.

Beauty and Fashion

The Folklore – shopthefolklore.com

A sustainable New York-based online store and showroom catering to the African diaspora specializing in clothing, accessories and housewares. The store allows consumers to support well-known and up-and-coming Black brands from across the world.

UjuuMedia – www.ujuumedia.com

The fashion brand functions as part blog- part online marketplace for emerging Black designers. The brand uses its influence not only to market and highlight designers across the African diaspora but the overall culture.

Safashe – www.instagram.com/safashe

A Virginia-based independent fashion brand specializing in high-fashion and dress design for a variety of clients. Its founder Sasha Williams is notable amongst the fashion world for creating Richmond Runway, which highlights up-and-coming Black designers.

Honey Pot – thehoneypot.co

An Atlanta-based health and wellness brand catering towards the African diaspora and feminine hygiene care. Creator and founder Bea Dixon created the company to help other Black women naturally deal with feminine issues.

Juvia’s Place – www.juviasplace.com

A Los Angeles-based beauty and makeup company catering to women of different shades and tones. The brand has built its recognition for drawing upon the colors and formulas influenced by African culture.

Scotch Porter – https://www.scotchporter.com/

A men’s skincare brand catering to men of all ethnicities with all-natural skincare and grooming products. The emerging brand has become a go-to grooming brand for Black men.

Finances

One United Bank – www.oneunited.com

This Boston-based financial institution is one of the few Black-owned banks still operating in the United States. The bank has advocated for financial literacy amongst the African-American community.

Industrial Bank – www.industrial-bank.com

As one of the oldest banks in the United States, the Washington, D.C.-based financial institution caters to the African American community – banking and lending. The Congressional Black Caucus has backed the bank when it comes to promoting ethical lending practices to Blacks.

Awoye Capital – www.awoyecapital.com

This New York-based financial advising firm urging financial investment in the Black community. The firm has built its reputation for creating financial plans tailored to each client.

Food

Michele Food Inc. – michelefoods.com

An Illinois-based food company specializing in gourmet syrups. The product started as a family recipe passed down through founder Michele Hoskin’s family from her great-great-great-grandmother.

Slutty Vegan – sluttyveganatl.com

An Atlanta-based restaurant chain and food truck specializing in vegan fast-casual. The vegan food chain is best known for its take on the famous Impossible Burger.

This is It BBQ and Seafood – thisisitbbq.com

An Atlanta-based all-you-can-eat restaurant chain specializing in barbeque and seafood. Along with barbeque and seafood, it offers veggie options for practicing vegans.

CamiCakes – www.camicakes.com

An Atlanta-based franchised bakery chain offering a variety of confectionary treats. The bakery is best known for its specialty-flavored gourmet cupcakes.

Atlanta Breakfast Club – atlantabreakfastclub.com

This Atlanta staple serves up brunch at a reasonable price. Besides the traditional breakfast offerings, it offers breakfast and lunch alternatives with a Southern twist.

Media

Blavity – blavityinc.com

A multimedia online company caters to showing and acknowledging Black Millennials. The company has its hands in everything from news media to tech to travel with an appeal to the African diaspora.

Atlanta Blackstar – atlantablackstar.com

This Atlanta-based media company focuses on narrative aimed at Black America. Within the last year, the publication set its sights on entering the video sector.

UrbanOne – urban1.com

Founded in 1979 as Radio One, the multimedia conglomerate has been the premier outlet for Black media in the U.S. The media giant has expanded into television, advertising, and the digital space within the last decade.

kweliTV – www.kweli.tv

A streaming platform dedicated to highlighting and uplifting content created by those of the African diaspora worldwide. The streamer is currently available through Amazon Fire, AppleTV, Chromecast, and many more.

D’Art Shtajio – dartshtajio.com

Founded in 2016 by brothers Arthell and Darnell Isom, the Tokyo-based animation studio focuses on bringing much-needed diversity into anime. The studio has been on fire lately due to its collaborations with music artists Sturgill Simpson and The Weeknd.

Books

Eso Won Books – www.esowonbookstore.com

Based in Los Angeles, this Black-owned bookstore deals with a book selection specializing in African American history. The store spotlights both independent and well-known Black authors.

For Keeps Books – www.forkeepsbooks.com

The online bookstore offers classic and rare Black literature for bibliophiles. The online store showcases work from Alice Walker, Margaret Mead, Toni Morrison and many more Black writing luminaries.

Tech

Shine – join.shinetext.com

Created by Marah Lidey and Naomi Hirabayashi, the tech app specializes in aiding BIPOC with dealing with anxiety and stress to connect with mental health experts. The app taps into the underserved and marginalized members of society.

Dollaride – www.dollaride.com

Created by Sulaiman “Su” Sanni, the mobile app aides underserved communities in finding affordable rides in the New York area. The app helps users to get around the city with their Dollar vans.

Hopefully, these examples of Black excellence show what the African diaspora can achieve when left it our own devices.

Watch this space as I return to document my writing journey.

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