I know what you’re thinking: Why would we think about race when deciding where to shop? When I mention that shopping black-owned businesses is important, people usually hit me with: “I shop where I like, I don’t even think about race.” And while I understand that line of thinking, it’s problematic for a few reasons. When we consider issues that plague our society, one of them is the racial gap within business. Think about it this way: White people have had centuries of a head start on people of color in terms of businesses. Banks and major economic strongholds began when racial inequality was a glaring problem in America (and around the world) and thus, the financial gap still exists, even though there are many examples of successful Black Americans. Jim Crow-era practices hindered the Black economy, and we’re still seeing the repercussions of that today. For example, the median wealth for white families is about 12 times that for Black families averaging around $140,000, and one in four black households have zero or negative net worth compared to less than one in ten white families without wealth. Even more concerning is that by 2053, the median wealth for Black families is projected to fall to zero.
One way to be an ally of racial equality is to build generational wealth – something white people have had hundreds of years to build – within the Black community.
Okay, now that you’ve humored me about financial equality, let’s get on to the fun part: Shopping. I turned to Instagram to ask followers for their favorite Black-owned businesses and you all didn’t disappoint. Let me share some of my faves.
- I love these clay earrings by Audacious Reign Designs, a creator and maker out of Birmingham, Alabama. In addition to being a fabulous artist, Raina – the brand’s founder – is a bold and fearless woman of God who puts so much spirit into each piece. I bought these black and white clay pieces, and I get compliments each and every time I wear them.
- Let’s talk HAIRCARE. I have unruly, damaged hair that I have spent forever trying to heal from years of bleach and over-styling. I’ve invested lots of time (and money, lawd, so much money) into finding the very best in hair care. One of my most beloved hair care brands is Briogeo, which is coincidentally owned by a woman of color. This happened by accident – I just purchased because of the rave reviews – but ever since implementing the “Don’t Despair, Repair” line into my regiment, my hair is so much softer and more manageable. I’ve also used their Scalp Revival line in the winter months to combat dryness on my scalp. Use HOLIDAY for 20% off their products.
3. I get asked all the time where I get Hazel James’ sweet little turbans and bows, and I’m OBSESSED with this small business, 6Heart Turbans + Headwraps. They’ve been so sought after that they’ve closed the shop temporarily, but will re-open for Black Friday, and it’s well worth following them on Instagram to keep up with their re-opening. Look how cute Miss Thing is in her turban!
Shopping platform ETSY has a landing page specifically to amplify Black businesses, so I highly recommend perusing their site to do your holiday shopping.
Shopping Black-owned is such an easy way to tell the Black community that they’re being heard and supported – and who doesn’t love an extra reason to shop?
As always, thanks for being here….