How are you supporting black-owned businesses?

606 contributor Rebecca Barrett-Fox is a scholar of hate, religion, and sex. 

One check-in that I do each Black History Month is to track how/if my money is flowing toward African Americans. Granted, this is much easier to do in some places than in others, but here are some things I’ve done:

When I travel, I use Moovn, a black-owned rideshare service. It’s not available where I live, and it’s not preferable to walking or using public transportation because it has some of the same problems as Uber, but if I was going to end up using Uber or Lyft anyway, I choose Moovn instead.

If I’m shopping online, I start by doing a quick search for “black-owned  [whatever it is]” that I’m looking for. There are a number of online business directories focusing on black-owned businesses.

I support the work of African American Literature Book Club (“Black Literature is for Everyone”) by doing my shopping for books at black-owned bookstores, which you can find listed here.

Since I’m in higher ed, I always ask my students of color where they work and if they are treated well by their employer. Then I seek to frequent those establishments and, while I’m there, mention that I came because of my student’s connection. I also ask these students about the businesses their parents and other friends and family members own.

And if I can support the work of a friend’s friend or family member, that’s even better. This includes first asking the teenagers of color I know if they want the kind of work I’d typically hire a young person to do (coaching me on some new piece of technology, babysitting, fixing a flat tire on a bike, etc.).

These aren’t major economic measures that will restructure the economy to greater equality. But it’s an immediate transfer of money, which is also a way to be more intimately connected to my community.


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