By Sophia Conti
Racial and wealth disparities in the United States have been thrown into sharp relief by the COVID-19 pandemic and racial unrest throughout 2020. We see more clearly than ever just how often Black business owners and creatives have been thought of as less than their Caucasian counterparts – and Black businesses are paying the price.
Black businesses are impacted more deeply than Caucasian businesses by COVID-related closures, due to the long history of racial inequality that’s now exacerbated by the ongoing state of emergency.
It feels like an overwhelming problem – and it is – but there’s one simple thing you can do right now to help: Shop at Black-owned businesses whenever you can.
Supporting Black-owned businesses helps provide much-needed stability to business owners that have been hard hit by the pandemic. And you’re laying a foundation to continue to support Black businesses long after the crisis is over.
Once you start paying attention to who owns the businesses you shop at and where your money is going, you’ll be surprised at how your mindset starts to shift. It’s an easy, practical step to start changing the way you think while providing tangible support to Black business owners who need your help right now.
Where to start? We’ve got you covered. We’ve compiled a list of 181 Black-owned businesses across the United States in many different categories. Check out the list below.
Art & Design
Pubs are important community spaces which are often romanticised as a key part of British culture, but for some – namely people of colour – the local boozer isn’t a place they can enter without feeling like outsiders.
By Faima Bakar
Kevin Divine*, who is Black, has felt that hostility in pubs many times. ‘When you look at all the flags outside a pub and see just white people inside, it makes you think twice,’ he tells Metro.co.uk. ‘Pubs are seen as super British but the “Britishness” they represent is kind of at odds with the kind of Britain I occupy and envision.’
‘One time, I went inside and it was like one of those scenes from a Western flick when the out-of-towner steps into a saloon and all the patriots stop what they’re doing and follow his every move.’ ‘Even the bartender forgot he was pouring a pint and let it overflow.’ Kevin, from Hull, – which was named City of Culture in 2017 – is one of many people of colour who have experienced this sense of being unwelcome in pubs across the UK. ‘That was uncomfortable but a part of me found it funny and kind of sad that people have that reaction to me being in the room,’ remembers Kevin. ‘My friends and I wouldn’t go to these places anymore because why put yourself in that environment?’
While it would be unfair to say that all pubs are unwelcoming purely because they’re often adorned with flags, there is tense relationship between Black and brown British people and the Union Jack or the St George’s flag. Some feel it conjures up images of English nationalism or reminds them of far-right movements – such as The National Front, which adopts the Union Jack in its logo. As well as decor, there are other tangible reasons that may deter people from entering or feeling welcome in pubs – including problematic names. Last year, a pub that shared a moniker with slavetrader Edward Colston was renamed after the Black Lives Matter protests. A chain decided to rename three of its establishments – including The Black Boy and The Black’s head – due to their ‘racist connotations’.
After UCL compiled a database of firms connected to slavery, another pub, Greene King, changed its title due the plantation connection of its namesake Benjamin Greene. A study last summer found that one in three people would avoid pubs if they had a racist name or signage.
Kevin isn’t alone in his wariness towards pubs. Anthony, a Filipino person who has lived in Newham his whole life, has a pub at the end of his street – but he never goes in.
As part of Black Birders Week, women are sharing their love of the outdoors and the challenges they face in them.
For the past week, Black birders, scientists, and nature lovers have flooded Twitter with their own stories. As part of the inaugural “Black Birders Week,” they’ve introduced the world to their work and passions, posting about their experiences outdoors and sharing everything from the joy it brings them to the racism they encounter in the field and their daily lives.
The social media campaign was created by a collective of 30 Black scientists and naturalists, called BlackAFinSTEM, in response to the recent racist incident in Central Park between a Black birder, Christian Cooper, and Amy Cooper, an unrelated white woman. After the video went viral, BlackAFinSTEM organized Black Birders Week, dedicating different days to hashtagged themes, such as #BlackInNature on Sunday and the #PostABirdChallenge on Monday. To round off the event, #BlackWomenWhoBird are taking the spotlight on Friday to make their presence known.
“The visibility of Black women who bird is really not out there,” says Deja Perkins, a conservation biology graduate student at North Carolina State University and co-organizer of Black Birders Week. “We don’t really see representation of ourselves in this activity, so I think it’s really important for us to highlight that women are out here birding. And this is an activity that we would like other Black women to join in on.”Continue reading