Once upon a time, black people lived in communities filled with black businesses that were thriving. Streets of the community were filled with black owned banks, dentists, doctors, lawyers, theatres, libraries, restaurants, grocery stores, luxury stores, clothing stores, retail stores, hotels and much more. Two popular communities like this were located in Durham, North Carolina and Tulsa, Oklahoma. These communities are known to us a “Black Wall Street”. The Tulsa race riot of 1921 and desegregation is what lead to the destruction of these thriving communities of black owned businesses.
To our knowledge, there is not currently anything physically like Black Wall Street today. Even if we don’t physically create another community like the Black Wall Streets in Tulsa and Durham, we have the ability to help black owned businesses thrive and build generational wealth. We need to work together to spread the awareness of black owned businesses, shred the idea that black businesses are inferior to others and intentionally work on buying black as much as possible. We understand it can be hard to buy black all the time, but putting an effort to doing it as much as possible will help lead us in the right direction. If you haven’t seen Killer Mike’s series on Netflix called “Trigger Warning”, you should check it out. He has an episode where he tries to go a week supporting black owned businesses only.
Maggie Anderson, author of “Our Black Year”, gave some interesting facts in her 2014 Grand Rapids TEDx Talk. She explained that “a dollar circulates in Asian communities for up to 28 days, in Jewish communities for nearly 20 days, in white communities for 17 days and in Hispanic communities for 7 days. Yet in the Black community, a dollar circulates for only 6 hours”. This is an astonishing fact when black buying power is over $1 trillion with estimates placing it close to $2 trillion in the 2020 decade.
So how can we circulate our dollars in our community longer?
- BLACK BUSINESS DIRECTORIES
We need to be able to find various types of business when we are in need of products and services. Here in Texas, we have the Texas Black Pages. We believe that all states need a black business directory.
We need to provide locations that offer various types of products and services. Here in Texas, there are several marketplaces that offer vending spaces to black owned business.
Black Texas Pop-up Markets – Houston, Texas on the 4th Saturday of the month
BLCK Market – Houston, Texas every 1st Friday and 2nd Saturday
Buy Black Marketplace – Houston, Texas every 1st and 3rd Saturday
Melanated Marketplace – Austin, Texas and done quarterly
- ONLINE MARKETPLACES
As we see many brick and mortar stores closing, we can definitely tell that shopping has been trending towards online. Providing online marketplaces for black business to sell and showcase their products to a global marketplace is key!
Here are two global marketplaces that we digging!
The Kickback – a melanin powered streaming service that provides people the ability to share music, visual content, and purchase from black owned businesses.
WeBuyBlack – the largest marketplace for black owned business
4. BUY BLACK
If you can buy it from a black business, do it! We need to invest in our communities and help each other grow. We are all we got!
As always, we’d love to hear your comments and thoughts. What else do you think we can do to help circulate the dollar in our communities more?